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How to enhance your wall art with well-chosen picture frames

*A collaborative post 

If you’re anything like me, choosing artwork and photos to hang on your walls is one of those ‘home improvement’ tasks that never quite gets to the top of the to-do list. Some of my walls are conspicuously bare, with big blank spaces that are crying out for decoration. Since art and photography can have a significant impact on our mood, choosing the right pictures to display in our homes – and framing them appropriately – should be one of our interior design priorities.

Photos 2018 March

The first question, of course, is which pictures to choose. Think about the mood you want to evoke: serenity, creativity, joy. Select photographs and pieces of art that align with that mood. From gentle landscapes to happy family portraits, the options are infinite and you can let your imagination and creativity run wild.

The part of the process that many of us tend to neglect is framing. The right frame adds a professional, intentional finish. Artists often consider the framing of a piece as an integral part of their overall creative output, yet this step is one that we too frequently overlook in our homes.

There are many factors to consider: the thickness and heaviness of the frame, the material it is made from, the colour and size of the picture mount (or indeed whether to use a picture mount at all – mounts provide artwork with visual space but you may choose not to use one). The frame should enhance the picture without overwhelming it.

To narrow down your search for a frame, begin by deciding on the most appropriate colour. You can approach this question in several different ways:

  • What colour is the wall behind the frame? White picture frames stand out cleanly on a grey wall, but are not distinctive enough against a cream wall. Colourful frames can add vibrancy and interest but may look cluttered next to a patterned wallpaper. To get a picture to really stand out, you can make the frame virtually disappear by selecting a frame that is the same colour as the wall.
  • Are there any accent colours in the room? Matching the colours used elsewhere in the room (perhaps in the woodwork, rug or curtains) can improve the overall coherence of the space. But don’t overdo it!
  • Is there a dominant colour within the picture? Be careful when framing a piece that includes a dominant colour. You only have two options here: either use the same colour for your frame (to compliment the picture), or use a neutral colour (such as white) that does not conflict with the dominant colour.

Let’s banish those bare walls and create the serene, inspiring and joyful homes we all long for.

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