Frame first. Art after.
Perhaps it’s a bit backwards for some, but I’ve always bought my frames and matting first, and figured out what to put in them second. Crazy? Maybe. But it’s my belief that how we showcase graphics and the photography we love, matters equally as much as the art itself. Sorta like writing a thank you card – don’t we all cruise the card aisles at Target, searching endlessly for that perfectly made-for-you card, before we fill it with the scribblings of thanks and and appreciation inside? Think of the actual card like the frame – equally as impactful as the content of it. Ok, moving on.
Where to start?
Use picture frames as accents for a room, just like you would a bright new throw or decorative pillows. Play with colors, textures and sizes. Don’t be afraid to add a pop color and personality to your room with the four sides of a frame. Especially if you’re like me and renting your pad, then you understand that options to paint rooms are often, very, limited. Most apartment complexes prohibit wallpapering and painting on more than a standard accent wall – but I’ve never seen a lease agreement that limited the amount of art you can hang in your abode!
And certainly don’t limit yourself to matching frames – remember, homes, like our clothes, should be reflective of our unique and interesting selves. As mentioned previously, there is no wrong way to decorate – there are just LOTS of ways of showcasing the things we own.
I think matting is often undervalued. Matting essentially gives you the opportunity to hang up anything you want, no matter the size of the frame you want to fit it in. You have a tiny family photo you can’t blow up? No problem. You only have oversized frames and no large wall art to fill them with? Not to worry. Head to your local Aaron Brothers and browse the matting section at the back of the store. I have yet to meet an image that I couldn’t find matting to match!
Reminder: Don’t forgot to measure the inside length and width of your existing frames before you head out the door!
Practical Tip of the Day:
Out with the new, in with the old…wait?
Remember, you don’t need to buy a new frame everytime you have a new piece of art you want to hang up – frames can be expensive. Matting is not. Nor is paint.
I would encourage all of you to raid your family or friends homes for old frames they have lying around that they are willing to part with. Not a fan of the gold leaf circa 1992 pic frames your mom has up in the attic? Paint ’em! It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do to transform an ordinarily out of date/not-your-style picture frame. Free frames = better than not free frames.
Helpful hint: Home Depot mixes custom paint in small canisters for as little at $5.