Decor: Selecting Frames for Your Artwork

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Choosing frames and mats for your artwork.

Changing the look of your room can be expensive. But you can dramatically alter the way your space looks simply by switching out the artwork. And similarly, you can change the look of your favourite paintings, drawings or photographs simply by the way they are  framed.

See how framing options can change the look of just one artwork. Let’s take this fabulous black and white framed photograph as an example.


It looks lovely with its crisp white mat and medium-thickness black frame. It will suit any colour scheme so a monochrome photograph or drawing is an excellent way to start your art collection. But simply by changing the mat colour, the artwork can be given a new look.


2aWe’ve retained the black frame but this time the photograph is surrounded with a lilac/grey mat. On the right, you see colours which blend beautifully with this.

Use these colours for accents in your room – maybe a throw cushion on the sofa, or your wall or ceiling paint colours.

Below, we can see how the same image – in the same frame – looks when a warm colour is chosen for the background mat.



The image itself has a completely different look and if you were using a mat in this shade, you have another range of colours to work with in your room. Next, we can see how the frame itself can completely alter the look.


We’ve retained a black frame but this one is thicker and more substantial. The thin gold interior frame adds a sparkle to the artwork and draws the eye in towards the photograph itself. This combination looks perfect in almost any room be it traditional or modern. It’s also ideal if you are buying framed artwork as a gift and you’re unsure about your recipient’s colour preferences.


Frames are available in a large range of colours and you’ll be sure to find the idea frame to match your décor. The frame shown above is a good example; its weight and thickness does not detract from the artwork but emphasises it.


Whereas the previous frame was heavy in colour and in style, the one above gives a much lighter, airier look. Gold or gilded frames always give an element of luxury to an artwork.


Above is another fine example of a coloured frame, this time with warmer hues. It’s a simple, unadorned frame but looks elegant in most interior styles.


At the other end of the design scale, an elaborate frame can really draw the eye to the artwork itself. This ornate frame would be too much with a highly coloured or overly complex artwork but is perfect for drawing the eye inwards without detracting from the photograph.


For the last few examples, we have been using a white mat but there are countless permutations of mat-and-frame combinations. Choose what suits your own décor and your own personal taste.


Finally, we have a black-on-black combination enhanced by a thin gold inner frame, creating another different look.

You can order this artwork and see the framing options here.

The print is also available unframed or on canvas.


Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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