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Professional Advice

Choosing the right frame and mount to make it stand out

Choosing the Right Frame

Ask yourself this question: What is the first thing that you notice when you look at a framed picture? If your answer is the picture frame then there is a reasonably high chance that the frame chosen was the wrong one for that picture. If you are looking at the picture frame first of all then this is the most dominant feature of the framed picture. No artist would ever want their work to become overpowered by the frame and neither do I. Even as a professional picture framer, I believe the picture frame should compliment the picture but never dominate. If the frame or over mount does this, they have been chosen incorrectly.

Another consideration is the existing décor where your new picture is going to hang. Will you be choosing something to match your picture or your curtains? Or would you rather something that compliments the picture? This may seem an odd consideration but picture framing can fall into the realms of interior design if you are that type of person. Or you may just want a plain oak frame because, well, it looks great doesn't it! However in reality the answer will probably be a combination of the two considerations. I tend to help you choose frames that compliment the picture as I cannot see your décor. However we do also offer a collection and delivery service where we can match frame samples to your décor in your home or workplace.

A good place to start when choosing the materials is the over mount. An over mount is basically a surround to the picture made from coloured card. The inner edge has a bevel which is cut at 45 degrees and tends to help lead the eye into the subject matter. Imagine a picture that features a path or a country lane; an over mount with a 45 degree bevel can lead the viewer's eye along the path as perhaps the artist had intended. Mount boards are available in hundreds of colours and styles so picking the right one can be a little daunting so here is a small example of how different a picture can look depending on the choice of mount.

As you can see mounts can very easily change the appearance of a picture but if you are unsure what looks effective on your picture, try just using an off white. A good rule to remember is: "If in doubt, use a cream mount".

The frame choice can also be quite challenging to pick the right one. As you can see there are plenty of choices out there.


We carry about 750 samples in our workshop and this is just the ones that we have samples of! There are 1000's more to choose from but you can very quickly whittle the choices down by thinking in groups of frames to eliminate. If you do not want a specific colour frame, such as green, this will quickly eliminate the green mouldings from your choice. Black may make the picture too sombre but may add contrast. Gold may be too bright as may silver. Already we have greatly reduced the choices just by knowing what is not required from the frame. The choices are almost endless but as a general rule a plain wood such as an oak or ash is a very good neutral choice and also looks very effective around almost any picture.

To get to my work shop you need to walk along a reasonably long corridor. To liven this entrance up a little I have filled the walls with various pictures incorporating many themes, mediums and styles of art. The main idea is to provide an example of how certain pictures can be framed but the display also features many local artists' work. Pop along and see for yourself and you may well be very surprised how many extraordinarily talented people live on our doorsteps. See also People We Like for an idea of what to expect.

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