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The Art of Framing: Five Ideas to Keep in Mind

Art is one of those things in life that does us little good if we can’t see it…and that does us huge amounts of good when we can. The way that art is framed and displayed, however, can be almost as important as the artwork itself. And, bonus, even common objects can become art-like when framed appropriately as well. Certainly, framing decisions will vary based upon one’s taste, space, and the pieces themselves. Here are five ideas in using frames for beautiful and meaningful wall hangings:

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1. Simple, identical frames with matching white mattes add sophistication to artwork of almost any kind. The art pieces themselves can be quite similar or they can be only loosely connected, but when framed and displayed in this way, they instantly become a gallery. A collection. This is almost a fail-proof framing strategy, an effective default for anybody starting out their art-displaying journey.

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2. Using muted or black-and-white art or photographs within the frames heightens a viewer’s awareness of the frames themselves. This can be a benefit if your frames are beautiful and/or similarly styled, like those in this gallery wall. This can also prove to be problematic if the frames themselves are not carefully thought out. Varying the sizes and hang-heights here adds to the casually rustic layout and highlights the photos in an eye-catching way.

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3. Sometimes, one may have nothing to frame but the frame itself. No problem! Arrangements like this one work well when the frames are varied in size, shape, layout, and thickness so as to create interesting lines and white space. But the frame colors and tones should be similar so as to avoid too many competing elements. Adding ovals or circles to the mix of common right-angle frames is an essential part in pulling off this sophisticated look.

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4. Let the frame complement the subject in size, style, and color. This is particularly effective when the subject (be it a piece of art or artifacts or anything else) is, in and of itself, rather ordinary or commonplace. Like these white rocks. By themselves, they’re probably nothing most people would notice, but housed in these similarly naturalistic and rough-hewn chunky frames, they become a conversation piece.

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5. Although it’s most common to do so, one needn’t limit framed objects to meaningful pieces of art or artifacts. This TV is framed in a fantastically ornate moulding, which has been tastefully painted the same color as the walls so as to keep from appearing too extreme. This interesting and unique idea turns the pragmatic and, let’s be honest, ugly television into a notable wall hanging. I like how the moulding mimics the print of the bedding as well.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

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Posted in How To, Tips, and Advice on December 20, 2012

About the author

Brittney Smart
Brittney is a wife, a mom of four young children, a writer and editor (B.S. degree in English/Technical Writing), and a lover of interior design. She thrives on finding inexpensive ways to DIY her own home into a stylish yet family-friendly space.

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