Selecting the Right Picture Frame

Your picture is definitely worth more than a thousand words – whether this picture is a portrait of you, a painting you want displayed or a photo of your loved one. And the right picture frame adds a thousand more words! Choosing the right picture frame will give the picture the best background, pulling the viewer’s eye into the photo and adding the extra visual impact.

The Victorian Frame Company has a wide range of choice – from beautifully elegant antique picture frames to classically simple ones. The problem is, which of the gorgeous picture frames that are available can provide the perfect fit for your photo?

Here are some tips to help you choose the right picture frame:

Consider the type of photo you want to display. What tone and mood does the picture exude? Is it formal or casual? Is it bold or calm and tranquil? Whimsical and playful or light and airy? Are the colors bright and eye-catching, or are they more on the neutral hues? Bold images will only be smothered by a neutral-colored tone. For a bolder look, you can actually use a picture frame with bold shapes. On the other hand, if you use a frame with a bold design and finish on a neutral-colored picture, the frame will overpower the picture and detract from it. In addition, consider the period by which the photo was taken or the painting was made. Surely, an antique portrait will work well with a vintage picture frame rather than a modern stainless steel one.

Select the correct material. Metal and wood materials usually imbibe their own “energy” to a piece. For instance, traditional portraits and work well with frames featuring ornate designs, or a gold or silver leaf finish. Wood is “warmer” while iron is “cooler” so stainless steel silver picture frames can work great with more modern pieces such as a black and white photo.

Select the right colors. Choose the right colors both for the frame and for the matting (if you opt for a layer or two). The frame and matting should work together and complement each other and the picture. One way to do this is to choose a frame that calls out the predominant colors in the picture and match that with the frame. Then, you can choose a neutral-colored matting to offset the picture’s edges and the frame, effectively creating a “frame within a frame”. You can also add another pop of color by adding a metallic fillet or beveled edging to the lowest layer of matting. This provides another thin layer that further dresses up the entire look of the frame. If you are not sure of what colors will look great for your picture, you can order up to three color samples from the Victorian Frame Company, free of charge.

Decide where you will be hanging the frame. Aside from considering the interplay of colors and textures between the picture, the frame and its matting, you should also look into where the frame will be displayed. The context of the room should be reflected by your choice of frame. What’s more, if there are already picture frames on the wall or shelves, your new addition should match or complement the ones that are already there.

Look at proportion. The dimensions of the frame should not be too flimsy or too heavy in relation to the picture. Having a picture frame that is too thin may make the picture look smaller. In contrast, when the frame is wider, the frame can easily eat up a small picture. What you can do is to play with proportion by considering how you can make use of matting and the framing. You can actually “enlarge” a small picture by incorporating weighted matting, where the matting is wider at the bottom than the rest of the three sides.

Remember, these are just suggestions to help you make your selection. The main rule for choosing picture frames is that there are no hard and fast rules. In the end, you should trust your instinct and your unique design aesthetic to choose a picture frame that fits you.

15th Aug 2016 Eric Morgan

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