The Art Of Hanging Art #3: Which Frames Work With What Decor?

I'm outta here...
I’m outta here…

Will Your Artwork Look At Home,

or Like An Orphan?


Not done yet… After you have managed framing your piece(s) in the most complimentary way,  it’s time find your now beautifully enhanced artwork a place to hang. Even if a piece is to hang on a wall by itself, some thought should be given to how it fits within the context of the room design.

A ceramic “Puppy Love” frame for Junior’s dog could be charming in his room, but questionable in the living room.

In other words: it won’t serve your artwork if you only think of framing to go with the décor, in the same way you think of adding a throw pillow to perk up the sofa.

To have the art and the décor on speaking terms: Honor the art first, then decide the “place of honor”

There are no rules, but certain frame types, (and presumably the art that fills them) are a natural fit with certain types of décor.

  • Ornate gold frames for representational art and botanical prints are a good fit for more formal decoration schemes such as 17th or 18th century, Victorian or even English country décor. Eclectically styled rooms are a possibility too. Gold and silver leaf, elaborately detailed brass or carved wood frames will work too.
  • Modern pieces such as abstracts that are to be used in a contemporary setting are compatible with metals like pewter, stainless steel and brass, or wood and lacquer if in sleeker styles.
  • A country themed décor can be emphasized and carried through by using rough-hewn wooden frames for native landscapes, portraits or informal style botanicals.
  • Asian prints are often displayed in highly polished wooden frames with rounded corners.

The Power Of Numbers: There is an interesting caveat to the notion of blending appropriate frame style with room style. If the room is contemporary, and you also have a collection of traditional paintings in ornate gold 17th or 18th century frames, then the juxtaposition of styles could work to your advantage. The key is to have enough of one style or compatible styles to form their own statement. A one-off approach won’t have the same effect.

Groupings create their own special universe. The frames don’t have to match but should play well enough with each other to give the sense of a unified statement.

What About The Big Picture? As with every other aspect of room design, it’s best when all your actions come from considered decisions.

There is no such thing as “random accident chic”.

It has been fairly said that your artwork is like your jewelry when you dress. It sets the tone for your ensemble, as it will for your rooms.

It completes the picture of your beautiful home.

Next Time: The Art Of Hanging Art #4: Where Is This Going?

Related Posts

(The Art Of Hanging Art Four Part Series)

The  Art Of Hanging Art #1: First Things First

The Art Of Hanging Art #2: The Low Down On How High

The Art Of Hanging Art #4: Where Is This Going?


Article Photo:’%C5%93il

Large Article Photo: – photographer: Xuan Che – Some rights reserved – no

The original version of this article was on It’s represented here as a foundation for further topic discussion and updates.