November 18, 2020

Art Framing Tips

Let’s just say it: framing art feels daunting. It’s scary to pull the trigger on a frame, knowing how it will all come together and figuring out the sizing and material.

We have some go-to tips to help our Stagg Design team figure out art sizing, framing colors/styles, and how to layout a wall. Most of the pieces you’ll see below are from Stagg Design Shop, naturally:)

1. How to choose your frame material

Ask yourself these questions: do you want the frame or the art to be your focal point? What materials are already in your room (black metal, wood, brass/gold, silver)? Do you want a collection of different materials or a more streamlined look with all the same color frame?

This will help you figure out your framing material and give you a good starting point.

2. Gallery Walls

The “random” gallery wall is perhaps the easiest and the most intimidating. I like to start with one piece as a focal point. On this wall it’s our Stagg Design Shop Sand Dunes piece from our vintage collection. Every other piece worked around that. Because I wanted this piece to feel bold, it has the strongest frame, is the largest in size, and is at eye level. The other pieces on the wall feel fairly neutral like black and white vintage photos and sketches in simpler frames. This style of gallery wall involves the least amount of measuring, as you can just piece it together to what looks and feels balanced. If you’re just dipping your toe into gallery walls, this is a great style to start with.

The other style of gallery wall we’ll tackle today is a “uniform” gallery wall where all of the frames are the same size and material.

This type of gallery wall works great for a collection of family photos or art pieces from the same collection. It’s a bugger to hang because every piece has to be perfectly spaced and positioned, but it’s totally worth it. For this type of gallery wall, I prefer to stick with simple, clean frames/mats.

3. Large scale artwork

There’s nothing like a large piece of art to set the tone, make a statement, and fill an otherwise lonely wall. I love to use large artwork above a fireplace, a sofa, on a wall in a dining room or hall, above dressers and consoles, beds, you name it.

In all of these examples, you’ll notice the frame is really simple. It’s the artwork that is the focal point. There are exceptions to this tip, but few for me. I love a large, clean frame.

4. Framing sources

This is probably one of our most asked questions. Where do you find a good frame? Can you recommend any that aren’t super expensive? You bet. For some pieces like original or family owned, we still feel like heading to our local framing shop is the best route, but more often than not, we go to these sources:

Our team put a lot of time into sizing our Stagg Design Shop art pieces so they work with most IKEA frames. The best example of this is this frame from IKEA. Because our art is printed on really high quality canvas, it stretches beautifully into this ridiculously inexpensive frame. You can see it in action in the piece above my own bed! This is a great way to get large artwork without paying a fortune for framing.

If you’re looking for a smaller frame, I love these brass/gold options from Target and West Elm.

Black options: Target , West Elm

And if you’re looking for something a little more special, I am digging these acrylic frames. I even used them in my own bedroom with our Fern 1 & Fern 2 prints.

I’d love to hear your questions about art and framing! Leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them as they come in! Artwork so instantly updates a space. It’s my go-to for a quick and simple transformation.

xx, Jen

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We're a full-service design firm and home furnishings shop built around the philosophy that a well-designed home should be beautiful, personal, cohesive, and complete. We think home is the most important place on the planet and when you live in a home that is perfectly you, it changes your life. Don't believe us? Stick around. We're confident we'll change your mind.

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