Compared to furniture and flooring, pictures are often thought of as of minor importance in the grand scheme of the room. However, this could not be more wrong. Think of a picture like the tiara on a bride or the icing on a cake. It is the finishing touch that will often turn into the major focal point of the room. If it looks denied its full potential splendor – so will the room.
The value of a picture is not necessarily determined by how much you paid for it, but much more by how it looks and what it does for your home. So if you buy a print for a bargain price, don’t allow that fact to convince you it only deserves a cheap frame. Never try to save money by forcing a picture into a frame that neither suits it nor displays it to the best advantage. A cheap frame is a false economy for you can end up with a dreadful result that simply looks “make-do”. Instead, you can invest the money you saved on a frame that will really make it look fantastic.
Always consider the picture first when framing it and not the décor of the room. The picture will always stay the same and is a complete entity in its own right. Its position in the house or the décor of the room may change many times in its life with you, so make sure the picture is “right” in itself and is not dictated to by the color of the curtains it hangs next to. Such influences can ensure the picture is actually diminished in stature by forcing it to conform with its surroundings. For this reason, you should try to avoid elaborate framing such as fancy baroque style gold frames. Such frames take attention away from the picture itself, the important part. Modern framing practice features simple straight lines with more attention to clever mounting than fancy frames.
When framing family pictures consider placing more than one in each frame. Modern mount cutting equipment is computerized, and a good quality framer will have such equipment and can produce almost anything you ask for. It will save money too. Displaying three 8″ x 10″ photos in one frame can cost up to a third less than it would cost to frame them individually.
Non-reflective glass will usually cost you up to double the price of regular 2 mm float glass in your frames. However, it will cut down glare by up to 80% and reduce the damage to your art from UV light by around 70%. These benefits are so great that after you choose non-reflective glass once it is unlikely you will ever go back to the cheaper alternative.
The colored cardboard edging that framers use to surround a picture when framing is called a mount, mat or pass pa tu. Always try to include such a feature when framing a print as it provides another dynamic to the overall look. In truth it is often an essential component in the frame’s structure, used by the framer to hold the picture in place. However, it also keeps your print away from the glass, and when used properly, protects your print from any acidity in the frame that may cause damage over the years. Photographs especially benefit from matting as when placed against glass they can often stick or give the appearance of wet patches which are at least, very unsightly.
Always use a wooden frame as opposed to a “composite” which will be made from extruded and pressed plastic. The latter may be cheaper and lighter but they are usually hard to join securely and will often show gaps at the mitres. Larger pictures will often bow over time and require re-framing. While often very attractive, they are not the best investment for your.
Finally, make sure that your pictures are strung for hanging with a good quality wire and not cord. The use of cord can often ensure a future trip to the framer to repair a picture that “suddenly fell off the wall for no reason”. This is because fatigue and rotting will eventually occur in most cords regardless of quality. Also insist that your wires are fitted into the back board of the picture and not to the frame itself. This is for two reasons. One, frame fixings will stress the mitres which can eventually pull the corners apart. Two, wide wiring will also give the picture a tendency to sway more thus hanging out of line. Central back board fixings are much more balanced and sturdy.