How do you choose art and framing as a designer?

One of the biggest challenges with trying to choose art and framing for any room, setting, or hospitality area is the sheer volume of art available today. Options include paintings, prints, photographic images, and 3D art. In addition to the art, there are many designs and colors to choose from when selecting framing materials.

There are some steps you can take to narrow down the selection and find just the right art and framing options.

The first thing to look at is the room style. Once you have determined the style of the room, look at the colors that are in the room. Once you know the style and colors of the space, you are ready to consider the type of art and framing most suitable for the room. One approach that can help with the process is following The Principle of 3.

The Principle of 3

Most art will have three dominant colors. In fact, nature itself will have three principle colors, think of winter, spring, summer and autumn. Three colors likely stand out for each season, and it’s the same with many room designs. Art and framing work best if they blend into and complement a room, and so it’s important to understand the principle colors, tones, and accents.

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Choosing Art

Most room designs will have three prominent colors. Even if you only see two at first glance, notice that, for example, the ceiling may be white to brighten up the room. For the artwork, you can include art with white to coordinate with the three colors needed to blend in well with the room. If you want to use art that has a bold splash of color that is in contrast to the room tones, you can select framing materials that complement the art while helping to blend and balance the overall design with the room. With the framing, also keep in mind The Principle of 3.

Choosing Framing and Matboards

Consider the three prominent colors from the artwork as you select the finishes for the frames and colors for the matboards. Many times, a white matboard is selected to create visual space between the art and the framing, and many works of art have a white proportion. However, if using a white matboard makes the work too cold, consider changing the mat to another prominent color from the art.

Contemporary room settings can be big and bold, but with careful consideration, you can choose art and framing that beautifully stands out and makes a statement. If the room is Classic or Baroque, the art and framing can match the period, but still blend well with the predominant colors in the room. By focusing on the hue of the room’s dominant color, the art and framing can blend into the surroundings without dominating the wall.

Additional Tips

Use framed mirrors to reflect the wall art and give the room light and a sense of space. You can select frames that complement or match the framing for the art for the framing around the mirror, bringing the room together in design.

You can also use groupings of framed art or photographs for small walls, stairwells, and poorly lit areas. The groupings can give the feeling of a much larger area, but also provide an opportunity to tie these areas into the main room and keep with the color plan.