Here are some tips from a professional picture framer to have a great frame shop visit.
-Call ahead. If you tell the frame shop a bit about your project ahead of time, they can research the item and look for creative ideas for presentation. The frame shop put together a presentation of images that will show you the possibilities. They can pull frame corners ahead of time that might work for you. If you are a previous client they can look up your style preferences.
-Make an appointment. Framers wear many hats but if they are expecting you, they will be more focused on your project.
-Take photos of the space where your picture framing will hang. Bring in paint chips, fabric swatches or floor samples if it matters to you. Show your framer pictures of your home or office or what you would like your room to resemble.
-Measure the area(s) where it might hang. Describing a space as “small” or “large” might be a bit general to design proportions for framing.
-If you are not quite sure, ask if you can borrow samples to take back home or to the office.
-If your framer is experienced they should be guiding you to a design that is both structurally sound and tasteful. Be open to new ideas and feel free to ask questions. Ask to see examples if you can’t visualize.
-Creating a great design takes time so don’t be rushed. If you bring a lot of items all at once, it might be too much for one session.
-Tell your framer if you have time constraints, budget limitations, or if the item will be shipped. Framers are usually flexible and want to work with you.
Susan Gittlen is one of seventy Master Certified Picture Framers worldwide and has been professionally framing at Whispering Woods Gallery in Holland, PA since 1986. She has won numerous framing industry awards from the Professional Picture Framers Association and Larson Juhl. She has had several articles published in Picture Framing Magazine.