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    texture in custom framing

    How to Add Texture in Custom Framing

    Frame Envy Team

    Pick a room–any room–in your home and take a long look at the space. Note the details that stand out to you. The fabric of your couch, flooring material, furniture finish, cabinet hardware, tile, decor pieces–each of these items adds an element to your overall interior design. That element is called texture, a physical and visual quality of a surface.

    Texture is a major aspect to any home design. Most people focus on how an item feels (smooth vs. rough, hard vs. soft, shiny vs. flat). However, texture is more than a physical quality. Few people spend their days running their hands over a fabric wallpaper, but that texture adds an element that evokes a visual quality throughout the design. In a room, texture can:

    • Add depth and intrigue
    • Control how lighting is absorbed or reflected
    • Draw out aspects of a space
    • Apply a personal touch

    Designers use texture to complement the overall design and create balance in an environment. Custom framing plays into that concept and is often used to highlight elements in a design concept.

    Texture in Custom Framing

    When people talk about texture in custom framing, their minds automatically think of matting. Metallic, embossed, suede, linen, silk, or other types of fabric or pattern mats easily add texture to a piece of art. Limited edition mats designed to emulate basketball, football, golf, or another pattern incorporate a personal touch and add to a theme of a frame. Fabric mats are almost always richer in color than paper mats and elevate frame designs without being too distracting. Examples include:

    • Suede mats work well with objects and shadowboxes. This material absorbs light and puts the focus on the item, not the mat.
    • Silks add a richness to a custom frame design. Silks pair well with memorable photographs such as wedding photos or hand colored portraits.
    • Linen mats are beautiful on photographs, and they are both stunning and forgiving on documents such as wedding and birth certificates, Bible pages, and antique papers.

    Sometimes, it makes sense to blend different types of mats to add depth to a piece. Double matting a diploma with a paper mat and a hint of gold makes the diploma pop. We shadowboxed a medal using different fabric mats to accent the object.. Incorporating different textures inside a frame can be a showstopper, if done well.

    texture in custom framing

    As exciting as the matting is, we can’t forget about the frame moulding. The frame itself can add texture, with or without a mat. Metal, wood grain, gloss, flat, pattern, and colorful finishes add a physical and/or visual texture in custom framing. Some of these designs are ultra classic while others are created to complement a specific trend. A few years ago, gold was out, and bright white frames were all the rage. Now, people are open to different concepts and colors. With that, comes new opportunities.

    How to Incorporate Texture

    In art, it’s the details that blow peoples’ minds. Compelling art has interesting elements that keep the viewer coming back for more. Custom framing should be the same way. Yes, it is important not to overpower a piece of art, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose something boring. You can easily add a pop of texture without overdesigning a piece. 

    Here are a few tips:

    • Look for movement and accent colors in a piece of art. Does your art have water in it? Look for a frame with waves. Is there a particular pattern? Look for a frame that has a similar pattern. If you love an accent color in your art, try to find a mat or frame that will draw out that color. Think about eyeshadow. Complementary colors make eye colors pop. What can you use to make your art pop?
    • Think about where you are going to hang the final frame. While we tend to advocate framing for the piece, we cannot ignore an overall interior design. You may not want to put a wood frame on a wood wall. Certain frames or mats may not work well in a kitchen or bathroom. Take note of the special design qualities in your space and use your custom framing design to highlight special aspects.
    • Use depth to your advantage. You can add dimension by utilizing the depth on the front or side of the frame. A frame with deep sides stands out farther from the wall, forcing the viewer to notice it. If you use a frame with a wide face, you can pair it with a mat to make a statement piece or eliminate the mat entirely.
    • Evoke a feeling. What do you want your custom framing to say? This may seem cheesy, but it works. Your frame is an extension of your art, even if your art is a quick print from a cell phone. Most of our clients choose frames that make them feel something–happy, bright, dramatic, thoughtful, etc. Think about that the next time you’re looking at frames.

    Texture makes a design go from average to exquisite. It is easy to take it for granted. If texture is incorporated well, you may not even notice it at first glance. When you’re designing your next custom framing project, notice the surfaces of each frame and mat you’re reviewing. If you’re ever in doubt on whether something will work, you can always try it on at home.

    Learn more about our try it on at home sample program here.