While what is considered vintage can vary, the design should reference some of the classic shapes and patterns of past decades to really nail the look. If you want to honor your photographs or artwork with elegant picture frames, vintage ones are ideal.
Why should you buy a vintage picture frame?
Vintage picture frames are made to draw some attention with their delicate scrolls, curved edges, and complex designs. They are made for people that want to make a statement with their decor and are great for bringing a touch of elegance into your home. Their extremely intricate designs signal a level of importance to the photo the frame contains. If creating a dramatic yet sophisticated look is your goal, then a vintage frame can help you accomplish it with ease.
What should you consider in a vintage picture frame?
- Size: Depending on your space and the clarity of the photo, you can find a variety of size options in picture frames. The most common sizes are 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, and 11×14, allowing you to fill shelf space or add variety to your walls. However, it’s important to note the weight of the frame when considering size, as larger frames will require more hardwire and installation.
- Construction: Photo frames are displayed on a tabletop or mounted on a wall, with some frames offering construction to allow both options. Additionally, the clarity of the glazing (the transparent material between the frame and the photo) can affect how the picture is perceived. Glass is extremely scratch-resistant but heavy, while plastic is much lighter and less likely to shatter but doesn’t always look as high-quality.
- Frame Thickness: Vintage frame designs often utilize scrolls and plant motifs to create an eye-catching look. However, the intricacy that’s required for that design means that more frames space is needed. You won’t find a lot of slim frames made in the vintage look, so prepare your display space for a couple of extra inches beyond your photo size.
Are vintage frames more expensive than standard frames?
The beautiful designs might seem like they would be more expensive, but unless you are eyeing high-end materials, most vintage frame designs can be affordable. The more complex the design is, the higher the price tag will be, so if you don’t want to overdo it, look for a vintage frame with an elegant but simple design.
Laura Ashley Gold Ornate Picture Frame
Get the classic look with the faux-metallic color and intricate detailing of this frame.
Pros: The elegant bends and greenery-inspired carvings of this picture frame make it a beautiful vintage addition to your decor. Inspired by the baroque style, this frame includes the classic scrolls and beaded inner design that is characteristic of the time period. Its velvet backing includes an easel for tabletop displays and built-in hooks for a vertical or horizontal wall display. Ranging in size from 2×3 to 8×10, this picture frame option can be used to house wedding portraits, family photos, or other special moments.
Cons: The material of this frame is plastic, which might detract from the elegant look of the design. Additionally, the price might seem steep given the material.
Bottom Line: This frame’s baroque design showcases the best of the 17th-century style. The material doesn’t appear expensive, but the patterns do offer you a way to make a bold statement with your photo display.
SIMON'S SHOP Baroque Oval Frame
The rounded designs on this oval frame make it great for drawing attention to the photo.
Pros: If you want a portrait to stand out, this oval frame can help create a beautiful halo around your photo’s subject. The resin base is individually hand-painted to create a more authentic gold look. While the frame shape is great for hanging on the wall, it can also be placed on a tabletop with the support of the easel arm. If the entirely gold shine isn’t your style, this frame also comes in a black and gold color that is suited to a darker aesthetic.
Cons: This frame is made out of resin rather than plastic, making it heavier and less durable if it were to fall on the floor. The easel arm and hanging hardware are only oriented for a vertical portrait, limiting the frame’s use.
Bottom Line: This frame stands out for its added delicacy in a design style that usually leans towards extravagance. While it has fewer orientation options than others, its design is ideal for framing portraits.
SIMON'S SHOP Antique Frame
Vintage and modern design come together in the wide array of colors offered for this frame.
Pros: Are you looking to personalize your vintage frame to your style? The eight color options for this frame will let you explore your bold personality. From pink to light green and lilac to gold, there is a hue that will fit right into your decor. No matter what color you choose, a light brush of gold is placed at the top of the scroll and bead designs to add a touch of beauty that signifies its vintage inspiration. The square shape allows you to display it on a tabletop or hang it at either orientation.
Cons: The glass is adhered to the frame, so it won’t be a good choice for those looking to have an opening to their art or photo. The frame is also limited to two large sizes: 8×10 and 11×14.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a versatile vintage frame option, this is the product for you. While the sizes are limited, the various color options allow you to put your own twist on the antique look.
Isaac Jacobs International Metal Floating Picture Frame
Explore a different kind of vintage aesthetic with the industrial look of this unique frame.
Pros: This floating frame combines the modern love for simplicity with the vintage allure of antique gold to create something timeless and eye-catching. It’s easy to place your photo between the two glass panes with the help of the latch system. The frame comes in several sizes that allow you to create the perfect fit for your favorite photo. As a bonus, you can also use the frame to hold pressed flowers or other thin items.
Cons: This frame is somewhat limited as you have to know the orientation of your photo before purchasing because the frames are not individually made for both horizontal or vertical display. It also doesn’t have the hardware for wall hanging.
Bottom Line: The gold color of this frame brings in a vintage touch to a more modern design, giving you a frame that fits contemporary decor. The lack of traditional design elements only makes way for an interesting display format.
Traditional frames aren’t the standard for contemporary design. With vintage picture frames, you can enjoy intricate designs, beautiful colors, and bold features that will elevate your space. While the baroque style isn’t for those with an eye for minimalism, these frames add elegance to a photo. If you have a special moment that needs a grand frame, the vintage style is a great option.