Oval frames are a unique and decorative way to display any portrait. However, not all portraits work well in oval picture frames. To help you make the best picture selection for your oval frame there are three questions you should ask:
Question #1: What type of picture do you want your oval frame for?
The first thing you should consider is the type of photo you want to display- is it a portrait, a candid, a landscape or still life photo? Normally, oval frames look best with portraits of people. Oval picture frames are meant to beautifully highlight a formal picture and are generally not suitable for informal candid shots. The simplicity of the oval shape frame lends elegance to the image it frames which is why a picture with one or two people grouped closely together is usually best. However, you can have a picture of a group and still have it look nice in an oval frame as long as it's not cropped too tightly.
If you are considering an oval picture frame but not sure if it would be the best selection for your photo, duplicate the oval shape of the frame, either with a purchased mat or by cutting a sheet of paper, and placing it over your picture. You will know right away if the oval shape looks good with your picture. If it looks good, now you just have to choose your oval frame. If it doesn't, search for a different frame shape.
Question #2: What kind of oval frame do you want?
In addition to the type of photo you want to frame, you should also consider where you plan to display your oval frame. Before you get an oval frame, always know how you want to display it. Do you want to hang it on the wall or place it on a table or dresser? Be sure to always check the oval frame before you buy it to see how it can be displayed because many oval frames are designed with either hanging hardware or an easel back stand but few have both. This often overlooked step is important to help you properly narrow down your frame selection.
Next thing to consider is the type of material and style. There are a lot of choices when it comes to styles of oval picture frames. Do you want a wood picture frame or a metal one? With oval wood frames, there amount of decorative ornamentation on the frame will vary depending upon the type of wood frame. Solid wood oval frames usually come with little to no decoration on the frame while composite wood frames generally have more ornamentation on the frame because the composite wood is easier to mold. Oval wood picture frames are usually most popular in rich wood tones like vintage walnut, rosewood and cherry or antique colors like gold or silver.
Metal oval picture frames are another option but they are often made for displaying on table tops instead of hanging on a wall. Metal oval picture frames are easy to find in small sizes and are usually adorned with crystals, beads or other decorative features. If you're looking for a quality, well made frame you should consider a solid pewter, silver plate or sterling silver picture frame. These frames will be more expensive than aluminum or metal alloy oval frames but they will last a long time and be enjoyed for many years.
Your personal style preferences and the photo you want to frame are ultimately what will determine what oval picture frame is best for you. However, don't make the mistake of selecting a frame you love without any consideration to how the photo will look.
Question #3: What frame style does your picture go best with?
The best place to start when selecting a frame if often to start with the color of the frame. Here is a good general rule of thumb for selecting a color:
* Antiqued silver frames are a wonderful choice for black and white photos
* Antiqued gold frames are great with sepia prints and also look good with black and white photos.
* Wood tones like walnut, cherry or rosewood look good with anything and are a safe choice if you are unsure.
Once you've selected your color, you'll now need to determine the type of style that will best complement your photo. But first, let's get a good understanding of the different styles of oval frames and how they best meet different needs.
Photos of women always look great in a feminine looking frame. A feminine look can be anything from flowery ornamentation to decorative features on the top and bottom of the frame or a decorative edge like beading outlining the oval shape of the frame. Most feminine looking oval frames tend to have a traditional or classic style.
For photos of men or boys, you'll want a simple classic oval frame with little or no decorative ornamentation on it so the frame has a more masculine appearance. However, for a young boys picture, a small amount of decoration on the frame can highlight the photo nicely.
Black and white, sepia and any other old fashioned looking photos will go beautifully in an antique style oval frame. Most antique frames have some sort of decorative ornamentation on the frame either around the edge or on the top and bottom of the frame. Many antique picture frames have a dark underlying color around the ornamentation to give it an aged look that helps to accentuate the decorative features.
With so many colors and styles, make sure to choose a frame that complements both your photo and your home's decor. Once you've answered these questions, you'll have the information you need to find the perfect oval picture frame for your favorite photo.
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