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What are the Different Types of Picture Frames?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 16, 2024
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Gone are the days of plain, boring picture frames. Today, you can find frame designs to complement any decor. They are great for exhibiting favorite photographs or artwork, but with the many types and styles now available, they are also considered a design element.

For example, if you prefer traditional design, you would probably select picture frames with traditional styling to coordinate with other pieces in your space. If you have a very contemporary design plan, you would most likely choose frames with clean lines. Metallic styles, such as gold or silver leaf, are more appropriate for formal, glamorous decorating schemes. With a more rustic style of decorating, a picture frame made from twigs or grapevine may be the perfect touch, while padded, fabric covered styles work great with country decor.

Picture frames also come in an assortment of textures and finishes, including faux finishes, such as a weathered, "distressed" look. This style adds charm to country decor, goes well with antiques, or adds a unique element to eclectic designs. Aside from textures and finishes, many frames also serve different functions.

There are great frames available to display memorabilia from special events. These include large matting surrounding a smaller photo, providing space for people included in the event to sign their names or add sentimental statements. Complete with markers, these are great for kids and perfect for capturing memories of championship ballgames, prom, birthday parties, or any other special occasion.

For family and friends, especially those that live far away, "talking" picture frames make great gifts. These allow the giver to record a brief message or a piece of music, which the recipient can play and enjoy again and again. Grandparents love to receive pictures of their grandchildren, but when the gift also includes a message in the child's voice, it is even more special.

There are also poster frames, landscape frames, and portrait frames, along with an assortment of other styles and functions. Most are affordable and come complete with the hardware necessary to hang them easily.

Aside from retail picture frames, you can certainly have custom frames made if you desire. While these frames are more costly, the work is guaranteed and you know you will get exactly what you want. You can design custom picture frames yourself, or work with an artisan to create heirloom quality pieces that you and your family will treasure for years to come.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Valencia — On May 22, 2011

Vintage frames are the classiest type in my opinion. I just bought a beautiful, unique wooden oval picture frame, with intricate latticework.

Apart from being lovely to look at I know there's not much chance of anyone else having one. Now I just have to decide what to put inside it!

By yumdelish — On May 20, 2011

I bought talking picture frames for all the grandparents last christmas. It's really easy to record your child speaking, so long as they can say everything they want in around ten seconds.

So far they are holding up well, and I'm sure they'll be a wonderful keepsake for many years to come.

By Acracadabra — On May 18, 2011

It's not exactly the same as this article topic, but I wanted to mention the amazing digital picture frames you can buy these days.

My parents live across the country from us and have no clue about computers or the Internet. While trying to figure out a way they could see new photos of our baby quite easily we found this great solution.

Every night we can upload picturs and they're sent directly to the digital frame. My mom checks them out first thing every morning, and then changes the setting to slideshow mode for the rest of the day.

I would say this is a great resource to have, in addition to the more regular still photographs you can frame and display on the wall.

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