When it comes to decorating a home, every detail matters, and choosing the right picture frames can make a huge impact on the overall aesthetic. One of the most common dilemmas faced by homeowners, dorm dwellers, and apartment renters alike is whether picture frames need to match their surroundings. Here lies the question: Should picture frames match the art or room? And similarly, Do they need to match the artwork they’re displayed in? What about the room’s color scheme? Maybe they should match the furniture? While these answers depend on many factors, we’ve sat down with a few experts on the subject to get their insights on things!
In this post, we’ll explore your most-asked design dilemma questions, get the expert scoop from our featured home designers, and throw in some inspirational photos to help get the framing party started! 🥳
Should Picture Frames Match My Wall Color?
Do you enjoy a seamless and cohesive look? Do you want your artwork to really POP? Then this approach might be for you. By blending the frame into its surroundings the artwork or photo inside shines through. Choosing frames that mirror the wall color allows the artwork to appear as an extension of the wall itself, making it an integral part of the room design. Perfect for minimalist or monochromatic spaces!
If you’re looking for your gallery wall to be a focal point of your room, we recommend going the opposite route and choosing a frame color that stands out from your wall. (perhaps even mixing and matching different colors and styles?) Those with a naturally eclectic style will find it hard to stick to one color or frame style (and that’s A-okay!)
“When creating a gallery wall, using a mix of 2-3 different color frames or textures is a great way to create a wall that brings character but is still curated!”Emma M @valley_view_visions
“I wouldn’t recommend trying to match your frames to your wall color. You want your frames to compliment your overall decor theme but stand out from your walls. So if you have a light and airy decor style, a soft light wood tone or whitewash would be a great frame choice.”Jamie M @montgofarmhouse
“Picture frames should complement your wall color instead of completely match. You want your frames to stand out instead of blending into the wall. Try using colors or wood finishes that coordinate with the décor in the room. If your décor is neutral go for brass, black and softer wood tones to enhance your overall décor. Adding in a hot pink frame to a space where there is no hot pink is going to look out of place.”Amy P Amelia Lawrence Style & Design
Should My Frames Match My Art?
Do feel that every photo or art piece has its own story to tell? That each work is an individual and has its own personality or sets its own tone? There are those of us who believe the picture frame should complement the artwork they hold, rather than blend in with wall color. Selecting frames that enhance the art or photo’s colors, style, and even theme can make the display stand out as a room focal point.
For example, if you are looking to frame a classical painting print that features warm tones, opt for a similar warm color as well as an ornate style to match the era of your print. (Our Granby frame in Gold is a perfect choice!) This approach is commonly used by those with large gallery walls of art or photos, with each piece having a different story to tell. It allows each work to shine independently and showcases its uniqueness. Those who find themselves drawn to vintage, eclectic, and farmhouse styles typically use this approach to framing within their homes.
“I say pick frames that go with your decor style instead of the art you are planning to use in them. That way it is easier to swap out art for the seasons in your frames.”Jamie M @montgofarmhouse
“I personally love a bit of contrast when it comes to frames. I primarily have white walls, and a warm brass frame looks great together. I do love black frames against a white wall as well. Both are classic looks. I am also a huge fan of mixing traditional and modern. My decor tends to lean more towards traditional, but I add modern art to mix it up a bit. On the contrary, a more modern look overall looks great with sprinkles of traditional frames/art. My advice is to just do what makes you happy!”Michelle L @littlelattihouse
“Art should stand on its own and the right frame can elevate your piece. The frame should complement and add to the artwork. Don’t be concerned that the frames are all the same.”Amy P Amelia Lawrence Style & Design
🌹 In Love With Eclectic Design? Check out some of our Charming Eclectic Decor Ideas!
Should I Match Picture Frames To My Furniture?
Do you like feature elements to match, but ain’t keen on an overly cohesive look? Do you want your space to look effortlessly chic, without limiting your style choices? Matching your frames to furniture might be the way to go! While this can work in most cases – if you’re not looking to go fully monochrome, don’t go too overboard as too much uniformity can lead to a monotonous space.
Consider matching your frame color to a stand-out furniture piece in your space, it could be the biggest or brightest color. Whichever you end up choosing make sure your frame choice echos the color or material as closely as possible. Those who enjoy a midcentury-modern look will gravitate to this styling.
“If you have a lot of one color of wooden furniture, I would shy away from trying to match the frame to it. I think it comes across as too cohesive or the coloring isn’t exactly the same and then it clashes. If you have a lot of wooden furniture, try a metal frame such as bronze or gold depending on other fixtures around the space.”Jamie M @montgofarmhouse
“I would avoid matching picture frames to surrounding furniture especially if it is close to the hanging frame. Vary your colors in the room but choose ones that compliment and go together. Instead of doing white frames with a white headboard, try brass or a natural wood tone for the frames. It will create a beautiful, soft and cohesive look. If you have a beige headboard you could try black frames or even a darker stained wood frame to draw more interest to the space and create a more custom look.”Melissa C @interiors.bymel
“Match your frames with your interior style, not to your furniture. Matching everything is considered out dated and having a variety of different finishes on your furniture ,that work together, is considered more timeless and curated. The same is true with frames; determine your décor style and use frames that work in harmony. In our living room, we have dark and light wood tone furniture pieces, a black painted buffet and neutral upholstery. Instead of matching picture frames with the furniture, I simply coordinate with our interior overall style. I have light wood low profile style frames, gold ornate frames and black frames and other styles all working together.”Amy P Amelia Lawrence Style & Design
Love Midcentury-Modern Looks? Check out our lookbook on Midcentury Modern Decor For Home & Office!
Should All My Frames Be One Color?
Opting for a consistent frame color for each room (or even throughout your home!) is another popular choice. This neat, tidy, and unifying approach creates a flow and balance, especially in more open-floor spaces where artwork can be seen from multiple points in the home or building.
Choosing a singular color doesn’t have to be boring, however! Change up your frame styles, but keep your color consistent. For example: Pair a simple black thin frame (like Ashford) with a more ornate and loud black frame (like Granby) – these differences in size and texture will still make for a visually interesting and beautiful collection. Those who like a modern style will love this fresh and clean gallery wall styling!
🪴 Speaking of plants… Looking to add some greenery to your space? Learn how to incorporate plants into your frame decor!
“I prefer having frames one color when doing a collage of family pictures! But when I’m creating a collage of art prints, or even two framed art prints on top of each other, I love having the frames different colors, sizes and even shapes to add visual interest!”Tricia C @ourfrenchcountryfarm
“This depends on the look you’re going for. I love having a group of 4 oversized matching square frames all with white matting grouped together to form a large square. This is a very clean and classic look that adds a big impact to a wall. But some people love the look of a hodge gallery wall. This definitely takes more thoughtful design choices but can be done very well. I love looking at Pinterest to get ideas for things like this! Start a board titled “gallery wall” and pin ones you find that you love. You can then go back and see similarities in the ones you’re drawn to and pick out similar frame colors and sizes from there!” If this option seems a bit too uniform for your tastes, you may be asking “Can you mix and match picture frames?” Our answer is “Of course!” Match your frames to different elements in your space, from plants to pillows, and let your creativity go wild.Jamie M @montgofarmhouse
“This is a personal preference and you can’t go wrong with it either way. Mixing and matching the color of your frames while also varying the size of your frames to create a beautiful gallery wall draws interest and a more custom look to a space.”Melissa C @interiors.bymel
“If you like a clean and tailored look, use the same frames for a gallery wall while using similar color tones in the artwork. This creates a very clean, uncluttered décor style. You could also mix and match frames for a more eclectic feel. Determine your overall design style for a specific space and incorporate your frames to complement.”Amy P Amelia Lawrence Style & Design
In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The right choice comes down to personal preferences, home and room style, and the artwork or photos you’re looking to display. Ultimately, your main goal should be to create a space that reflects your personality and brings joy to your life!
Whether you choose “yes” or “no” to the many “Should picture frames match x ?” questions, the key is to curate a frame display that speaks and serves you. So get out there, seek inspiration, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and design your space to what makes to happiest! ✨
🤔 💭 Remember: If you’re ever unsure stick to the tried-and-true classic black frame or neutral colors that can compliment many styles and wall colors!
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This post first appeared as Decor Dilemma: Should Picture Frames Match The Art Or Room? on Frame It Easy - Learning Center for Custom Picture Framing.