Framed Art Prints and Photographs
A Little Savvy Can Help Successfully Pull a Room Together
Art and Article by Celeste Teresi DeSapri
Maybe you’re restricted by an older living space with existing furnishings, or overwhelmed by the possibilities a stark new space may offer. Maybe you’re decorating with unlimited funds, or on a shoe string budget. What ever the circumstances, framed art and prints can offer numerous solutions to decorating dilemmas, and they are often key elements in bringing a room together.
To use framed art successfully, as wall décor, color, and grouping, proportions and hanging need to be given careful consideration. Begin by thinking about the feeling or mood you wish to convey. Consider the colors and styles of existing furnishings, you may wish to reinforce, contrast or complement especially those that would be difficult or costly to change, such as flooring or bathroom fixtures. Study the space itself. Is it large and expansive, with high ceilings, or small and intimate?
So, now that you’ve begun thinking about mood, space, color and texture, here are some thoughts about materials and tools. If conservation is an important concern, the matting material should be one hundred percent acid free rag board. This is what museums use. Double mats may work well in situations where you want to maximize an accent color. The accent colored mat is usually placed under the lighter mat so only about one sixteenth to one quarter inch (about three to five centimeters) of it shows. Mats are usually four ply, but thicker, eight ply mats can really draw in the eye. They work best with photos and very small prints. Silk mats may be used in more formal and classic situations. If a mat is not used there are spacers, called fillets that may be used to prevent the piece from touching the glass. This prevents condensation from forming. UV glass does not prevent, but will cut down the amount of fading, over time. Always make sure your mat and frame are not distracting the viewer's eye away. They should compliment the piece, not compete for attention. And, finally, I suggest a level and a good sturdy hammer, if you’re doing the hanging yourself.
Careful hanging, relationships, and grouping will help give a professional look. Unity is most important in bringing a display of pictures, prints and photographs together. Grouping frames for your walls are will give character to the setting. Frames in the same color and finishes unify a collection, even if pictures are of various shapes and sizes. Framing different subjects with the same color mount also helps unity.
Placing all the items you wish to group, for a particular wall, on the floor in that room is an easy way to visualize a plan. You can rearrange the items until you are satisfied. Then, step back and check the arrangement before going to the wall. Remember a consistent spacing factor between each item is important. Picture cords and large hooks can be hidden under bell cords, ribbons and decorative rosettes. For formal settings, chains can hang pictures on traditional picture rods. Large, bold pictures can be further away, in more open rooms. Small detailed pictures should be hung in intimate halls and baths. The most common error made in hanging pictures is to hang them too high. Standing eye level of an average person is fine for halls and entryways. In living and dinning rooms, pictures should be at eye level when seated.
Celeste is a freelance artist who earned her BFA degree, with a major in illustration and a minor in portraiture, from the Cleveland Institute of Art and whose works can be found online at: The Northern Ohio Illustrator's Society
For more works of art, please visit our Art Gallery of Fine Prints and Posters from CrookedWall.com. Home to over 100,000 art prints and posters, easily sort able by artist and style.