Choosing the Perfect Frame

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We’ve all had to frame something in our lives, whether it is a diploma, photograph, piece of art, etc. And it sounds simple enough – you just buy a frame, throw in the art and that’s it … right? Hardly. No, we must first consider the size of the item you would like framed, the shape or orientation, double mat, single mat, textured mat, should it match the wall or furniture color scheme, where on the wall should it be hung, should my framed images be arranged in a certain way…whew, how did such a simple task become so complicated?

Many people take great pride in the presentation of their homes, so adding the finishing touches of hanging art, photos or important documents can sometimes become a slightly more tedious project than anticipated. Okay, okay, this all may sound very strange to some, but for those of you who, like me, have struggled with the ongoing dilemma of finding the perfect frame…here are just a few suggestions to assist you:

Selecting the mat color and frame style:

When I look through a home d├ęcor book or a magazine on interior design, one thing is pretty apparent – everything matches or compliments each element of a room. So, when it comes to framing anything from a diploma to a Van Gogh (it could happen), try to first get a sense of where it will be placed. Is the room full of bright, vibrant colors, or is it more neutral with slightly muted colors? Also, is the architecture and furniture casual, traditional, sophisticated or contemporary? Try to stick with the room’s theme and you can’t go wrong!
However, when choosing your mat color, always try to contrast the wall. If the wall has a busy wall paper or is a darker color, try to choose a simple light colored mat. If the wall is a solid light color, choose a darker mat with some possible texture to it.

Hanging your frame:

I grew up in a household where my mother hung every frame up wherever it fit on the wall. Yes, the pieces were always nice to look at, but the disorganization of the arrangement made them look…well, not quite right. My suggestion is this; make each hung piece look as though it belongs there. Strong diagonal lines create a more exciting or dramatic look (which would look terrific up a stair case), but make sure they are equally spaced apart. This also creates a more casual feel to the room. Pieces hung in a more symmetrical arrangement create a formal atmosphere and add balance to the room.
Pay attention to wall size! This was another issue my mother had (sorry mom). She would put a very small object alone on a large wall. It’s okay to put a small frames large walls, don’t get me wrong, but try to group 4 together in a box formation, or in another eye catching grouping in the center of the wall. This is much more appropriate to fit the large space. I always try to stick with smaller pictures for narrow walls and bigger images for larger walls.
A few terrific reference sources are:

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