A picture may be worth a thousand words; but a good frame enables a picture to use them and speak volumes. A good frame should not only enhance the artwork or photograph within, but also suit the space in which it resides. The balance can be tricky to achieve; though when successful, picture framing can create a wealth of possibilities that benefit both subject and space.
Create continuity. Using the same frame or frames of the same colour can tie even the most diverse collection together. Try using all black frames for understated elegance, or perhaps all gold for a hint of opulence. For a contemporary touch, bring a pop of colour to a space by framing all the photographs or fine art on a gallery wall in a bright colour like yellow or red.
Change your sense of space. Much like choosing to paint a wall and woodwork the same colour, creating a more seamless blend between wall and frame will also create flow and give the illusion of more space. Alternatively, if a large space feels too roomy or impersonal, picking a frame that stands out from its surroundings focuses the eye and keeps it from wandering over the area, making the space feel more intimate.
Give a new lease of life. Beloved paintings or photographs from the past can be gracefully brought into the present with a new frame. Even if only redecorating, a change in frame can ensure that your fine art or treasured photographs harmonise with your new space. If your painting or photograph is damaged or showing signs of aging, it is also worth asking your framer for advice about any conservation or restoration that could be performed prior to framing.
Accentuate the mood of the painting. When choosing a frame, finding a frame that works with the painting rather than competing with it is paramount. Saying this, individual paintings or photographs will naturally lend themselves to different moods, which can be revealed and amplified by a frame. Bring out the drama of a cityscape with a bold, contemporary frame or add a sense of grandeur to an antique portrait with an ornate frame in keeping with the painting’s history—but don’t be afraid to play with the relationship between traditional and contemporary.