Most people try to make their homes look attractive and feel comfortable. To that end, they might hang framed pictures and artworks on the wall, intending to add some visual interest and personality to their indoor spaces.
Unfortunately, framing a picture and hanging it is not always as easy as it sounds. There are rules for framing that help protect the artwork, the wall and the aesthetic of the home, and because few people know or understand these rules, major design mistakes are often made. Here are some of the worst framing mistakes one can make — and what to do instead.
Neglecting Spacers and Backing
One of the primary purposes of placing pictures and artwork in frames is to protect them from damage. Unfortunately, framing itself can be perilous, and if you are not careful with how you place your pictures and artwork in the frames, you could cause lasting harm. In particular, you need to consider investing in proper spacers and backing, which will separate the piece from the glass of the front of the frame and the wall behind, cushioning it from impact and keeping it safe. Without spacers, artwork will rest against the glass and could stick, so when you open the frame, the piece will tear. Meanwhile, the right backing should be acid-free foam or cotton mounting board, which will gently hug the frame together and allow the entire piece to rest softly against the wall.
Skimping on Cheap Frames
Sure, you can find picture frames for exceedingly low cost — but those frames probably are not even worth the few dollars you will spend on them. Made from flimsy materials that will easily chip, scratch and discolor, cheap frames might also damage your pictures and art with acids. Whenever you need new picture frames, you should shop from an experienced and dedicated framer. Specialty framing stores use the best materials to ensure that your wall hangings will be safe for years to come, and what’s more, they are likely to have plenty of options to suit your interior style.
Choosing the Wrong Frame Color
Your safety of your art and your interior style are not the only qualities to consider while selecting your picture frames. The color of the frame should suit not just your design aesthetic but also the colors and tone of the piece being framed. For example, light-colored frames tend to suit colorful and casual pictures and artwork, while darker frames are ideal for larger and more formal pieces. You can also try to match the color of the frame to a particular color within the piece, which works well when you have a colorful, maximalist design to your room.
Hanging Frames Too High
Interior design wisdom says that to help your ceilings appear taller, you should place your curtain rods near the ceiling and allow your window treatments to fall all the way to your floor. However, the same advice does not hold true for wall hangings. It is possible to place your frames too high on the wall, which will make your room feel slightly off and uncomfortable for you as well as any guests.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all rule for where to hang your pictures and artwork so that they appear attractive in your space because rooms and frames vary so significantly as to make hanging entirely subjective. The general suggestion is to hang your art for comfortable viewing, as though your frames are in a gallery. If you need to crane your neck up or down to see the picture, you need to readjust. Alternatively, if there is furniture below the hanging, you should leave between 5 and 8 inches of space between the bottom of the frame and the top of the furniture.
Underestimating the Weight
Finally, you cannot neglect to select wall anchors that are suitable for the size and scope of your frame. As tempting as it might be to use the same small nails for every picture and artwork in your home, the truth is that larger frames can add significant weight to the piece. If a wall anchor is not sufficiently strong to support a wall hanging, it will tear an unsightly hole in your wall and drop your frame, causing costly damage to the art and surrounding environment. You should know the weight of your frame and find a wall anchor robust enough to hold it for years to come.
The more attention you pay to framing your pictures and artwork, the happier you will be with your interior design.