10 Tips for Framing and Displaying Art

Framed art on wall in living room | Lucy Pittaway

A frame does much more than protect a piece of artwork, it should complement the picture, and whether you’re framing something traditional or contemporary it’s important to choose a frame that’s not too distracting, and simply enhances its best bits.

Here are some tips for choosing frames and displaying art in your home.

  1. Display art where you’ll be able to enjoy it best – that might be a large piece hanging in a traditional spot such as a mantel piece or a dining room wall, or perhaps smaller pieces grouped together in a bathroom or hallway.
  2. While a picture frame protects and displays the contents inside it, it should also enhance the overall beauty of its artwork. Often a simple approach pays off, so the frame doesn’t distract from the art, and if you have a piece with lots of detail, it’s best not to choose a frame that’s too fussy.Lucy Pittaway boxed canvas
  3. If you’re unsure which frame will look best, pop into one of our galleries to look at samples and chat with our gallery staff, who will be able to give further guidance.
  4. The colours and style of the artwork should determine the frame. For example, black and white sketches from Lucy’s cycling collection look great in a simple black frame, while pieces from the animal collection may be more suited to slate or truffle painted frames.
  5. Consider the style of your existing décor. Silver and gold finishes can look traditional, while black and white look fab in both classic and contemporary homes.
  6. Pick a frame size that complements the artwork. A small picture can easily be overwhelmed by a super wide frame, while larger pieces can look more striking in wider frames. Slim frames can look more elegant and complement designs that are intricate.
  7. If you’re unsure how high to hang your artwork, a general rule of thumb is to hang it 57 – 60 inches from the floor. Although if you live in a house with high ceilings you may wish to hang it higher. Or, you can create a feature by hanging art just above pieces of furniture such as book shelves, occasional tables etc. If you’re worried that the framed art may look too small in a particular room, group it with some other small pieces. Or, why not go for a picture shelf, and display your art alongside a couple of vases, candles or other decorative items.Picture shelf to display Lucy Pittaway art
  8. When hanging art in groups, don’t be afraid to mix up sizes, orientations or hang things off centre. If you are creating a gallery wall, you can use paper templates to decide on the composition and minimise the need to rearrange things once you have drilled into the wall. Simply take some greaseproof or brown craft paper and trace around your frames. Cut them out and temporarily position them on the wall. This will allow you to stand back and look at them from a distance too.
  9. Less is more – resist the urge to fill every single wall in your home with artwork as it may end up looking cluttered.
  10. Avoid choosing frames that are very trendy right now, as these may go out of fashion. Classics like black, white, metallics or neutrals are a safer bet.

Please visit our Framing Options page for more information on our framing service.

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