Sometimes you just don’t want to frame something on your own.
Maybe it’s an original painting you purchased at a gallery, that deserves special treatment. Or it’s a lithograph you’ve seen a thousand times, but want to do something different with.
The idea of working with a professional framer may feel intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. If you think of custom framing as a creative process – one that can actually be a lot of fun – then a good framer can be your best friend and fellow collaborator.
Professional framers know that the right frame not only enhances a picture, but also the room where it’s hung. The end result should work organically with the setting and reflect your personal style.
But how do you get things off to a good start?
First, before you even head to the frame shop, ask yourself a few questions about the project. Having the information in hand will help your framer understand what you’re hoping to achieve.
- Where will the picture be hung? The furnishings, lighting, color of walls, and even the type of wall will all help determine the best framing materials, glass, and method for hanging. Will this hang in a high-traffic area, like a children’s room?
Tip: Take several photos of the room, including wall close-ups, to show to the framer. Showing pictures on your smartphone works just fine.
- Do you lean towards a particular style? Whether it’s classic, modern, rustic, or a bit of a mix, your personal style informs how you decorate your home.
Tip: Be prepared to tell the framer a little about the kind of ambiance you’re creating in your home or office.
- Give some thought to the type of frame you may want. That doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind later. But if you know what you like or don’t like about certain frames, it’ll be easier to narrow down choices.
Tip: Visit sites like Pinterest and Etsy to educate yourself on what’s possible with custom framing and matting. These sites offer fantastic ideas!
Here at Four Star Framing, we always ask questions like these up front. Having this information allows us to quickly narrow down the best framing materials for your project.
That said, we encourage our clients to take their time when it comes to evaluating choices. Consider how a different mat color or width affects the overall look.
Some framers use virtual simulations to help clients see the end result. But when it comes to making a final decision, trust your senses. Being able to see and handle the actual materials lessens the chance that you’ll be disappointed.
Study the samples in different lighting – take them over to a window or hold them close to a lamp. Does the quality of the finish change?
There are even a few old-school “tricks” that framers use to help clients decide. Studying a mirror image of your picture next to a frame sample, for example, can often give a better idea of what the finished product will look like.
In the end, if you’re stuck, ask the framer what he or she thinks. We always try to be honest with our clients — if we think a frame or mat isn’t working, we’ll say so.
Our ultimate goal? When you see your picture, we want you to feel that there was no better way to frame it. After all, we hope to work with you again.