We all have that pile: special photos, prints and mementos we’ve been meaning to frame for years but can never manage to find the time. But thanks to Framebridge, you can soon have the gallery walls of your Pinterest dreams.
The design service takes the anxiety — and huge price tag — out of custom framing. The process is simple: You upload a digital file or mail in your piece of art (Framebridge takes care of the shipping cost) and chose one of the service’s superchic frames. It will custom frame your work and ship it back a few days later. The best part: All the frames are under $160. Before we go on a framing bender (did we mention it’s $39 to frame an image from your Instagram?), we checked in with Creative Director Tessa Wolf to talk tips and trends.
Where to start
Choose two or three pieces that mean the most to you and start with those, says the expert. When selecting the frame, “we say you should choose the frame for the art, not for where it’s going to go,” Wolf says. Of course, you should make sure it works with your décor, “but if it looks beautiful with the art,” she says, “you’re going to like it no matter where you put it.”
How to get big impact with prints that are low-res?
Wolf doesn’t love blowing up a low-resolution photo. Instead, she recommends a collage or a gallery-wall grouping of small prints. “We want to set you up for success, so our team of designers reaches out if they see something isn’t printing in the right resolution,” she explains. Framebridge’s software lets you know automatically if your pic is too low-res to print. But don’t think that because your photo came from your phone that you can’t get a high-quality print. “The cool thing with iPhone pictures is they’re good now — we blow them up to like 22 x 30 and they print really high-quality,” she adds. “[And] if you add a mat, it makes the overall piece even bigger at the end.”
Go for a no-fail black:“A black frame with a white mat looks amazing with anything you want to look editorial and clean. And it will look good in any setting.”Show off its age:“When you’re framing an item and you want to show off the edges, we recommend float mounting — which means the work floats above a mat board — and really shows off all of the aging and detailing, like with an old map or postcard. I think float mounting against a white mat in a white frame or in a natural-wood frame looks really sophisticated.”Pair quirkier pieces of art with really regal frames:“It’s one of my favorite ways to frame something. If you have a really modern piece of art like a black-and-white abstract, to put it in a very classic metallic frame just looks awesome. This also allows you to put it anywhere and it gets a lot of attention.”
Trends in framing
The experts at Framebridge live and breathe gallery walls, and are quick to spot trends as they’re born. “We’re seeing a lot of grid gallery walls,” says Wolf. For this technique, you frame, say, nine photos or pieces of art that are exactly the same size and arrange them in a perfect grid. “It just has a ton of impact above a big piece of furniture or an empty wall,” she says. If you’re a risk-taker, take your cues from the design world’s obsession du jour: black walls. “Everyone has had white walls forever, and white framing for a long time was superpopular,” Wolf says. “But now that we’re seeing black walls, we’re seeing people use black frames with black mats in the same way that people were using white with white. I just love the look of anything on a black wall.”