I Framed Them All | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


A picture frame has the function of exhibiting an idea. It keeps the viewer’ eye inside of its borders without letting the surroundings distract his/her fantasy. A picture frame also functions as a curtain over a stage, which like a theatre play will immerse the viewers in the mind of the artist.

A picture frame must not attract attention to itself, it must be decorative enough to embellish the artwork and complement it, while remaining in second position.
Gold, silver, black, white or natural woods are generally the frames most used to dress an image and to stay behind the scene, sort of speaking. (Click each photo to view it larger).


©Valentina Cirasola


What if you have an interesting image you want to frame regardless of the intrinsic value? Or what if you went to a second-hand store and found the perfect frame for an art piece you painted yourself? In both cases you might want to treat the frame as the dress for the image. Decide which is the colors inside of the image you like to pick up and carry it on the pass-par-tout (matt) and on the frame itself. The result will be a very decorative and original piece for your wall.

The procedure to decorate a frame in your style is very simple. You must first decide if you want the frame to show the wood grain, or if you want to paint the frame in color.

If you have a frame in natural wood and want to keep it natural, then you only need to use a clear, non-yellowing varnish, or perhaps use a varnish with a wood tone color, such as Mahogany tone, cherry wood tone, oak tone and much more. Let it dry, add the image and nothing needs to be done. Wash your brush in water when using a water base varnish; for oil-based varnish, use turpentine to wash your brushes.


The challenge comes if you wish to have a colored frame. Don’t le it scare you though, painting a picture frame is a fun project. First choose the color, based as I said earlier, on some color details inside of the image. If the frame is used, from a flea market, you need to sand off the original color almost to the bare wood. Paint a white base coat to cover all wood imperfection and then apply a coat or two of the color of your liking. Acrylic or flat latex paints are both good choices and the brushes used for these paints are washable in water.

©Valentina Cirasola

Now, you might want to leave the frame with a couple of paint coats, or continue to further embellish it. If you look at my minstrel image (above), you will notice that the frame picks up some colors of the image. To add some depth and interest, I also added some gold design on top of the frame painted Chartreuse green. That detail came from a photo of a medieval fabric, just to be in tune with the subject, I outlined it free hand on the frame and then painted the lines in gold with a small brush.

I painted the frame black to echo the black and white silhouette of the subject and added some bronze color rosettes in each corners to also echoes some bronze details in the weathervane sketch.

©Valentina Cirasola


The striped frame picks up the color of the lady’s dress. Green, opposite to pink on the color wheel is the perfect complement. To paint this frame, I calculated first how many stripes I wanted, divided the length of each side by the number of stripes; with pencil and ruler I marked the space, then I painted all the pink stripes followed by the green stripes.

©Valentina Cirasola


Aside from these examples, you can attach many objects to a painted frame as your fancy strikes and really show your creativity.

Looking at artwork made by masters it puzzles me to see how perfect anonymous people have framed famous art for centuries, making it appear as the art and the frame were born together. When you will design your artwork and the frame to go with it, your creation will be twice as much as precious.

The fall brings a new energy, new light and new color, a home should reflect the change in nature. This is the right time to ask me for advice on how to bring that new energy to your surroundings. Ciao.

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She blends well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual.
Check out her books on 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. petit4chocolatier
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 00:56:12

    Beautiful frames! I have a frame fetish and am constantly looking for older ones at second hand stores.



    • Valentina
      Oct 10, 2012 @ 01:18:44

      I do too Judy. I just bought one today that looks like a ballerina waist. It will go to my niece.
      Thank you for following my blog.



  2. island traveler
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 18:36:35

    Beautiful Art pieces and the frame compliments them so well. Thanks.



  3. Amy
    Aug 29, 2012 @ 20:30:09

    Just beautiful! It would be nice if someday we get to see how you decorate your own house…



  4. leblogdemarie
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 03:07:30

    Thanks so much for the follow and all of your kind comments! You have a lovely blog and I look forward to following you as well!



  5. bluebutterfliesandme
    Aug 23, 2012 @ 05:06:05

    It is all in the framing. I had a friend with a mat cutter, matting is everything. lol



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Janaline's world journey

My Strange, Wonderful Experiences and Adventures as I Travel through the World

From my guardaviñas

Sharing ideas. Photos, travels, music, History, stories, feelings...

Dancer Attitude

"Shoot for the top"

Modern Tropical

Art & decor for your endless summer

For the Love of Light | APK Photography

Personal stories from behind the lens of fine art and travel photographer Allison Kendall

Loleta Abi Author & Book Blogger

Love, Family, and the Journey Home

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

Jean's Writing

Jean M. Cogdell, Author-Writing something worth reading, one word at a time in easy to swallow bite size portions.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Sisi Hidupku

my mobile diary...

valentina design universe

Entertainment, TV Shows, Design Shows, Public TV,

Valentina Expressions

Luxury for Comfortable Living and Good Life Through Designs, Style, Travel, Food

Katrina Perkins

A force of Nature, with intense acting skills.

Postcards from Italy---Natalia Sarkissian

stories, one postcard at a time

In So Many Words

Creative writing inspired by life, love, laughter ... and a horse named Shakespeare

Art Gowns

The Art of Glamorous Fantasy

Paula Acton

Scribblings of an Aspiring Author


"La flamme des cuisines."

Teagan's Books

Founder of the Three Things Method of Storytelling, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene


Any old world uncovered by new writing

The Love of History

Another site/blog for loving history

Life is too short to drink bad wine

La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world


a journey of discovery with my camera...


Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Chasing Destino

Free mom hugs

This Man's Journey

Home is where our story begins.

%d bloggers like this: