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5 Most Popular Types of Picture Frames

The perfect frame can turn a simple photograph into an artistic display, complimenting any wall, mantle, or tabletop. But with all the different types of picture frames available, how do you know which one is right for your photograph or space? From a standard frame to gallery style, we’ll list some of the most popular frames, their best uses, and the ideal places to display them.

How Different Types of Picture Frames Can Compliment Your Home

While there are numerous types of picture frames, they also come in a variety of colors and materials. Many also have features that are meant to highlight a specific type of photograph or memento. Our guide can help narrow down the plethora of choices to make the right decorative decision.

#1 – Standard Picture Frames

Standard frames are one of the most popular picture frame styles for their very simplicity. With their plain, solid colors and materials, these frames focus attention on what’s being displayed and fit in anywhere from homes to offices.

But just because they’re plain doesn’t mean these frames can’t lend their own artistic expression. They come in a variety of colors that can be mixed and matched to create a bright wall display or complement any color scheme. Colored standard frames can even be used to highlight a particular hue in a photograph, bringing certain elements to life.

types of picture frames

#2 – Gallery Frames

These types of picture frames are also simply designed, with plain, solid materials, but use a mat to make a photograph stand out. This double frame effect draws the eye inward, to what’s inside.

As their name suggests, gallery frames work best when mounted on a wall with others, creating a museum-like effect for special photographs. Mixing and matching gallery frames of different sizes and finishes can make for a varied display, ideal for accent walls, stairwells, or hallways.

styles of picture frames

#3 – Decorative Frames

In direct contrast to standard and gallery frames, these types of frames stand out on their own. With bright colors, sayings, carvings, or pictures, these frames can correspond to a photograph’s theme or the decorative style of where it’s displayed. In either case, decorative frames match its contents or the decor around it to create a cohesive motif.

Decorative frames can highlight a tabletop or personalize wall space. With a variety of themes, sayings, or decorative flourishes, they make excellent personalized gifts for specific tastes or to commemorate particular moments.

types of frames

#4 – Floating Frames

True to their name, floating frames consist solely of clear glass or plastic so its contents appear to be floating on the wall. These are the best picture frames for featuring a large, special photograph, as a lack of surrounding color or material focuses the eye on it alone.

When displaying floating frames, we recommend making it the sole centerpiece of a wall. This not only makes the picture stand out as a statement piece but can turn a blank wall into an artistic focal point.

best picture frames
Image: HuffPost

#5 – Shadowbox Frames

While most styles of picture frames are designed for photographs, a shadow box frame can display three-dimensional objects. It has a deeper inset that can accommodate sports mementos, baby shoes, coins, jewelry, or other commemorative objects. 

Shadowbox frames usually have a simple design with an interior mat or solid background that highlights its contents. While most frames of this type are designed for wall displays, smaller versions can be the perfect accent for a dresser or tabletop.

good picture frames for walls

Knowing how different types of picture frames complement your photos and surroundings can create the perfect display for your personal or professional space. Has your glass frame suffered a crack or chip? GlassWest can perform a professional picture frame glass replacement to quickly restore its appeal.

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