Monday, January 11, 2010

Frame Game

Seeing how many frames of assorted sizes, subjects and colors can fit on a wall is an artistic challenge. The cover of Elle Decor's September issue illustrates how mixing-and-matching big and small frames of photographs, prints and artwork can look so effortlessly cool and sophisticated.

But there is a method to the madness of arranging an eclectic wall of frames. Let's call it the "frame game" and below is how to win it.

1. Arrange smaller size frames in a group because they will look bolder and more substantial in relation to the wall. (The only exception to this rule is a massive piece of art that you want to be the eye's sole focus).

2. One way to arrange is a mirrored fashion, which is placing a large painting over the middle of your sofa or console, and on each side, you position three smaller pieces that are similar to one another. Below is an example of a symmetrical layout:

(Or if that sounds too hard, this Pottery Barn arranging system can be purchased (above)).

3. Or take the asymmetrical route, where nothing needs to be uniform, as in the picture below. It doesn't matter if the frames are the same in size or color, but that there is a visual balance. One idea on how to do it to trace your frames into poster-board cut-outs and then post them to the wall.

4. This Jonathan Adler-designed room (below) shows us not to be intimidated in using the full space to hang frames. Start hanging right above and below your room's moldings.

5. Some other tips for an asymmetrical design, include:

-- Go with an odd number of items over even.
-- Visually "heavier" pieces below "lighter" ones and dark-colored pictures below light ones.
--Consider hanging your items in a square, triangle or circle for continuity.
-- Mix in a mirror if you need a visually "light" piece.
-- Don't be afraid to organize over the top horizontally, as pictured below.

--Depth can be added when selecting mats and frames, but instead of going to the hassle and expense of re-framing, buy a handy frame riser (below).

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! I have been thinking about covering a wall in paintings and photos...not much doing, still a lot of thinking!