In the process of helping my friend Meredith transform her new home, pics to come, I discovered that Meredith was suffering from this highly treatable condition.
Let me preface this by saying, Meredith and her family have a great art collection. It’s the best type of art: art that isn’t necessarily expensive but that means something. Their collection includes pieces that they have picked up while traveling, art that commemorates significant times in the family’s life and pieces that have been created by family and friends.
However, some of this art was being held back by blah framing. So, when it came time to hang, I suggested that we give some of the more significant pieces a little makeover. Some of the “came with” frames were just inexpensive place holders that didn’t do justice to the piece and some were just out of date. Don’t think that you need to hang on to a frame that you got in 1987. Chances are, it, and the matte, are a little dated.
Enter the fabulous Joan Richards. My friends Meg and Alisa introduced me to this genius and I have been her devotee ever since. Not only is she a terrific framer with access to new frame stock, she also has a collection of incredibly cool antique frames that she can restore and fit to your pieces.
Here are some before and afters:
This is a fairly insipid pinkish wood frame…think early 80’s kitchen cabinetry.
After: Joan had this decadent beauty in her back room. After some cleaning up, I think the swoops and swirls of the new/old frame do much more justice to the dramatic subject matter of the painting (Jesus at Pentecost, in case you were wondering).
By the way, you’re not crooked, I am. I am apparently unable to take an even shot. I blame it on shortness.
Here’s another. This is a painting by a popular English artist and an anniversary present commemorating the time the family spent in Scotland. Unfortunately, this moody oil painting was being hidden behind glass and diminished by a white washed wood frame. Ick Ack!!!! This wallflower needs to take her twirl center stage!!!! Actually, I think she seems more like a he, but wallflowers are usually girls, right?
After….check out this gorgeous wood grain (this one’s a new custom frame):
If you don’t have a guardian frame angel like Joan around, go visit an antique store and go through their old frame piles. That’s where I found this one. Both the frame and the photograph in it (my parents in 1973) are two of my favorite things in my house. Incidentally, by some miracle of ridiculously bad pricing, I got this frame for $20.
I don’t worry about chips or knicks in these old pieces….it sounds cliché, but it really does give them character.
I can’t even imagine how much a frame with this kind of detail would cost new.
And speaking of Meg and Alisa, here’s a good pairing of eerie photo with cool, crazy frame.
So, don’t think of the frame as an afterthought. After all, a beautiful lady with an ugly hat is….well, still a beautiful lady, but she could look a whole better, right?1?