Interior Design: Framing Artwork

Even for those who do not have a refined knowledge of art, there is one element that anyone can learn to do well…. THE FRAME! The framing of a piece of artwork – whether it is surrounding a child’s drawing or a priceless antique – can truly make or break the entire presentation.  In fact, fabulous framework can transform an inexpensive or ordinary piece of art into an extraordinary display.

Okay, so you have your artwork…. Now what?

The most important step is finding a reputable frame shop to do the work. If you skip this step of the process, you may quickly realize that the quality of work is equally as important as price. Although it is certainly important to price shop, always make sure that you see the work of the frame shop before choosing their business for your project. In general, expect to pay between $50-$500 per frame, depending upon the style you choose.

Here are a few starter questions that you will want to ask each frame shop:

  • Do you offer glare-free glass and/or glass with UV protective coating?
  • Do you offer acid-free materials?
  • Do you frame fine art?

A qualified framer should be able to easily answer all of these questions. If there is a  struggle with any of their responses, I would advise pressing on to another establishment.

There are many options for displaying your artwork.

Not only will you need to choose the frame itself, but you will also need to consider what color and width of matting that compliments your subject.

Artwork matting

Notice that the wide matting on this framed artwork makes the pieces larger in size. Photo from Traditional Home.

Amanda Nisbet

This artwork has no matting. Instead, it takes up the entire space of the frame. In this case, the coordinating colors of the artwork take precedence over the framework. Design by Amanda Nisbet.

A wooden frame is a classic choice, but the finish of the frame can greatly vary from modern to gilted gold. These decisions are all a matter of taste, and the possibilities are nearly endless. One important tip is to consider the surrounding decor in the space where you plan to display your artwork. The framing should be complementary to the environment of its final destination.

artwork traditional home

This frame is simple but blends beautifully with the colors in this space. Photo from Traditional Home.

If your art happens to be a piece of canvas, you may also wish to consider stretching it over a board without a frame. Sometimes, simplicity is the best option for lovely artwork that is able to stand alone.

artwork - canvas

This artwork is painted in canvas and looks lovely stretched across a piece of board, rather than being framed.

If you happen to be framing a photograph, one fresh alternative to traditional framing is lamination. Take the photo to a professional photo shop – or carefully laminate it yourself – then mount the photo to a base.

Whatever option you select, remember that choosing your framework can often be as important as choosing the artwork itself. So, be sure to consider all of your alternatives; Find a qualified framer; And always factor in the cost of the frame before purchasing a piece of art.


NOW, GO HAVE AN “It’s So Fabulous!” DAY!




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Stylish, sophisticated and dramatic, Kimberly Grigg brings her unique talents to client’s homes across the country and to her retail boutique, Knotting Hill Interiors. An award winning retail boutique and an award winning full service design firm, Knotting Hill offers luxury interior design, renovation and remodeling services, custom design, childrens rooms and nurseries and accessorizing. The retail boutique sells fabric, home furnishings, retail design, lamps, accessories, art, upscale furniture consignment, gifts, fashion and jewelry. Voted “Best on the Beach” in both retail and design, our customers say that this place and this process is truly “enchanted”! Knotting Hill Interiors is based in Myrtle Beach South Carolina and is located at 7751 North Kings Hwy.