How To Choose A Picture Frame

UNDOUBTEDLY The most important thing to ponder when framing a picture is the actual style and colour palette of the artwork. However, there are other factors to consider that relate more to the intended backdrop of your pictures. Read on for Blue Leopard’s advice on how to choose the right framing for artwork in your home, office, or commercial space.

Five things to consider…

1. The interior design of the space influences the framing choice

Before you start going crazy picking all sorts of random frames for your artwork it’s a really good idea to consider the décor of your home or office and then also the individual décor of the room the pictures are intended for.

Classic Interiors

If your interior design style is quite classic with period furniture pieces and traditional wall colours and fittings, then you would be well advised to look at more classic framing options. Therefore, have a look at gold, silver, black and natural wood options that have a classic shape such as a scoop or cushion moulding.

Contemporary interiors

If your home or office is very modern with exposed brick and steel then you could look at really chunky metallic frames or highly polished black lacquer for big impact. In many ways, modern and funky interiors are quite liberating when it comes to picture framing as classic finishes work just as well as a more contemporary look.


If your interior design is classic you’d be well- advised to look at more traditional framing styles.


2. Wall colour makes a difference

Wall colour when choosing picture frames is SO important. Getting the framing right and working in harmony with your wall colours can make such a big difference and have a massive impact. It’s fairly obvious that you wouldn’t usually use white frames on a white wall. What’s important is not just creating a contrast but matching colours and tones that are different yet work well together. For example, try a gold frame on a neutral wall but then just see how it pops on a rich Tuscan red background instead. Black frames can look quite cold on neutral or white walls unless part of a large monochrome montage. Wooden frames in a nice oak or something similar can definitely warm up a neutral interior.


…try a gold frame on a neutral wall but then alternatively just see how it pops on a rich Tuscan red.


3. Fixtures and fittings

Fixtures and fittings not only have an influence on the style of frames that would work well but also the colour. For example, in a kitchen or bathroom if you have lots of silver or chrome fittings then try and avoid silver frames as it can all look too ‘matchy’. Go for a brass or a bullet grey metal instead so it’s in-keeping but still finds a contrast.

4. Do Ceiling heights have an impact?

Given that people in the UK are on the whole of a certain height range how high your ceiling is shouldn’t make any difference. Generally, a good height for the main focus of the picture – i.e. the central area or just above – is a gallery height of around 160 to 175 cm from the floor. The height of your ceiling doesn’t have any bearing on the best height for your pictures as this will always be the same or similar. It definitely might affect the choices of frame you make though. Quick tips:

HIGH: If you have high ceilings bolder frame options will work better than in a snugger room with a low ceiling.

LOW: If you have low ceilings try to put in some fairly tall pictures with portrait dimensions rather than landscape to accentuate the height of the room.

The best picture frames for dark walls

5. What effect does the amount of daylight have?

Light vs Dark:

Light: If you have a bright, airy space with lots of natural light avoid matching the tones and colour of the walls with the colour of the frames. This will prevent any detail in the moulding being lost and negating the overall look and feel. If you are choosing a contemporary look frame that is see-through and made of glass or Perspex, then this style really benefits from lots of natural light and even direct sunlight coming through.

Dark: Where you have quite a space that lacks natural light you can create a positive feature by using a brightly coloured frame or something even reflective like a chrome silver mirror metal moulding that bounces any light provided by artificial lighting around the space.


Reflective metal frames in two complementary tones provide a stunning solution for spaces without much daylight

And finally…

As with any skill, practice makes perfect and hanging well-framed artwork in the right place is no exception. One important thing is not to worry too much about making mistakes. Artwork can always be moved around, altered, or re-purposed to hit the maximum effect button. If you’re having difficulty with any framing or artwork challenges please feel free to drop Blue Leopard a line. We perform home or office visits in London and the south east to make sure we are framing artwork in the best way for its intended location. For larger jobs we also travel outside the south east to all corners of the UK.

GET IN TOUCH if you are wanting to make your artwork work harder for you and have more impact and have a browse through the artists we work with in our CURATED ARTWORK section. If there’s anything you like drop us a line.

All the very best,

The Team at Blue Leopard