The Art of Framing: An Overlooked Design Choice

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A Commonly Overlooked Design Choice

As home stylists, we have started to notice there is certain advice we give out to nearly every one of our clients. One of the most common tips is about framing. You heard right–we talk about frames a lot these days. We now affectionately refer to this talk as "the framing conversation."

Imagine this. You purchase a frame when you have a new photograph or piece of art you want to display. Sometimes people give you a framed photograph as a gift. Before you know it, over the course of years, your frames are a hodge-podge of different styles and colors–all of which you haven't given a second thought to how they contribute to or fit in to your home's overall look. Sure, you may like that red herringbone frame on its own, but you haven't really considered its aesthetic effect on your space. Are you glancing around your room right checking out your frame situation?

We have all been in this spot at one time or another. It's hard to realize it when you're in the middle of a framing mess. One day you look around and realize: did I really choose all of these frames? The frames in your home are an easy decor choice to overlook; they're easy to add to your space without really considering the impact they'll have on your overall look.

Framing's Impact on Your Home's Style

Just because they are easy to overlook doesn't mean frames don't have a big effect on your home's design. Sometimes the hodge-podge of frames in a person's home can be so distracting, you don't even notice the photograph or artwork they are trying to enhance. A thoughtless framing situation can not only look like a mess, but can actually take away from the things important to you (i.e., photographs, artwork). Your art and photos are what you want to take center stage; you are not celebrating the host of craft store frames you’ve accumulated (too harsh?).

So now that we've had the framing conversation, take a look around your home. Are the frames in your spaces displayed because you thoughtfully selected them or because they just ended up there one way or another? If it's the latter, take a moment to consider your framing future.

How to Include Frames in Your Design Aesthetic

There are many paths you can take when taking on the art of framing. Perhaps you want to do a streamlined approach and select all matching frames. Or perhaps you select a handful of finishes that you'll use, but then vary the style (e.g., simple gold frames and more ornate gold frames). Some questions to ponder: What other materials are in your room? Do you have several different wood tones? Brass, silver or gold elements?  What color schemes are going on? Do you have hints of white or black? Or maybe other colors? Consider these design choices you have already consciously implemented in your space to help inform the direction you want to take with your frames.

Regardless of your framing plan, the key is that it is a plan not something that just happens. When you're thoughtful about your frames, you not only elevate your home's style, but you make it a better reflection of you–with the things you're framing emphasized and noticed, not the frames themselves.

   In Allison's modern tudor,    she kept with black frames for her living room, but varied the frames' sizes, widths, and matting.

In Allison's modern tudor, she kept with black frames for her living room, but varied the frames' sizes, widths, and matting.

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   Ashley from the home and lifestyle blog Bigger Than the Three Of Us   , used mostly white frames for her living room gallery wall. The colorful artwork really stands out with this streamlined choice.

Ashley from the home and lifestyle blog Bigger Than the Three Of Us, used mostly white frames for her living room gallery wall. The colorful artwork really stands out with this streamlined choice.

  For Daly's    dining room landscape gallery wall   , she stuck to simple wooden frames with varying wood tones (and a few painted ones in there!).

For Daly's dining room landscape gallery wall, she stuck to simple wooden frames with varying wood tones (and a few painted ones in there!).

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  She also carried this simple wooden framing choice into her living room.

She also carried this simple wooden framing choice into her living room.

   Hannah Bright used both white and dark wood frames in her daughter's room   . All of the frames are streamlined, simple, and call out to other wood and white objects in the room (white crib, wooden dresser, white rug, etc.).

Hannah Bright used both white and dark wood frames in her daughter's room. All of the frames are streamlined, simple, and call out to other wood and white objects in the room (white crib, wooden dresser, white rug, etc.).

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  Palmer has a similar look in    her shared kids' room   . Simple dark wooden frames in various shapes are found here.

Palmer has a similar look in her shared kids' room. Simple dark wooden frames in various shapes are found here.

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  Rachel Galbraith told us she hunts for vintage brass and gold frames    for her home   . She often times thrifts artwork just for the frames.

Rachel Galbraith told us she hunts for vintage brass and gold frames for her home. She often times thrifts artwork just for the frames.

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  Rachel also weaves in black and wooden frames which bring out hues from the nearby rug, upholstered bench, and furniture (as seen below).

Rachel also weaves in black and wooden frames which bring out hues from the nearby rug, upholstered bench, and furniture (as seen below).

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We do collaborative interior design.