October 15, 2009

The Luxury of The Right Frame

Posted in art, defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design inspiration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Intertior Design Blog tagged at 9:00 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler

 Ok, great, you’ve selected your art and can’t wait to get it home.  Quite frequently, your art will come without a frame, leaving you another world of options on how to frame it.

 Let’s first start with the style of your piece and the style of your home.  If you have a contemporary home and a contemporary piece of art, using a simple streamlined frame or back liner makes perfect sense! But let’s say your home is traditional, but the art is decidedly not.

 Don’t fret, you actually have a world of choices.  If you have a gallery wrap piece, you could choose to have no frame.  Or you could choose a transitional frame, that is a frame whose styling is traditional, but it is subtle and refined. 

 The frame serves as the “marrying” piece between your interior and your art.  Be sure to test the frame against the piece. There are undertones to even wood frames that can accent and highlight the art. I would also bring a large sample of your wall color.  (Most of the major paint suppliers can send you a color sample to take with you.)

The next piece frequently skipped is the additional elements to framing, such as mats and fillets.  Each component of a frame builds and supports the art.  Often times, a piece of art with a single component looks wonderful, but with multiple framing components it looks exquisite. While you could change the frame on your art frequently, most people do not.  Don’t let the investment of quality framing scare you.  If the framing adds to the beauty of the art and you as a result enjoy it for 10, 20 or more years, then your investment per year is minimal.

I like for the color for the matte and fillet to highlight the art.  The color doesn’t necessary have to be stark contrast to enhance the art, often the subtle off-whites can help to light up a piece. I usually start with a color that is an accent in the piece.  Place the mat along side the art and step back.  Sometimes we scrutinize items at nose distance, when that will not be how we enjoy the piece.  So, step back three to four feet to observe the composition of the piece.  Another trick I do is to squint until everything is a haze.  Often times, if the color is wrong, you won’t get the “ahhh” feeling and know to move on.

The last key to framing is the artistic, design component.  The playing with combinations of art, matte color, frame type, color and size is fun – but don’t overwhelm yourself.  It is possible to overthink this decision.  Start with three choices, settle on one that you “lean to”, still unsure, then pull two more options.  Review your choices, often your first decision will be the best.

Want to play with the effects of framing and mattes can have?  I actually love the tool on Art.com, which allows you to play with so many of the elements.  I would remind you that this tool is great for you to understand the effect; but color renditions vary monitor to monitor.

Framed Artwork (by Gregory Garrett) with Vanilla Matte and Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
Framed Artwork (by Gregory Garrett) with Vanilla Matte and Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
This composition is very contemporary or modern.  The ivory frame pulls the foreground of the painting out, creating lightness in the view.
Same Artwork, Eucalyptus Matte, Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
Same Artwork, Eucalyptus Matte, Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
This composition is still contemporary/modern, but it becomes moody with the grey green matte, notice how the clouds feel stormy?
Same Artwork, Vanilla Matter, Burl Wood Frame (www.art.com)
Same Artwork, Vanilla Matter, Burl Wood Frame (www.art.com)
This frame lends itself a bit more transitional, but it also shifts focus on the art to the lower left quadrant of the painting.  To me it has an interesting effect of grounding the piece, while lifting the clouds.
Same Art, Vanilla Matte, Transitional Frame with Bead (www.art.com)
Same Art, Vanilla Matte, Transitional Frame with Bead (www.art.com)

The last frame option creates a more definite bordering of the painting.  The dark brown finish, almost seems to muddy the painting, pulling out all the shadows.

Which one do you like?
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