Tips on choosing the best frames for your wall art in Summit County |

Tips on choosing the best frames for your wall art in Summit County

Around 2,000 frames line the walls at Affordable Art & Framing in Silverthorne.
Emma Simmins / |

Most people don’t think about the frames they put their art in so long as it holds everything together and hangs 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 décor harmony.

Rick Russell, owner of Affordable Art & Framing in Silverthorne and 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. his niche lies within watercolor, where he paints people and landscapes. He attended college on an art scholarship and has been painting for many years but hasn’t really created anything new since 2008.

“I haven’t had time with the store being so busy,” he said. When asked if he’s ever had a frame in mind while painting, he gives a straightforward “no.”

“I never have a frame in mind when I’m doing a picture,” he said. “It’s got to be all about the picture. But I have about 2,000 frame templates, so I know I’m going to find the perfect frame for it. That’s secondary.”

The No. 1 rule to 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.

“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 the attention away from the picture within the frame. Plus it may contradict the picture itself. If a frame has red in it but there’s no red in the picture or artwork itself, it can be distracting. Russell mentions using colors in a frame once, when referring to what to decorate a child’s room with. He also mentions that you can always frame with the textures of your home rather than furniture.

“You don’t want to frame for the couch,” he said, referring to the furniture around the painting. “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 décor rather than a single piece of art in your home, but he urges against it. Being able to match your existing style is easier than one 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.”

Once the picture is complemented, start looking at your other décor and see if there is an underlying theme you can follow. Most people are drawn toward a certain style and will stay within that style while decorating. If most of the furniture has a rustic look, then the frame as well as the existing art in the house will, too. Your current style will blend together whether you realize it or not. Although 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. It’s as simple as that. “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?’”

As Russell mentioned, finding the best frame for his artwork isn’t as hard as it may seem. 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 décor that will last.

This article originally ran in the October/November edition of Summit County Homes.

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