Monday, September 10, 2007

Creative Framing

I was catching up on my 1st dibs browsing last night and came across these parrot prints from Chapman Radcliff (see above). Don't you like how the prints are mounted on the fabric covered mats? So clever! Of course there are certain types of prints that are best displayed in plain mats, but here the fabric adds a real flair.

Framing is one of those design details that is often overlooked despite the fact that it can add to the look of the artwork (and the look of the room). Some art, especially photographs, look best in simple frames with plain white mats. However, if you have some prints, drawings, or paintings that could stand a little pizazz, why not consider an unusual frame or mat? There are so many wonderful frames from which to choose, however, framing can be terribly expensive (I can't tell you how many times I've come close to having a heart attack when I got framing estimates). If you're on a budget, perhaps a colorful or textured mat may be just the thing.

These small Chinese Export paintings are framed in blue rice paper mats in gilt frames. Available at Heather & Company Inc.

Animal prints in striking frames and mats- in the Maher home, Elle Decor Aug '07 (photographed by William Abranowicz). I don't know which I like better- the prints or the frames.

Textured, neutral mats in the former apartment of designer Kelly Wearstler. The frames and mats look great against the aubergine walls.

I added this red mat on a delicate etching to draw attention to it.


  1. hi--
    i love those parrot pictures too. i have them on my blog---i love that fabric background- i think its quadrille. great idea.

  2. Hi Marissa! I'll have to check out your post on them :)
    I think it's Quadrille too.

  3. Jennifer, welcome back!

    All great finds here. Especially love how you added the red mat to your etching. And that Heather & Co. find is fabulous too.

  4. Hi Jennifer!
    Great post. It is the details that can really make a house a home. I love that quadrille fabric idea too! And the animal prints are so much more important with those frames. Nice!

  5. Hi - Welcome Back!!! We missed you and hope you had fun on your trip.


  6. Anonymous6:25 PM

    According to Nick Olsen, who posted on it on June 7, the fabric used in the first pictures is “Melinda’’ by Alan Campbell. It drives me nuts in big doses but looks great here!


  7. Great to have you back, and great post - very timely! I've gone through a bit of a spree lately of framing artwork I've acumulated and not done anything with. I still have a few more to go, and I love the idea of using fabric as the mount. I love that first image. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Thanks Courtney, Katie and Joni!

  9. PT- Thanks for setting us straight on the fabric!

    Suzy- I remember you posting recently about some pieces you've just framed. If you do the fabric mount, post pictures!

  10. Anonymous12:06 PM

    Two kinds of chic frames that should make a major comeback ... when? Who knows? Natural bamboo frames with mirrored inside edges (the interior decorator Ruby Ross Wood apparently had the first ones made in New York City back in the 1930s) and narrow bevelled frames with the sparkle of inset mirror ... so chic.

  11. Anon- Now that is chic. The bamboo frames sound divine (although I've been told I'm not allowed to use anymore bamboo in my house). Do you think she had them made at J. Pocker & Son? I think I read where she encouraged them to open? Or put them on the map?

  12. Anonymous5:46 PM

    Yes, she had them made at J. Pocker. I talked with the owner a few years ago about it, and he remembered when she came in and asked for them to be made for her. She used them a lot in houses in Palm Beach.

  13. Love your vignette Jennifer and I really love the child's room above!!