How to choose the right frame, painlessly.


One of the things about custom framing that intimidates people the most is choosing the right frame. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices. How is a person supposed to sift through all of these in less than two hours? Well, I’m going to tell you!

The trick is to eliminate the wrong ones, and then the right one becomes evident.

Suppose you have a Norman Rockwell print that you want to frame for your Grandfather. You can probably eliminate modern looking frames right off the bat. You have now cut your choices down by about half.

Of the traditional frames left you can probably eliminate the overly rustic ones, the ornate gold and silver, the really large and really small frames as well. Now you are down to about a hundred choices.

Now is when you can start looking at color and shape. You decide that a reddish wood works pretty well with the colors in the print and you want the frame to have the look of a comfortable, old rocking chair. You have now narrowed your choices to a handful. 

This is the point that you begin comparing the details of each of the choices. You are probably 90% sure of which one you like, you just want to make sure. And that’s it! In the span of 10 or 15 minutes, you have gleaned the perfect frame from hundreds of wrong ones. 

OK, I may be simplifying things a little bit. For any given piece there may be 2 or 3 frames that would look great on it. When that happens, you can always let price be the deciding factor. I recently had a customer that couldn’t decide between two frames and it turned out that one cost $200 more than the other. The decision was suddenly a lot easier to make.

It really is much easier than many people think it is. So, don’t be afraid. If you tell your framer what kind of look you are going for, he can guide you to the options that will work best for you and give you the power to make an informed, and more importantly, right choice.