Interior Design Tips – Decorating With Picture Frames

Choosing frames for your art in your interior design can be tricky, but here are a few ideas to help you make you best selections.

  1. Modern pictures usually have simple clean lined frames. Modern art is usually an expression in itself and the frame is usually very simple, or no frame at all. The common materials used for modern design are black matte frames, metals like gold, silver or bronze or plastics, such as acrylic boxes.
  2. Traditional art can have more detail and ornamentation. Traditional art is softer usually and the frame may lend itself to more detail. Be sure that the frame is not more busy than the subject unless you want the frame to be more highlighted than the art subject.
  3. The finish of the frame should compliment the art. Darker art would usually have a darker frame, lighter art would more than likely have a lighter frame. The mat color would usually be complimentary to the main background color of the art and a secondary color mat would compliment one of the main colors of the art also.
  4. Choose the frame to the art, not the room. This is important because sometimes people choose frames to go with the entire color scheme of the room. This art may actually only go with one color in the color scheme for the room and that is fine. It is not necessary to have all the colors in you room color scheme associated with the art, so choose the frame that highlights the art best, not the entire room. Choose a style of frame that compliments the style of art. Modern frame for modern art, traditional frame for traditional art and playful frames for kids art. Darker frames for dark art and lighter frames for light art.
  5. The scale or size of the frame should be related to the scale of the painting. Smaller pictures can be made to feel larger by leaving space around them between the picture and the frame. This can be done with several layers of mats or the art can even “float” if you want to put it in a plexiglass frame for a more modern look. If the art is made to look larger by space around it, then the frame can be larger scale too. Very large art may have 4″-6″ or more frame width. Remember to consider this frame width in the overall size of the art. Some art may be framed to size with a smaller frame with a smaller picture and larger scale frames with larger pictures. There also is a trend to put a thin metal frame around a large piece of art. This highlights the picture and looks like a border around it, as apposed to a framed look.
  6. The frame does not need to “match” the picture, it should harmonize with it. Color matching is not necessary when choosing your frame with art. Stand back and see if the color of the frame harmonizes nicely with the colors in the art. Too much matching can make it look boring.
  7. Very formal settings many times have gold leaf or silver leaf finishes. Formality can be added to art by using metals such as gold leaf and silver leaf. It is like fine jewelry surrounding your art. Can be very elegant, pretty and accent the art perfectly. This can be used with modern or traditional art, smooth or ornate frames.