In my apartment I have mostly black frames

In my apartment I have mostly black frames


Yesterday I mentioned that there are two things that I always stop to think about – one is lampshades and the other is framing. Two things to think about: how do you select a frame to go with your artwork and secondly, how do you mat it. 

I love frames. I’ve done empty frames mounted on walls to create a graphic pattern. There’s something surreal about an empty frame. Because of my photography collection I’m always framing something new and I try to look at the art and see what it calls for. Does it call for a plain 1 x ¾ inch frame or does it need a metal leaf finish like gold, platinum or silver or maybe mahogany or bleached wood? 

At the beach all my frames are bleached wood, white or silver. In the city I have a larger percentage of black, mahogany and some gold leaf frames. If it’s drawings – unless it’s old-master drawings – I like them floating on a mat, which gives it a more expansive look. If I’m doing it over mat I usually do 3” on all four sides. I know a lot of people like to make the bottom mat slightly larger but I like the evenness all round. If it’s a more formal photograph I like platinum-finished photograph, I like a silver double bevel which brings up the image, if not, I do a mat out of rag board (a double-double), which gives it some separation from the mat. In selecting mats I try to see the different tonalities, how they work with the artwork and part of the selection process is to decide what you want the mat to do – to blend in with the photograph or stand out from the piece of art. 

At the beach house, the art has lighter frames

At the beach house, the art has lighter frames

A piece of art cheaply framed or with wrong proportions and scale can detract enormously from the piece. I know it can be expensive, but if you’ve already invested in the art, you should finish it properly. It’s like buying a wonderful dress and wearing it with cheap, wrong shoes. 

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in framing was using glass instead of Lucite/plastic. It was an expensive photograph and the piece fell of the wall and when the glass shattered it destroyed the photograph. That was a hard lesson to learn. 

How you hang your piece is also important – two hooks on either side of the frame or a wire in the back. I’ve found that the best way is to hang it from two hooks instead of a center one. Like this it prevents it from going crooked and another secret of the trade is to put rubber tabs in the lower part of the back of the frame so it won’t move on the wall. 

Do you have any hanging suggestions or mishaps to share?



LampshadesThere are two things that always sort of make me stop and think when I’m doing it. One is lampshades and the other is framing. Working out the proportion of the shade to the lamp to not make it too short, too squat or too big – and that is something that really has to be done with your eye. I prefer lampshades that are slightly slanted to straight ones that I find can easily look old fashioned. When you need to choose a shade, if you have a chance to bring the lamp to a shop that sells lampshades that’s the best thing to do as you can try different shades. Too small of a lampshade is like pants that are too short and show the ankle, and too big just looks out of proportion, so be sure to step back and look at the lampshade on the lamp to ensure that it’s a pleasing proportion.

More about my thoughts on framing tomorrow…

Terrazzo Floors

What do you put on the floor of a house when dining is for 26 people, half of the time and 14, the other half? With children running, spilling and scuffing and where a lot of maintenance is a luxury that the homeowner cannot afford? I was lucky to have them love the idea of using terrazzo floors, which we did throughout the whole first floor with carpet areas in the den and in the TV room. To make it look less like the typical building terrazzo we created a very monolithic and monochromatic coloration in the aggregates, playing with different thicknesses of feature stripping, from an 1/8th of an inch to a ¼ to a ½ inch, the floors became an enormous addition to what was not an enormous house. I always have a big problem if the client does not want wood, carpet or stone floors, but in this case terrazzo was a perfect answer. Have any of you used terrazzo or the new composite floors that get installed and polished like terrazzo, but no longer have to be concrete and an inch and a ¼ thick? It reduces the weight and makes it a lot cleaner installation. I’ll be posting photographs once it’s finished and in final condition.

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