The Art of Framing

To me, artwork is a huge factor in the overall tone of a house. Our art "collection" is definitely a motley one.

Because we have an insane amount of wall space, I had to be crafty with the budget when acquiring new stuff. Obviously, I'd love to have all original works, but that generally takes lots of time and money. I had no budget and no patience, so as a fairly cost effective solution, I framed over 20 prints from a Taschen book called Temple of Flora. They are colorful, large, and transitional in style, and thus fit my needs.

I have sprinkled them throughout the house...

I used to work at an art gallery where we sold the works of 17-20th century masters...big-shots like Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, and the like. Due to the pedigree of artists, nearly all of the pieces were works on paper. So, I became very familiar with high-end framing techniques and materials and saw how the combination of the two can make a huge impact.

Although the materials won't be quite as swanky as a gallery might use, the same priciples can be applied to less expensive works of art (or prints, maps, posters, etc.) to achieve a timeless, versatile style. 

To get the upper crust effect, here are some basics to start with...
1) Simple black and/or gold frame (silver works well in some cases too)
2) Oversized ivory silk or linen wrapped mat (at least 4" - most of mine are 6")
3) Gold fillet (silver, if you go with a silver molding)
4) Upgrade the glass and never use plexi

For example, here's a vintage Pink Floyd poster that I had framed for my husband on our first anniversary.
Clearly, it's not a piece of fine art; however, the frame dresses it up so it stays in context next to a contemporary oil painting. You can see how a fillet and a silk mat keep the look crisp and tailored (despite the bizarro subject matter).

The abstract orange piece below is a great example of how framing can create an expensive look without spending a lot of money. I LOVE the mix of materials used in this piece. Like so many gay men, Eddie Ross can masterfully blend traditional and modern. He did a great post on framing here.

The moldings were layered and they floated the print...genius.

Miley just loves framing talk :)


  1. Delurking...thanks for all your tips! I love ER tips but he doesn't live here...Where in Dallas did you have your prints framed? I live north of you. I have some things that need to be shadow box framed and I am hesitant to go to just any place to have it done.


  2. Beth - sorry this reply is waaaay late! Believe it or not, I actually had the prints framed at Michael's. My only caveat is that a friend of ours was the framing dpt manager so I knew my order was in good hands. I haven't had to get anything swanky framed in Dallas, so I don't have a good recommendation. I'll get back to you if I hear of one though!

  3. I was inspired by your design and recently bought the Temple of Flora prints. What frame and mat size did you use? I love the way yours look. Thanks!

  4. AKC - I used a 6" ivory silk mat (linen would be good too) with a 2.5" frame. I'd love to see some pics once you have them on the wall!