How to Choose the Perfect Oval Picture Frame

Jan 8


Autumn Lockwood

Autumn Lockwood

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Learn what three questions you should when selecting an oval picture frame. By answering these 3 questions you'll always choose an oval picture frame that goes beautifully with your photo.

Oval picture frames are a decorative and unique way to display any portrait or favorite photo. However,How to Choose the Perfect Oval Picture Frame Articles 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? Oval picture frames almost always look best with portraits of people in them. Oval frames are best used to highlight a formal picture or portrait and usually don't look good with informal candid photos. 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 does, continue your search for an oval picture 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 is an important (and often overlooked) step that will help you narrow down your selection.

The next thing to think about is the type of material and style. There are lots of different styles and finishes to choose from with oval picture frames. Do you want a wood picture frame or a metal one? With wood oval frames, there are varying degrees of decoration 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 frames are another option, but are commonly designed for table top displays instead of wall picture frames. 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.

The picture you want to frame and your personal style preferences are ultimately what determine what oval picture frame is best for you. However, don't make the mistake of choosing an oval frame you like without considering what picture you want to display in it.

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.
  • Classic wood finishes like cherry, rosewood and walnut look great with just about anything and are always a safe bet if you're not sure.

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.

Pictures of women will look great in a feminine looking oval frame. A feminine looking frame usually has a decorative or flowery ornamentation on the top and bottom of the frame or a beaded or decorative edge outlining the oval 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 photo a small amount of youthful decoration will nicely highlight the photo.

Black and white, sepia or any picture with an old-fashioned look will blend beautifully with an antique style of frame. These frames have some type of ornamentation around the exterior of the frame to give it a traditional or antique look. 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.