How to elevate your art with framing

Frames for your pictures, be it art or photos, can be so much more than tools to display and protect your pieces. The right frame, mount and glazing transforms your already extraordinary picture to out-of-this-world special.

This post focuses on the benefits of professional framing and what makes it so very special, with top tips from the incredible team at Mimi V Artworks, Balham. One of my stockists, they have also framed a few pieces for me and blow me away every time I walk in there with their creativity and love for what they do.

A gift for my dad: a photo of his parents framed by Mimi V Artworks. You’d never know that the print was actually a photo of a photo - through clever mounting, the team managed to lose the uneven edges that surrounded the print. Two mounts, an off-white and a dark brown with a white beveled edge are used, creating the illusion of extending the photo and adding depth.

A gift for my dad: a photo of his parents framed by Mimi V Artworks. You’d never know that the print was actually a photo of a photo - through clever mounting, the team managed to lose the uneven edges that surrounded the print. Two mounts, an off-white and a dark brown with a white beveled edge are used, creating the illusion of extending the photo and adding depth.

There are three areas to think about when it comes to making the most of your piece - the frame, mounts and glazing.

The Frame

Professional framing is always going to be more expensive than buying a cheap frame from large homeware stores. At home, I have a mix of both - professionally-framed and off-the-shelf. Whilst it isn’t always practical budget-wise, the difference for me comes down to the exceptional level of detail, quality, care and knowledge achieved with professional framing. It is truly incomparable, plus you’re supporting a small, local business.

When going to a framers, the team at Mimi V’s suggest having an idea of budget in mind beforehand so that they can try to accommodate you.

Think about the style of frame and colour you’d like. If this feels daunting, start by looking at what you already have in your home. Will your picture be displayed with a collection of other frames, or will it be on its own? Is your decor style traditional or glam or minimalist? And what about the style of the picture itself?

Top tip: Huge pictures need big wooden frames. Once glass, board and a mount are added, your piece will be really heavy and needs a big frame to support the weight.
— Carlie, Mimi V Artworks

Mounts

My Southbank, London print framed by Mimi V Artworks using two mounts. That subtle splash of red is just enough to enhance the colours in the print without taking anything away from the art.

My Southbank, London print framed by Mimi V Artworks using two mounts. That subtle splash of red is just enough to enhance the colours in the print without taking anything away from the art.

I personally like to use mounts on our travel photos and art that we have in our home. I like the breathing space mounts give to the piece, focusing your eye on the work.

However, colours, especially whites, can be tricky to match to the paper or colours of your piece. There are so many varieties available, some are even shiny, and being able to physically see them, hold them against your piece and discuss with a professional makes all the difference. They can suggest ideas you may never have thought of to enhance your piece. Some pieces don’t even need a mount, whilst others spring to life when a mount is added. Think about what you like and what will go with your decor. Make sure it enhances your picture, rather than becoming a distraction.

Maybe take a picture of the room you are thinking of putting your newly framed artwork in so we can try and match the tones.
— Carlie, Mimi V Artworks

Glazing

Something I never realised was how many different types of glazing options there are. The choice depends on your tastes and also the type of picture.

For vintage, antique or original, Mimi V’s recommend Conservation glass. Whilst this type of glass tends to be the most expensive, it has a 99 year guarantee of UV protection, meaning that your piece will not fade whilst hung up on the wall for 99 years. After that time it would need to be re-glazed. That’s pretty much a lifetime of protection!

Art Glass is what would be used in museums. It is the purest available and looks as if there is no glazing. It’s ideal for highly detailed pieces to really show off the work.

With art glass, you find people longing to touch the picture and end up with finger prints on the glass. It’s not as expensive as conservation glass but is on par quality wise. 
— Carlie, Mimi V artworks

Non Reflect or Matt Glass is great for modern art work, especially for pictures in very light rooms as there is no reflection from it. 

Standard Glass can go on everything but has no protective qualities beyond keeping out dust. 

The team at Mimi V’s prefer standard glass for their prints as it suits most pieces. It is cost effective, keeping the price low so that it’s not too overwhelming when buying a print. Non Reflect works particularly well with pieces that have dark block colours and for limited editions or originals art glass is used to make it extra special. 

Combining it all together

This Avengers poster is one of my all-time favourite examples of professional framing. It blew my mind when I saw this incredible piece - a work of art in itself. The team at Mimi V’s used 6 mounts - yes 6!! - each a different colour and each with a beveled white edge, adding depth to the picture. It was then double-framed to add another dimension. I love the way the gold stands out and links to the gold in the poster. What a stunning piece!

This Avengers poster is one of my all-time favourite examples of professional framing. It blew my mind when I saw this incredible piece - a work of art in itself. The team at Mimi V’s used 6 mounts - yes 6!! - each a different colour and each with a beveled white edge, adding depth to the picture. It was then double-framed to add another dimension. I love the way the gold stands out and links to the gold in the poster. What a stunning piece!

The possibilities with professional framing are endless and when it comes to enhancing and preserving your special pieces and memories for a lifetime and more, it can be invaluable.

InspirationRowana Mallett