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How To Choose The Perfect Picture Frame

Posted on Tuesday 9th March 2021   |   News

How to choose the perfect picture frame

Choosing which picture, you want to put on the wall is perhaps the easiest part of the task. The next step is to choose the right frame – one that not only enhances your photo but also transforms it into a true piece of art.

The good news is that it is really easy to choose a picture frame, once you know the basics. To help you with the basics, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know about metal, wooden, white or black picture frames. 

Popular types of picture frames

There are a wide range of picture frame sizes and types available, and all sizes that we offer can be customised should they not match the size of your chosen artwork exactly. 

Some of the most popular sizes we stock include:

  • A Sizes – A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and A6
  • Standard Millimetre Sizes – 180x230mm, 240x180mm, 300x240mm, 350x280mm, 500x400mm, 600x500mm, 700x500mm, 900x700mm, 1000x700mm
  • Standard Centimetre Sizes - 18x13cm, 24x18cm, 30x24cm, 35x28cm, 50x40cm, 60x50cm, 70x50cm, 90x70cm, 100x70cm
  • Standard Inch Sizes – 7x5", 8x6”, 10x8”, 12x8”, 14x11”, 15x10”, 20x16”, 24x20”, 30x24”, 36x24”

Tips for choosing a frame:

  • Don’t think too hard about matching your frame to specific colours in your photograph – instead think more about the overall tone of the picture instead
  • Use a darker frame for more elegant or formal pictures, and a lighter frame for more simple or casual style art
  • Match the frame style to your existing room décor rather than trying to match the colour to a colour in your image. Chose a frame that either complements your existing décor, or contrasts with it, depending on your preference
  • To help your artwork to stand out, choose a frame in a contrasting colour to your wall colour – or keep it the same if you want the frame to effectively disappear
  • Keep the colour of your mat and frame different – if they are too similar people will look at the frame and not the picture

Wooden Picture Frames

Wooden picture frames will give your art a warm and classic feel, as they are made from a natural material. 

They range in colour from light to dark, depending on the finish used, and so give you lots of options for either complementing or contrasting with the image inside them. 

Pictures with warmer tones – such as browns, oranges and reds – will pair better with darker wooden frames such as mahogany or walnut. Cooler toned images – such as lavender, green or blues – will look better with lighter wood frames such as ash, oak and pine.

When you are choosing a wooden frame, you also need to think about the rest of the décor in your home, and the room that the piece is going in. Wooden frames are usually available in a variety of styles – from plain to more ornate, detailed styles. Be sure to match your frame to your décor accordingly – whether it be country, chic, rustic or traditional.

Metallic Picture Frames

Metallic frames have a similar vibe to black and white frames, as they tend to give artwork a modern and trendy feel. They can also lift the colour of artwork, by making it more eye-catching and vibrant. 

These types of frames can make a good choice for family portraits, wedding photos and even landscape shots – as they offer a classy appearance. More candid and relaxed shots will probably sit better in metallic picture frames or a black or white one. 

Metallic picture frames are also great for black and white photographs, as they provide the photo with a contrasting colour to the photograph itself.

Black or White Picture Frames

Placing your artwork in a frame with a solid colour, such as black or white picture frames, can really draw the eye to your piece – especially when used appropriately.

Black frames tend to offer a more elegant and formal look, whereas white frames are seen as more casual in nature. However, both black and white frames offer a more modern and streamlined appearance than other frames.

A black picture frame will act as a contrast to the lighter features of your photograph, and help to highlight the darker ones. So, if you are thinking of using a black frame for your photographs, for example, make sure there are both light and dark tones in the picture in order to create a balanced look.

White frames work in a similar way to black frames, but will highlight the lighter features of your print, and act as a contrast to the darker ones. This is why they tend to work better for more casual and candid photographs.

It is quite a popular technique to place black and white, or monochrome, photos in this type of frame as it helps to create a stylish and artistic feel, especially if used to create a gallery wall.

Tips for creating a gallery wall

Talking of gallery walls – here are our top tips for creating one in your own home:

  • Start collecting things that you love, from photographs, to handmade prints and original art. One thing to keep in mind, is the scale of your collection and the arrangement you want to make with all of your things. Do you want to work with things that are a mixture of different sizes, or with things that are the same size? Look online for inspiration, as well as at your favourite hang-out spaces and home exhibitions
  • Have a theme in mind when you are collecting things, such as happy events, memorable places or family – whatever means the most to you. You can select things that are in similar colours to your existing décor or just choose ones that make you happy – whatever the colour.  You can find lots of inspiration on Instagram if you look at the hashtags #gallarywalldecor #gallarywall and #gallarywallinspo
  • Decide if you want to keep the number of items even or odd. Even numbers work best with regimented groups of things that are the same size, while odd numbers work better with more random arrangements and collections

Once you have collected your items and decided what you want to hang, the next stage is to actually hang them:

  • Measure up your wall space and lay your collection of items out on the floor. Stand back and look at them all together, allowing space between the frames. Stepping back like this allows you to see if anything looks out of place and take it out before you start banging holes in the wall. It also allows you to add more things in if you think something is missing. 
  • Take photographs of all the potential combinations you come up with, so you have something to refer back to in the future if you want to change things up
  • Decide on the layout – do you prefer everything in straight lines or a more natural and organic arrangement of items? 
  • You can make yourself a paper template if you want to go the whole hog and make sure you don’t make unnecessary holes – or you can just use a pencil and mark the corners of where the frames are going to sit to help you. Hammer your picture hooks in and make sure you use a spirit level to make sure everything is kept in a straight line
  • Stand back and glory in how wonderful your gallery wall looks. You can always add to it and update it over time as more things you love come into your life. You could also change your art prints out for each season if you like, so you have a spring/summer gallery wall and an autumn/winter gallery wall. 

Whatever type of frames you want – whether they be black, white, wooden or gold picture frames, we have five-star picture frames available in a wide variety of sizes.

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