You saw a piece of art you loved so you bought it. The next exciting step is to get a custom frame for it. You’re not alone; the U.S. has the most art buyers in the world, and many Americans are fixated on purchasing the perfect custom frame. If you want to prepare before you meet with the framer, here’s some of the common questions a professional framer will ask you.
How is your home designed?
When it comes to framing, the professional framer will want an idea of what space this art piece will inhabit. Your typical home décor, color scheme, and flooring are factors that could greatly affect the type of frame you should chose. In addition, depending on the room, the frame may need to be designed with particular materials. For example, if you want to hang it in a bathroom, the frame will need to be crafted to protect it against humidity. Now, having said all that, a good framer will design to the art to create a timeless look. Nevertheless, there are a number of different ways to achieve that look. So, don’t say “I want to co-ordinate with my grey sofa and black curtains” unless you want to re-frame the piece when you replace your sofa or curtains. Do say “my home is mid-mod” or “I live in a loft” because that will influence the designers choices.
What are your personal tastes?
While it’s important to match the frame to your space, it’s even more important for a framer to understand your unique tastes. A common question a professional framer will ask you is what your personal style is when it comes to décor and art. You never know when your art will change spaces, but your tastes will remain the same. Be transparent, and let them know what you value aesthetically. When we’re working with a client at the design table it’s important that they’re honest about their feelings on a design. We won’t be hurt if you don’t like something but give us a little more detail than “Oh no”. Pointing out a particular color or subject in the art that you really like helps the designer hone in on that. Telling us specifically what you don’t like about a particular moulding choice helps us with the next choice we’ll show you.
Do you have a budget?
We all wish we had an unlimited amount of money to spend when it comes to framing our art, but the reality is that you probably don’t. Your professional framer should know the budget they need to work within so they can recommend suitable materials and styles that will fall within that budget. At AUM we have pre-finished mouldings that can range from $15 a foot to well over $100 a foot. So, even if your artwork is only going to require 8 feet of moulding that per foot price difference between different mouldings can make an enormous difference to cost. You really don’t want to fall in love with a design that you can’t afford because everything else you see after that won’t look as good to you.
Do you have a timeline?
If there is a certain date you need this done by, such as for a gallery show, to have it ready as a gift, or to have it on the wall for the Thanksgiving family gathering, you should communicate that as soon as your start your discussion with the designer. You should determine whether or not a need-by date is essential, so the framer can have realistic expectations of the work needed within a certain timeframe. Many of our pre-finished mouldings are from out of state so if you choose one of them we’ll tell you the framing will take 3-4 weeks. It can take a week (or more) for the moulding to arrive at our workshop. Sometimes the package hasn’t survived the Fedex or UPS shipment and needs to be re-ordered. If you need the frame completed in a week then the designer will limit choices to those mouldings we can obtain locally so that we can make that short a timeframe. Oh, and guys, please don’t come in the day before Valentines Day or your anniversary and expect we can frame something in time, we’re not miracle workers.
When it comes to your cherished piece of art, you understand the meaning and personality of it. When it comes to how best to preserve it, what styles will go best with it, and what materials are necessary, a professional framer will give you the insight needed to make a decision. If you can come to a conclusion together, you’ll get a custom frame that’s out of this world.