The Right Size of Frame

Correctly choosing the size of a picture frame is fundamental so that you have harmony between the image and the frame. You don't want to frame to take away from what's inside!
The Right Size of Frame

Last update: 07 November, 2018

Every frame has two functions: it protects the picture or image inside while also serving as a decorative element. Today we’re going to focus on the appropriate size of a picture frame. We’re talking about this because it’s common to find frames that don’t fit with the image, or they’re not the same style. Sometimes frames even take away from the image inside.

Below, we’ll give you a series of tips so that you can make the best choices. 

Thick frames, a thing of the past?

If you look at very old paintings, most of them have a thick and elaborate frame surrounding them. This makes the frame itself more striking than the work. Of course, if that’s your intention, by all means, pick a large and elaborate frame. However, if we want the focus to be on what’s inside, we should get rid of any large, elaborate frame.

We understand that personal preference has an important role in picking out a picture frame. With that being said, we recommend that you only use a thick frame if the picture itself is very large and is placed in a large space.

If, on the other hand, your picture is on a wall with little space, a large frame will make the wall feel crowded. If you have a mirror next to it, we recommend that either the painting or the mirror has a thick frame, not both.

While simple, functional mirrors can be really beautiful.

We’re not saying that thick frames are a bad choice or that they’re outdated. You just have to know how and where to use them in order to enhance the painting’s appearance instead of taking away from it.

The image is the main event

We already know that the most important part of a picture and a frame is the image. Therefore, the size of the picture should give us a clue about the proper size of the frame.

You can use the same principle when thinking about frame and photo style. Sometimes, we go to any regular store and pick out the frame that we like the most. It’s easy for us to do this while forgetting that we might have a specific style or size in mind.

Picture frames come in all different shapes, sizes and materials.

We may choose a beautiful frame, but that beautiful frame can break up the harmony of the image. If you’re not quite sure what we’re talking about, we’ll explain in further detail what types of frames go best with each painting:

Portraits, old paintings, or still life

These types of images that evoke an older presence will look better with a large, decorated frame. As we’ve said before, until a few decades ago wide and elaborate frames were very popular. The images that we’re referring to are from that time period. What better way to keep the harmony tha by using a baroque frame?

In addition, these frames are the perfect complement for making the images look their absolute best. It would be such a pity to put an elaborate painting next to a plain frame.

Informal or current photos

More and more of these exist in our homes. These photos include pictures with our friends, our partners, and our family. We all have photos like these in our homes. For these types of images, we recommend using a more modern frame that doesn’t take away from the image. A thin, smooth frame is perfect to protect the image while at the same time decorating it in a very subtle way.

wall with picture frame size

What do I do if my painting is small?

In recent years, small paintings or works of art have become more fashionable. We usually place them in a collage so that several smaller paintings can decorate the entire wall. In this case, you have two options.

If you’ve created a collage by placing several images on the same wall, we recommend that you choose a small frame without too much going on. This is because having several frames together will reduce the significance of the images.

You want to see the picture, not just the frame. These collages can be very fun in kitchens, since they’re rooms that normally don’t have photos. Use pictures to give your kitchen a breath of fresh air.

If, on the other hand, you only have one painting, you’ll want to choose a large and eye-catching frame. This is the best way for an image to stand out. On the other hand, if you choose a small frame, the whole set will go totally unnoticed. This type of combination is perfect in hallways or bedrooms.