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6 Expert Tips For Choosing Your Custom Picture Frames

It can be overwhelming to walk into any custom frame shop and look at the myriad of moldings hanging on the walls and the racks of matboards. Endless possibilities. Where the heck do you begin? As professionals we can zoom right in on what would work with each piece, and for us, it's a matter of which you prefer. When you come to our shop for a consultation we'll guide you all along the way. Here are a few expert tips for you to consider when choosing your custom picture frames.

1. Style, pattern and finish. What style is the art? There are many choices when it comes to the finish of your moldings; ornate, painted, stained, natural lacquered, distressed, brushed, foiled… For some art the choice is clear: if you are framing classical or reproduction art, go ornate. Art Deco piece? Go with a lacquered frame as it will complement the art. Is it a beachy photo? Is it a concert poster from the Grateful Dead? A moody heavily stroked painting of a rainstorm? Look at moldings accordingly.

2. Size of the art and where you will display it. You may want to add a matboard around the art. The mat will provide a breathing space for your eye, and allow the viewers eye to be drawn into the art. However if you have a poster that is already 3 feet by 5 feet, adding a mat could make the finished framed size close to 4 feet x 6 feet. Do you have a space to accommodate a piece that size?

Small mat boarder but boldly framed in a colorful mat and contrasting gold frame

3. Color. What color brings out the best in the art? What color will go well in the room you intend to display it? What color speaks to you? A series of brightly colored prints may look great in colorful frames to pull a particular color from each piece of art. creating a wild pop of color that can be very exciting. What if that is too colorful for your room? White mats tend to be unobtrusive and allow the eye to settle on the art without distraction. Striking effects can be achieved by choosing colors for the mat and moldings from the art, making the framed art stand out.

Surrounding the art in similar color and a sleek frame

4. Type of art. The often bright, bold feel of a 60's rock poster will look better with a simpler molding that brings holds the art cleanly. We've framed oil and acrylic paintings with moldings that seem to be an extension of the painting itself, picking up the color and texture of the paint. A reproduction oil painting can look stunning with an ornate gold molding.

Reproduction painting is spectacular in ornate gold frame

5. Glazing. You will have to decide how to protect your art from damaging factors such as Ultra Violet rays, humidity and soiling. Regular glass, Reflection Control, Museum Glass? Regular glass can be used when UV protection. Reflection control minimizes light reflecting off of the glass when viewing the art and UV protection is not an issue. Conservation glass protects the art from damaging UV rays. Conservation glass is also available with reflection control coatings. There are more options available, and your custom picture framer will be able to guide you.

6. Placement.

Art hung in groups or stand alone placement can be used to tell your story. It can make a powerful statement when a group of family photos are framed in similar mat and moldings and one - maybe the family reunion photos is framed in a manner to stand out from the group. When hanging think of treating the entire group as one piece placing them closer together in a group rather than spreading them out across the room. Choose the right size art for the wall. Tiny pieces floating in the middle of the largest wall in your living room will make it look lost. Try to look at the orientation of the piece to the shape of the wall as well.

Placement of your art makes a statement.

Framing your art is more than just a decorative choice. It's to protect and preserve your art. That is our first priority at the Village Frame Shop!

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