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A Guide to Buying Frames

Interiors May 8, 2019

Frames, they can be tricky can’t they?

In a recent post I shared about another gallery wall I put together in the house (it’s becoming a bit of a THING isn’t it?) hundreds of you asked about what frames I use for my art. And I hear you on this! Frames are such an annoying piece of life admin sometimes – hands up if you’ve got art that’s sitting in a pile or a roll and needs to be framed? ME! Or at least it was like that until recently. I admit, I got my act together and finally bought enough frames to sink a ship. Read for some tips and tricks for framing.

And for those of you who are looking for art, make sure you check out my recent post about buying art online.

Deciding on Colour

First of all, what colour frames should you buy? This can be a bit confounding, and often requires you to consider the art work you are framing along with the space in which the frames will hang. For me, I find that simple birch frames, or wood frames in black or white, go with practically anything in the house, and also look great when put together in a gallery. I also think that that a thinner frame is also a good idea, as it doesn’t dominate the art itself.

Choosing the size

Having failed on this front a few times, I have learnt a bit about choosing frame sizes. First of all, always understand the size of your artwork, and know that depending on where a frame shop is located it will have different shapes and sizes. Generally Europe and Australia use standard sizes, and often that correlates to page size such as A4, A5 etc. Ikea roughly aligns with this too. In the US, however, artwork and frame sizes are completely different, so it’s useful to match your artwork with the frame shop location.

Where to Shop

The most obvious place to buy frames is Ikea, but one thing I have noticed is that stock varies from store to store and sometimes they have great ones and sometimes none at all. And some of their designs can be a littler clunky, although they are getting better. My favourite collection from Ikea is Hovsta, which has cleaner lines and more of an organic feel than the Ribba. These are very affordable!

If you are based in Australia, the absolute best frames I have com across are from Country Road. They might be a little bit more expensive than other options, but I honestly think they are the best quality, although slightly more heavy so they are more difficult to wall hang.

Another option is to get your art framed when you shop at Society 6. It costs a bit more, but I have realised that compared with the time spent tracking down a frame it’s worth it.

Another place that does great frames is Urban Outfitters. They do a good black wood, white wood and birch wood. However, if you are shopping outside of the US I would note that the sizes tend to be a little different than to other places.

I also really like the frames that are sold at Habitat. They area really sturdy and simple and I think they are worth the higher price tag.

If you are framing smaller prints, I suggest checking out your local two dollar store, they often have smaller frames for next to nothing.

Finally, I have in the past bought frames (often with random art in them) from thrift stores, and removed the art and replaced it with my own.




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