Selecting the appropriate frames to match your decor is not always as simple as it seems.
A picture framing professional can help you decide how to best frame your photos, art or other important documents. (Photo courtesy of Catherine Cola)
More simplistic design schemes don't necessarily warrant a whole lot of consideration when it comes to framing. However, more unique decor and circumstances necessitate the use of greater caution when deciding on the various framing options available.
There are a few basic things everyone should know before attempting to frame something. Primarily, one should understand the benefits and uses of various framing components.
Frame mats are frame inserts that are used to provide depth and negative space to artistic prints. They separate the edges of your piece from the border of the frame and come in a variety of colors. Keep in mind the mat will overlap your photograph or print.
If your piece has artifacts on the edges that you don't want to be covered, consider not using a mat. Matting is meant to provide depth to your piece. The color of your mat should match the less-conspicuous colors within your print.
Most frames found in local stores will be made out of a composite material. This is often a particle board base with a laminate finish. Poster frames are generally made out of plastic and can be very flimsy. The material your frame is made out of will depend largely on your budget and the size of the thing you are framing.
Glass vs. plastic screens
Both glass and plastic are very popular in frames of all sizes. They both come with their own unique set of pros and cons.
Plastic frames are very useful in homes with small children. With children running around, plastic screens are a more durable option that will be able to take more bumps and falls than glass. Plastic will become cloudy if it's exposed to sun for extended periods of time. Plastic absorbs more UV radiation from sunlight than glass does.
Frames with glass screens are often more expensive than those with plastic ones; however, they will last longer if they are treated with care.
Deciding on frames and mounting options
Professional interior decorators take a number of different things into consideration whenever they're deciding whether a frame is appropriate or not. These are very simple considerations that can be utilized by any homeowner.
Matting is very useful for photographs and other prints. However, it creates too much negative space when used with framed documents such as diplomas and certificates.
Your frame says quite a bit about the document or piece of art that it houses. Earth tones project an air of sophistication and distinction that pairs exquisitely with diplomas and degrees. The color of a frame used for an artistic piece should always be decided by the colors of the piece itself. Hang your framed pieces in areas that match the flow of your home.