Thursday, February 23, 2012

Respectable art for kid’s rooms that doesn’t break the bank

     My daughters taste in artwork is a little different, and maybe a little less sophisticated than my own. So how do you decorate a kid’s room in a way that they like but you can live with, both visually and monetarily? As a picture framer, I’m a bit of a frame snob, so I don’t like the idea of putting up posters with thumbtacks or painting the walls with bright colors or murals. But I still want attractive pieces that I won’t have to throw away in three years when my daughter doesn’t like orange anymore.  Here are some of the things that are in her room, and how they can be modified for the future:

Magnet board: This is a fun project for any room, but especially good in a kid’s room. The frame is a standard size, and the middle is made of sheet metal covered with fabric.  Choose a neutral frame, and change out the fabric when the room’s d├ęcor changes.

Stretcher bar: In the shop we do a lot of canvas stretching, and we use stretcher bars.  This particular one was a miss-cut that I took home and stapled on some ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ fabric. Again, in the future you can change out the fabric for instant art.  This is also a good piece for over a bed or crib because it’s light and has no glass!
 Photo Frames:  We see “new works of art” produced almost daily  in our house and some of them are way better  than others.  They can all look good in a very fancy black frame, just like in a museum.  This piece was done on printer paper with dry erase markers!
What you end up with is the perfect compromise. Your child gets art they actually like, and you get pieces that are well framed, don’t cost a fortune and can be changed for very little investment. Now all I have to worry about is convincing my daughter that the next fabric on her pieces should not be ‘Cars 2’.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Jen here from The Great Frame Up in Charlottesville, Virginia. As a small business owner, my life is pretty interesting. I'm a picture framer first, so some days I'll be cutting mats, mounting items into shadowboxes, or helping customers design great framing treatments. But I also research the home decor, fashion, and picture framing trends to keep our customers' projects current. I go to marketing meetings where I get to design print ads or record radio spots, and some days I do boring stuff like pay bills.

Follow along to get a behind the scenes look at the coolest frame shop in the world...mine!