Vail design and style: Tips on choosing the best frames for your wall art |

Vail design and style: Tips on choosing the best frames for your wall art

Nicole Marine
Special to the Daily
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Most people don’t think about the frames in which they put their art, so long as they hold everything together and hang on the wall without being crooked or falling. But the frame is just as important as the art itself, especially when picked out with the intention of coordinating colors and bringing everything together in perfect decor harmony.

Rick Russell, owner of Affordable Art & Framing in Silverthorne and a local artist, has some tips on how to choose the best frame and how to coordinate colors, as well as when to get more creative or keep it classic. When asked if he’s ever had a frame in mind while painting his own pieces, he gave a straightforward “no.”

“It’s got to be all about the picture,” he said. “But I have about 2,000 frame templates, so I know I’m going to find the perfect frame for it. That’s secondary.”

Framing to the art

The No. 1 rule of framing is to match the frame to the art itself. It doesn’t matter what your furniture looks like or what your home looks like but rather what the picture inside the frame looks like. There are certain guidelines you can follow to pick the best frame for your art, but no matter what, the frame has to favor the art inside.

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“Always do it for the picture itself,” Russell said. “There are always times where you could coordinate for the room, but that needs to take second place to the picture.”

He added that colors such as reds and yellows are “eye pullers,” so to include them in the frame is to take attention away from the picture within the frame. If a frame has red in it but there’s no red in the picture or artwork itself, it can be distracting, and he only recommended using colors in a frame once — when referring to how to decorate a child’s room. Russell also mentioned that you can always frame with the textures of your home, rather than matching furniture.

“You don’t want to frame for the couch,” he said. “It’s okay to frame for the woods that are there, but it’s got to be able to work with the picture. Always frame for the picture because you don’t know where you’re going to be in five years or 10 years and you don’t want to re-frame because it’s tough.”

It might feel easier to match your decor, rather than a single piece of art in your home, but Russell urged against it. Being able to match an existing style is easier than you might think. If your home has a more modern, contemporary look, then it’s safe to say you’ll be drawn to that style, whether it’s a piece of artwork or the frame you put it in.

“A lot has to do with basic versus contemporary and rustic versus traditional or European,” he said when asked about which style would work best. “What kind of picture is it? Is it a photograph of landscape, of outside that really shows a lot of organic qualities to it? Is your home rustic? A log home, perhaps? Then you can start that way.”

Follow the rules

There are some rules and exceptions when it comes to framing that you may want to keep in mind.

“If you’ve got a Monet or something, it needs to be real contemporary. If it’s going in a children’s room, you need bright colors,” Russell said.

It’s unnerving not knowing if your frame is going to go with the flow of your home. How will you know if you’re still going to choose the best frame?

“Trust a good framer,” Russell said. “A lot of people, even interior designers, once they come into my shop and experience how I would frame it if it were mine, they trust me and they go, ‘What do you think?’”

Remember, it’s more important to fit the frame to the art itself rather than your current furniture. With the help of local artists and framers like Russell, the right frame can be picked out with ease, adding a tasteful touch to your home decor that will last.

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