Top 10 Tips for Styling Black Picture Frames

Black picture frames are a versatile and stylish choice for any home. With our guidance and your creative vision, you can effortlessly incorporate black frames into your interior design. In this article, we'll share our top 10 tips for making the most of black picture frames in your living space.

Black picture frames are incredibly versatile and can complement a wide range of artwork styles. Their timeless and elegant nature ensures they can enhance the visual appeal of various types of artwork. That’s what makes them so popular.

  • Black and white photography: The classic combination of black and white photography with black frames creates a stunning and sophisticated display. The monochromatic aesthetic lets the viewer focus on the image’s composition and subject matter. To further enhance the visual impact, choose a frame style and finish that complements the texture and style of your monochromatic piece. Get more style advice for framing monochrome art.
  • Bold, colourful artwork: A black frame can provide a striking contrast against vibrant and bold artwork. By surrounding colourful pieces with a black frame, you can emphasise the colours within the artwork and create a visually engaging display.
  • Minimalist or abstract pieces: Black frames can enhance the contemporary and modern feel of minimalist or abstract art. The simplicity of a black frame complements the clean lines and geometric shapes often found in these styles of art.
  • Typography or graphic prints: The clean and defined edges of a black picture frame can work harmoniously with typography or graphic prints. The frame’s structure helps accentuate the visual impact of text or graphic elements.
  • Vintage or historical artwork: Pairing vintage or historical pieces with an ornate black frame can create a sense of elegance and sophistication. The black frame can add depth and richness to the artwork, evoking a feeling of timelessness.

Because they’re so versatile, you can confidently display a wide range of artwork styles, but where do you start when designing and picking a suitable black frame?

1. Choose the Right Frame Size

Selecting the perfect frame size is crucial for achieving a balanced look. To help you make the right choice, measure your artwork and wall space to determine the ideal frame size for your room. Black frames can make a bold statement in larger sizes, while smaller frames can add subtle accents. To get started with frame sizes, take a look at our picture frame size guide. You might be wondering whether you need a black custom frame or black picture frame – we have a guide for helping you choose between custom or standard sizes.

2. Coordinate with Your Colour Scheme

Black picture frames can complement or contrast with various colour schemes, creating a harmonious and stylish appearance. Identify the primary colours in your room and consider how black frames can enhance these shades. Black frames work particularly well with:

  • Monochromatic colour schemes
  • Bold, contrasting colours like red or yellow
  • Neutral palettes, adding depth and elegance

In some cases, other frame colours might be more suitable, such as white frames for a light and airy atmosphere or gold frames for a more traditional and luxurious feel. Explore our range of frame colours to get started.

3. Experiment with Frame Styles and Materials

Black picture frames come in various styles, such as ornate, minimalist, and contemporary. Choose a frame style that complements your interior design and enhances the overall look of your space. Black frames can add sophistication to modern or industrial settings while working well in traditional or classic environments. Browse our selection of black frame styles and consider the following options:

  • Ornate black frames for a traditional or luxurious look
  • Minimalist black frames for a modern or Scandinavian style
  • Contemporary black frames for an eclectic or industrial vibe

Should I choose a wood or metal frame?

Wood and metal black picture frames each offer their unique characteristics and can complement different interior styles and artwork types.

Wood frames often provide a more traditional, warm, and natural appearance, while metal frames look sleeker, more contemporary, and minimalist. Check out our wood vs metal frame buying guide for more help.

When should I opt for an ornate black frame versus a simple one?

Ornate black frames work well with traditional or luxurious interior styles, while simple black frames are better suited for modern or minimalist designs.

Ornate vs simple black frames - which to choose
Ornate frames work well in traditional interiors and art

How do I decide between a matte or glossy black frame finish?

The choice between a matte or glossy finish depends on your artwork and the overall style of your interior. A matte finish can provide a subtle, understated look, while a glossy finish adds glamour and drama.

A gallery wall featuring black picture frames can create a cohesive and visually striking display. Black frames can help unify diverse artworks and create a sense of harmony. Plan a gallery wall layout, incorporating black picture frames in different sizes and orientations. For tips on arranging a gallery wall, check out our guide to designing the perfect gallery wall or gallery wall inspiration.

5. Use them as a Focal Point

A large black picture frame can be a focal point in a room, drawing attention to your artwork and creating visual interest. Select a prominent location, ensuring the frame enhances the room’s overall appearance. Consider the positioning of your artwork to maximise its impact.

Expert Tip: Use a Mount to Draw Even More Attention

Black frames can be paired with a wide range of mounts. White or off-white mats are classic choices, while coloured mounts can add a pop of contrast. To maintain harmony, choose mounts colours that complement the artwork.

Play with mounts to create a focal point
Play with mount borders to create a focal point

6. Mix and Match with Other Frame Colours

Combining black frames with other colours, such as gold, silver, or white, can create a visually appealing display. Black frames can ground a mixed arrangement or contrast lighter-coloured frames. Experiment with mixing black frames with other frame colours. Explore our fusion collection for products that pair well in a mix-and-match style display.

7. Incorporate Frames into Shelving Displays

Add black picture frames to your bookshelves or floating shelves for an eye-catching display. Black frames can add depth and contrast to your shelving arrangements, creating a visually interesting and dynamic display. Arrange black picture frames on your shelves, taking care to maintain balance and visual harmony with other objects. Remember to coordinate your frames with other decorative items.

8. Use Frames in Unexpected Places

Get creative by placing black picture frames in unconventional locations like kitchens, bathrooms, or hallways. In these spaces, black frames can add a touch of sophistication and visual interest. Identify unusual locations where framed art could create a surprising and stylish addition to your home. Make sure to choose appropriate artwork for these spaces, considering factors like:

  • Room function (formal vs relaxed)
  • Who uses the room (children vs adults)
  • Available wall space

For more help hanging your frames, check out our hanging guide.

9. Play with Frame Orientation

Alternate between portrait and landscape orientations. Black frames can add structure and balance to your layout, regardless of the orientation. Plan your frame arrangement, experimenting with different orientations before hanging.

How can I create visual interest with black picture frames in a minimalist interior design?

To create visual interest in a minimalist setting, experiment with different frame styles, such as slim, bold, or textured black frames.

10. Consider Frame Groupings

Group black picture frames together for a bold, cohesive look. Black frames can create a dramatic and eye-catching effect when arranged in groups.

Mixing various black frame styles in a single arrangement can create an eclectic and visually engaging display. Consider using a unifying theme, a consistent colour palette, or similar frame proportions to achieve a well-planned look.

Bonus Tip: Frame a Canvas

Don’t be afraid to mix black canvas frames with traditional black wood or metal picture frames. By incorporating one of our canvas floater frames, you can add variety to a gallery wall or create a singular focal point in your room. This unique framing option brings a new dimension to artwork presentation, combining the sophistication of black frames with the textured depth of canvas. It’s ideal for a range of artistic styles, from abstract paintings to monochrome photographs, black canvas frames serve as a versatile second choice when framing your artwork and photography.

Expert Opinion: Highlighting Artwork

The primary purpose of any frame is to showcase your artwork, but canvas frames are particularly effective at drawing attention to the details within the art. Because canvas art doesn’t sit behind glass, your picture has a more authentic and textured appearance. You’ll also want to choose artwork that benefits from the contrasing shadow gap, such as bright, colourful pieces or striking black and white photographs.

Black canvas floater frame
Choose artwork that benefits from the contrasing shadow gap that a canvas floater frame offers


Use the tips to get started and create the perfect frame with our online frame designer. With our guidance and your personal touch, you can create a look that showcases your art in a stylish, timeless frame. If you want more help and styling advice for choosing a picture frame in general, check out our piece on choosing a frame.