Art is a key element to any well-decorated interior.
It adds life and visual interest. The frames surrounding your art have an important role to play in decorating. Frames separate and distinguish the artwork while also protecting it. Frames should play to the feel of your apartment without overwhelming the picture contained within.
There are innumerable options for frame styles available at a wide range of price points. You can choose to do it yourself or go to most craft stores where they will frame your art for you. No matter your choice, you should know these five key points about framing artwork before you make any purchases.
Coordinate your frame to the artwork as well as the space where it will hang. Choose a style and color that plays up the artwork without overwhelming it. The frame should not take center stage. Remember, it is all about the artwork.
If the work of art is modern like a black and white photograph, choose a modern style frame in silver or black. If the work of art is more traditional like a painting or portrait, opt for a more decorative frame with a design in gold or white.
Mats serve an important purpose in a framed work of art. They prevent the work from touching the glass, allowing airflow around art. This is vital to prevent the work and glass from sticking together over time.
Mats also help create visual transition space between the wall and artwork. When framing artwork, choose a mat that is lighter than the work of art but darker than the wall. For a traditional look, pick a prominent accent color from the art to play up with the mat color. A gilded bevel on a mat can really elevate the look while still keeping it simple.
The mat and frame should never be equal widths because the eye tends to visualize this as stripes around the work. As a general rule, you want the matting to be wider than the frame. The size of your artwork obviously dictates the overall size of the frame, but pay attention to the actual width of the frame in relation to the size of the work. Generally, the larger the painting or print the wider the frame should be.
Depending on the value or importance of the artwork you are framing you will want to consider how the framing materials will affect it over time. If the work is on paper, it is very important to choose a 100 percent acid-free mat, so that the work does not discolor or “burn” over time. You should also check to make sure the framer uses acid-free hinging tape to adhere the work to the mat.
The glass for your art frame is another important component of preserving your work of art. Clear picture frame glass is most common and inexpensive, but it has no UV light blocking capabilities. UV rays are detrimental to art and the damage is cumulative and non-reversible, so if the work will hang in a room with lots of natural light it is important to choose a UV filtering glass.
This is a key component when framing art that largely gets forgotten until you go to hang the piece in your home. For pre-made frames, examine the hanging hardware on the back and think about whether that will be secure enough on your wall. Size and weight impact the type of hardware needed. If the framed art weighs more than 10 pounds, it is best to use d-rings and a hanging wire.