Where to Start–Artwork or Frame?

Where to Start–Artwork or Frame?

Artwork and framing go hand-in-hand, although you can choose to do one before the other. However, deciding whether to buy your frame or a piece of art first is entirely up to you and will often depend on what your intention is.

Where Did Art Frames Come From? (And Why It Matters)

You’re probably not familiar with where frames originated and why it matters today. Well, it all started way back in ancient Egypt. Egyptians used the earliest frames to surround Fayum mummy portraits. 

The Romans also used frames, often made from carved marble or wood decorated with ornate designs. Renaissance artists brought back the tradition with a renewed focus on emphasizing the frame as an integral part of the artwork. 

Fast forward to today, and we have a wide variety of materials and styles to choose from when selecting how best to display our treasured art pieces. 

But why does the history of framing matter? By understanding where these traditions came from, we can better appreciate the choices made by both historical and contemporary artists in presenting their work to viewers. And as consumers, knowing our options allows us to make informed decisions about how best to showcase our beloved art pieces. 

Factors To Consider Whether Choosing Artwork Or A Frame 

Tranquil office space with art hanging in a magnetic art hanger.

When choosing artwork or a frame for your home, you should consider the scale. You don't want something too large and overwhelming, but you also don't want an art piece that gets lost on the wall. So, it's essential to measure the space and plan accordingly. Another factor is the overall theme and style of your home. 

Choose artwork and frames that complement and enhance your current aesthetic, whether modern, minimalistic, bohemian, or eclectic. And don't forget about color: think about how the shades in the artwork will coordinate with your furniture and decor. 

When To Buy Art First

There are no hard and fast rules when buying art for your home—the same goes for displaying your art. It's all about what speaks to you personally. That said, a few guidelines can help guide your decision-making process.

For one, should you have a meaningful pieces, try to build your collection around it—be it a family heirloom or something with significant sentimental value. Another consideration is whether or not a particular piece truly inspires you. Are you drawn to it, eagerly anticipating the chance to allow others to enjoy it as mush as you do? And finally, think about how a piece will contribute to your home's overall mood or theme. 

If it fits seamlessly with your aesthetic, it's worth adding to your home and then worrying about the frame. 

When To Buy A Frame First

Are you having difficulty deciding whether to buy a frame first or wait until you have the perfect piece of art to place inside it? If you want to match existing furnishings or create a cohesive look in your home, purchasing a frame is the way to go. 

Plus, let's face it - sometimes frames can be pretty pricey, and it's always a win when you find one at a great deal and start building your art collection around that. Just make sure to measure the wall space where the frame will hang and pay attention to the dimensions listed for the frame itself so that any artwork you purchase will fit perfectly inside it.

Which Size And Shape Will Work Best In Your Space?

When choosing the right frame for your space, size and shape can make a big difference.

Measure your space before you shop to get an idea of what will work best, or play around with different options by laying them out in various sizes and shapes. Remember, no rule says frames have to match – in fact, mixing and matching shapes can add visual interest! 

Frame With Intention, No Hard And Fast Rule

Consider artwork and frames that complement your home, and choose something that speaks to you personally. Choose a piece that works best in your space. Size and shape are essential considerations for art and frames.

When To Go Big 

Large pop art canvas with modern chairs.

A large wall is a great opportunity to make a statement. A larger piece of artwork or a group of smaller pieces can create an impressive focal point and add personality to your space. Be sure to think about lighting in the room when choosing art for a larger wall—if you're hanging artwork over a sofa, it's good to consider the angle at which the light shines when choosing artwork. 

If lit directly from above, for example, a piece that uses darker colors could get lost with so much light shining on it. On the other hand, if it hits the wall at an angle, you might get away with something more dramatic or intense in color. Consider your lighting and know the mood you want to create before deciding on a large piece of art for any given wall.

When To Go Small

The opposite is true in small rooms – sometimes, going bold with a smaller piece of art can be fun. On the other hand, too many small pieces on one wall can sometimes feel busy and overwhelming. But if you decide to stick with many smaller pieces, try grouping them in clusters or heights for visual interest—frame to highlight your artwork, no hard and fast rule.

Consider the style of your home when choosing a frame so that you can highlight and enhance your artwork. Whether it's clean lines or ornate details, ensuring the frame complements art and space will ensure that the piece works well in any setting. Think about lighting, too - if the painting's main focal point is on one side, you might want to consider a frame that draws the eye in the opposite direction.

When To Mix And Match

Mixing and matching frames can be fun to add character and style to your space. You could go for various colors, shapes, and sizes for an eclectic look or choose similar pieces for a more cohesive feel. Whatever you decide, remember that the art should be the focus—so framing your piece with care is key!

Finding A Quality Frame On Your Budget (And Needs)

Living room with a black, white ad grey art piece in a magnetic hanger frame.

When choosing a frame for your artwork, there are a few things to consider. The first is budget—whether you are on a tight budget or have some flexibility, it's important to find frames that fit your needs and work within your price range.

Another critical factor when shopping for frames is quality. High-quality frames are made from sturdy materials that resist fading, cracking, or warping over time. Look for frames made from durable materials like wood or metal to ensure that your artwork is well-protected in the long run.

  • Large Budget–consider custom framing.
  • Medium Budget-standard framing with a custom-cut mat is great for you. 
  • Small Budget–choose a standard frame and reprint or buy artwork to fit.
  • Unique Needs–Not all framing is created equal; magnetic framing is flexible and looks great.

Can You DIY A Frame For Your Artwork, Or Should You Go Professional?

When it comes to framing your artwork, the question of whether or not to DIY or go professional can be a tricky one. On one hand, something is satisfying about creating your frame and saying, "I made this myself!" But on the other hand, you want to ensure that your artwork is adequately protected and displayed in the best way possible.

Thankfully, DIY framing doesn't necessarily have to mean starting from scratch. You can often find great vintage frames at second-hand stores or garage/estate sales, and you can easily customize standard frames with a DIY mat, cut to fit your artwork.

Frame First, Or Artwork–Let's Recap

Deciding whether to buy the frame or artwork first can be a tricky dilemma, but fear not – there are ways to make the most out of either approach. If you already have a specific piece of art in mind, it might be worth finding a custom frame that fits its size and shape perfectly. 

However, if you're on a budget or want to try DIY framing, finding a beautiful frame and searching for artwork to fit it is also a great option. 

Part of the fun of this approach is getting creative with how you display the piece—try mixing and matching different sizes and shapes or using unconventional materials like wood or embroidery hoops. Just remember to have fun and let your style shine through whatever you choose.

Frame It Right With Well Made!

So, where do you start? With the artwork or the frame? The truth is, it depends on a lot of factors. But we can help make the process a little easier for you. And if you're still unsure what's best for you, at Well Made, our mission is to make it easy and affordable for you to frame your artwork beautifully. We've got you covered if you're looking for a hassle-free, beautiful frame. So, head to our shop and find the perfect solution for your art needs!