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Choosing The Perfect Art and Frames

Custom Framing for our Home Office With Framebridge

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As you know Brian works out of a separate guest/office suite downstairs. It has previously doubled as a storage room for leftover EVERYTHING which makes him surprisingly less bummed than I would be. So we are slowly making it a proper place for him to work out of.

A year ago we emptied out this room and handed it over to him but half of the space still needed to function as a working guest room as we do have his parents come into town every so often for visits. This is how it looked once we divided the spaces and cleaned it out.

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I wanted the design to be more traditional/dude than the rest of the house so we had the desk custom built, the walls lime-washed and then it sat in that state for months, as it wasn’t at the top of the priority list.

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So when Framebridge reached out and were interested in a sponsored post I figured it was the perfect excuse to infuse the space with some personality and art by custom framing some of my pieces through their services and finally finish it up for him. For those of you not familiar with Framebridge, you should be, we love them and have used them ALL THE TIME in projects where we want fast, affordable and pretty frames that are custom sizes. Ginny framed a lot of her art with Framebridge, Brady framed his two huge living room pieces with Framebridge, and I have art scattered all throughout my house that they have framed. In short they are an online company that custom frames basically anything to your specifications with their huge selection of over 40 styles – which is a game changer as custom framing up to this point has been expensive and intimidating, and these guys have so many good options at a much more affordable price point.

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So, lets get into what we did down there to turn the space from neglected to perfected. The desk space really is a working desk space for Brian every single day so we wanted to keep it pretty clear of too much that he didn’t really need access to every single day, but I still wanted it to be interesting and engaging so that when we did have guests over they didn’t feel like they were sharing a space with an empty and uninspiring office area. We had a HUGE wall above the desk that sat empty for way too long as I debated what I wanted to do with it. I offered a bulletin, white or magnet board and he said ‘meh’ to any of them. As a reminder this is what it used to look like:

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I had toyed around with the idea of a large gallery wall but that felt too predictable and could look busy, and I also thought of possibly putting one large piece of art there, but that could end up being too expensive and wasn’t the best place for large scale art what with the two library lights we had installed in the space, so then I realized that this was the perfect space for some art ledges. The reason being it would allow Brian/Me to display art, accessories, books on one large surface and easily swap it out to our hearts content – which is perfect for me as I seem to change things up on the daily – like the total design schitzophrenic I am.

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Once we had the ledges up on the wall it came time to select art and the even more fun part – the frames and matting for all of them. Like I mentioned earlier,  Framebridge really has changed the game when it comes to custom framing options. They have over 40 styles and can basically frame anything both large and small, digital or original. They also have complimentary design consultation services where if you aren’t quite sure what frame/option may work for your art their trusted professionals can help you select one or all of your frames. This is especially helpful if you are planning a large gallery wall, or have a lot of pieces that you want to feel cohesive. For the frames in this space I wanted an eclectic collection of pieces, colors, and styles so that once it was all installed it felt thoughtful and collected.

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One of my favorite aspects of Framebridge is that you really can customize anything to be framed the way that you want. Once you select your art that you want to frame, their site walks you through the process of picking out the frame and specifying exactly how you want it framed. You have the option of either mailing in your pieces which is what we did for the original art, or uploading your digital prints which they will professionally print out for you and then frame. For our space this is what we did: I had a few original photos from my family’s performing days (far left) that I loved the worn edges on, so with that one as well as the original black and white art right below it we went with their simple Mercer Slim Frame and used the float mount option which elevates the art/picture slightly off the matt and slightly below the glass so it essentially floats in between. This is perfect for art or images that have natural edges or with anything that you are wanting to create a slight drop shadow with to add some drama. For the digital prints (like the color one of Brian on his bike) we used a simple white mat and their Bali frame. You may also notice that the picture on the left has a square frame and larger mat than the others. Their online process allows you to customize them any way you want so you can let them know if you want to add extra inches of matt to create a larger overall finished piece or if you want to go with their recommendations. The sky really is the limit and they can customize it to any specifics you have. The process takes about 2 weeks start to finish from the time you select all your frames to the time that they arrive back at your door. It is so easy and customizable, and not one piece we framed was over $139. Once we had it all back it was time to play.

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Now there are a few rules when it comes to art ledges.

1.) Select a variety of sizes to keep the collection visually interesting

2.) Use at least 2-3 different styles of frames to keep the collection from feeling generic or store bought. My rule is to frame for the art and not for the space – so when it comes to selecting the frame for the art consider what would look best for the art rather than just throwing all your art in the same style of frames. Framebridge’s design services can also help with this, and can recommend the best combo of matted vs full bleed vs float mounted.

3.) Don’t overcrowd the shelves with art or clutter. Just as you wouldn’t fill every space in a bookshelf when you are styling it out, you will want to leave some breathing room in between art, or on either side of the ledge so that your eye has room to move around and it doesn’t start feeling too heavy.

4.) Have fun with it – the beauty of an art ledge is that you can move things around in different combos as much as you want without damaging your walls or creating holes like you would with a gallery wall install.

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The space is essentially divided into two workspaces now. One for Brian with the desktop computer and one for Chandler who works with him/or me if I am down there working. It is so great to finally have this corner of the room finished and another place for me to display some of my favorite art pieces. Speaking of favorite pieces, one of Brian’s only conditions on me redoing this little office area of his is that his “drunk man painting” HAD to be included in the new design/space. We bought this together when we were 22 at a flea market in New York.

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We both loved it because he is clearly a jolly drunk dude with a secret and a goose, and that was somehow worthy of someone’s talent, time and effort. I’m so happy that he is finally framed in such a beautiful way and that despite my un-attraction to him that I kept him the last 15 years.

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That nook is coming along and that desk is looking mighty fine. A few quick notes to those of you who are style sleuths; 1. that rug was pulled in for the shoot because it’s awesome but no, we don’t have a chair 1/2 on, 1/2 off the rug:) and 2. We need to put the plates our on outlets but haven’t in months because that is a really boring thing to do. Meanwhile those curtains from Loom are great, the desk chairs are from Target ($60!) and we switched out the black sconce shades for the new green ones, which we love.

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Brian just loves resting his glasses in a footed dish 🙂

Last but not least we pulled in this credenza (below) to live right under the window because well… there is no such thing as too much storage especially when it comes to an office space with camera equipment. Hidden storage is always a bonus and this piece has plenty of space for Brian to keep all of his videography goods so that he has easy access to it when they have to shoot.

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So what do you think? Have we convinced you that art ledges are the new gallery wall? In case you are still on the fence, our lovely friends over at Framebridge have passed along the promo code EMHENDERSON15 to save you 15% on their first Framebridge purchase. The code is valid through 1/31/2017 so head on over and try them out. With the holidays coming up, they are a perfect gift option for that boyfriend, husband, sister, mother, grandma, boss, or stranger that you just can’t seem to find the right gift for as no one EVER has ever said they don’t love getting a picture of someone they love. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:

framebridge-roundup

1. Irvine Slim | 2. Madrid | 3. Olympia | 4. Chelsea | 5. Bali | 6. Palermo | 7. Marin | 8. Brentwood | 9. Cairo | 10. Seabrook | 11. Mercer Slim | 12. Potomac

***Photography by Tessa Neustadt, Styling by Brady Tolbert for EHD, writing by Me. 

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  1. Framebridge is fantastic, thanks so much for sharing!

    http://www.shopthecoconutroom.com

  2. So I love your blog. I check it before I shower every morning and am super sad whenever it’s on a mini-vacation. However, I think it’s strength is the blend of things that are posted – some personal stuff, round ups, makeover takeovers, styling videos, Target recommendations etc. However, I must say that 3 days in a row of what in my mind is 3 product placements is a bit one note: The Aura frame would make a fantastic gift; Framebridge is great; School House Electric has beautiful fixtures. I like this kind of post but mixed into the other kinds of posts.

    1. totally agree.

    2. I agree. And particularly since everyone knows that you are moving imminently, this feels a little forced. I still love you though 🙂

    3. I also agree; I don’t read your blog for constant commercials.

  3. But wait, wait! THAT DESK LAMP in the last photo! Where’s that from??

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s from Target!

      1. Good spot! It is Target! Here’s the link: http://rstyle.me/n/b3dqsmsdhw

  4. Love this space. It’s got quirk and functionality in equal measure. Will Brian have an office in your new place? Are you taking the desk with you when you move? Do you take your sconces when you move or do a whole new thing?

  5. Oh please no – not 3 sponsored posts in as many days?? I’m normally a blog lover but I just can’t this week!

  6. Wow the office has really come along so beautifully! And I love how well the assortment of frames and art balance out the big desk! Also spying some of the new Target collection in there – it’s so good!

  7. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the “cairo” frame at first, but it’s such a nice layer of texture in the office! It surprised me how much I actually really love it! Thanks for sharing EHD team!

  8. What is the source for the black and white plaid rug? Is it black and ivory or black and white? On the hunt for one that is more white than ivory. Love your work! Thanks so much.

    1. Yes! Agreed! This rug is amazing! Where’s it from?

  9. I read this blog almost everyday and I really enjoyed this post. Sharing a resource your team uses frequently, and the way you’ve styled the office is drool-worthy! Love everything you do Emily! Keep it up! 🙂

    1. Agreed! Haters gonna hate. You guys are great!

  10. I love this look! Even though it’s “sponsored” I love how you make it your own to the point where it doesn’t feel sponsored. I don’t know why it bothers people!

    I was wondering how long you all will be in this current house? I’m surprised you still are decorating it!

    1. Ha. Listen. We aren’t moving soon but I want every room to be portfolio worthy when we move so we are finishing them for my job. A normal person wouldn’t do this but because of the blog I want to create good content and have finished projects whenever i can. xx

      1. You’re awesome- I don’t know how you have all this energy! I guess it helps that it is part of your job 😉 Thanks for sharing all that you do- you are a constant inspiration for me!

    2. Agreed. I still learned a lot from this post about how to style ledges. I’ll probably play around with some of my ledges this evening!

  11. Can someone comment on price comparisons to michaels/jo-anns custom framing? Clearly I can see that Framebridge has better options and more consultation, but just wondering for some simple, non-traditionally sized posters. Thank you!

    1. Don’t know about price, except it was expensive at Michaels and a terribly job. Very poor help frame selection for a friend’s 100 year old vintage cross-stitch. Used a plain oak 1 1/2 frame, ugly. Also should have been conservator framing; instead finger prints, dirty, pushed up against the glass. In other words couldn’t have had more wrong with it and very expensive. I took it to my trusted conservationist framer who turns out pristine work and it was a only a little more expensive with a gorgeous frame and had UV glass, all products acid free and properly put together. This will last for 100’s of years and is beautiful! (Well obviously I don’t know about 100’s but, you get my point.) Bottom line never go to Michael’s for framing! Especially if you care about price or quality. OK I’m done.

    2. I have had great experiences with custom framing antique prints and oil paintings at Michael’s (with UV glass and acid free materials), so it must depend on the location. It can be expensive, and they don’t have as many choices as the really fancy frame shop near me, but you can go in and select all of the frame and mat options for your piece and they will save the information for you so that you can come back when your frame choice is on sale. It seems like at least 1/3 of the frames are on sale every week, and they change the sales weekly, so you shouldn’t have to wait long.

      1. I should add that my pieces were all less expensive than or similar in price to Framebridge, at least if your frame choice is on sale. But it has been a couple of years since I’ve had anything framed.

  12. Thank you so much for including our Wyatt Ledges in your room! They look beautiful!

  13. WOAH. I love this space! And I honestly didn’t think I would ever decorate with green, but this is just beautiful. The blacks, the greens, the touches of gold and wood in the frames. I’m super impressed. And I’m definitely considering finally printing out some photos with Framebridge now, it just seems so easy

  14. I love Framebridge! I’ve used them to frame some odd-sized posters I purchased at a flea market and they look awesome! Happy to know I’m using the same service as Emily Henderson 🙂

  15. I was actually just looking at their website a few nights ago! I love the mirrored frame!

  16. I’m now realizing why my art ledge looks so terrible. These tips are so helpful!

    P.S. My husband used framebridge to frame an old painting his grandfather had done to send as a gift for his mom, and we couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out! Highly recommend!

  17. beautiful, emily! i absolutely love it!

  18. Gorgeous!!

  19. This space makes me so happy! Really good vibes, and still somehow masculine. Frames really fill the space nicely

  20. Emily—I’ve been eyeing that desk chair from Target for practically FOREVER but haven’t bit the bullet because I always wonder… “For $60 can it really be that comfortable?!” So—what’s the verdict? How are those babies, comfort-wise?

    1. I have one! It’s awesome and honestly pretty darn comfortable! Such a steal

      1. Yep. They both LOVE Them.

        1. Are those chairs online? Love the look but can’t find them anywhere … and no Target near me. (Sniff!)

        2. I LOVE the swivel chairs! Can you send a link?

        3. Good to know! However, now I can’t find it online, so I may have waited too long! Drat that always seems to happen. WHY TARGET?! If Emily’s blogging about it, you should definitely keep it in stock for the next few months!

  21. How about the ledge itself? I can’t decide how high to hang in in relation to the furniture below or whether to have a series of some kind. Suggestions?

    1. Yes! How high should I hang it above my couch?

  22. I’m a HUGE Framebridge fan.
    I sat on our African honeymoon pictures for years (3+) because I was so daunted by the idea of dropping $500/picture to have them blown up, matted and framed. But I knew they’d be great in our desk/office nook. Framebridge to the rescue–I think they were like $149 each and have totally transformed the space.
    Also worth noting–they are GREAT for gifts. At Christmas time, I’ll upload pics of my toddler, choose gorgeous mats and frames and then Framebridge will gift wrap and direct send them to the recipient. Easy peasy (and all the grandparents seem to ever want anyway).

    1. Agreed! I’ve used them as gifts before and it went over so well! Especially wedding or anniversary gifts! Also planning much of my Christmas shopping around them 🙂

  23. i am crazy about your original black and white art – the one that looks like a bunch of photo booth snap shots…. i know you say it’s an original, but can you share the artist’s name or source? thanks.

  24. Could not have been more perfect timing as I just picked up a handful of pieces at the Rose Bowl last week and need to get them all custom framed! Can’t wait to try out their float frame option. It looks so good with your original pieces.

  25. LOVE THIS office space so much. The art and frames really make it personal and I love the mix of frames you used. I never would have thought you could mix so many styles and still make it work. KUDOS!

  26. Been wondering when you were going to finish this space up after you posted about the desk earlier this year and I love it! Well worth the wait. Definitely going to try out framing some polaroids with your code. -J

  27. Christmas shopping DONE! xoxo

  28. Love it Emily! Looks like a perfect place to work. Nicely put together.

  29. Ooooo….. love the side table light. The round brass/marble light. Would you share where that is from? Thanks!!

    1. Never mind. Target for the win!!!

  30. Anyone have tips on preventing scuffs on the wall from frames when leaning them against the wall? I don’t know if it’s because I’m in CA and the ground shifts all the time but I always end up with marks on the walls. I’ve thought of trying those little clear pads or felt pads but haven’t tried it yet.

    1. Mr. Clean erasers 🙂 I use them all day every day. xx

      1. I will give it a try, thanks!

  31. Too many sponsored posts, girl. Otherwise the content from you and your designers is fantastic!

    1. Two in one week can be tricky but listen, the holidays are coming and that’s when sites like ours make the revenue for the rest of the year. Our job with sponsors is to work with great companies, create compelling content and engage with our readers through that content. If we fail at that, we fail completely. But I think that this post as well as other recent ones are checking off those boxes and making me proud.

  32. I love this, but do you recommend a particular “ledge”? I’m not sure where to find the narrow shelves that art is put on!

    1. These are the Pottery Barn Wyatt ledges.

      1. They are 6″ so deep enough for art but not so deep for large books.

      2. Thank you!

  33. wait. “I had a few original photos from my family’s performing days.” Didn’t this make anyone else curious?! Is this common knowledge and i just missed it? Define “performing days.” Sounds intriguing!

  34. Hi – beautiful office space … great mix of textures and materials. Can you provide the link to the desk chair? You mentioned it was from target, but I couldn’t find it on my search. Thanks!

  35. I particularly love the frame job on the drunk man. What do you call that type of mount and was it also done with Framebridge? Thanks!

    1. I like the frame for the drunk dude. Is that from framebridge too?

  36. Awesome frame ledges! I have a very cool vintage map that I want to get framed through the service. How do I make an old, aged piece of paper look modern/fresh? What kind of frame styles do you recommend for antique looking pieces like that?

  37. Thank god! I’m glad it was only a painting of a drunk man with a goose instead of a (shudder)…clown! 🙂

  38. Truly like and appreciate your post post.Really seeking forward to study a lot more
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  39. I LOVE Framebridge. I sent in a vintage scarf to be framed and they did an incredible job! It’s a statement piece right as you walk into the entry way and I’ll cherish it forever.

  40. I’ve had a lot of success with Framebridge! They really are the best.

    Now, please, please tell me: where is that office chair?? I just searched the Target website, but I can’t find it. I think it’s exactly what I need for my home office. Please help! Thank you!!

  41. No one does sponsored content better than EHD. Even though this post was sponsored there was tons of (amazing!) design content and still Emily’s voice (which is while we all read the blog). Not to mention Emily states VERY CLEARLY that it’s a sponsored post right from the beginning. I may not read every sponsored post, but seriously, do not have a problem with them. You guys rock and I hope you keep doing what you’re doing – I feel like I’ve learned to design from “the school of Emily Henderson” – and you guys provide it all for free. Thank you!

  42. Wait! Did no one else see this … “from my family’s performing days,” ??? You were a family act?! Why do we not know more about that?! I’d love to see more pics and hear all about that scenario! Too funny! As a Mormon family with lots of kids, we were always involved in a singing group growing up—but not a family act. ?Too funny! If you wanna post more on that, I would totally be interested!
    In other news, sponsored posts are totally fine bc you do them so well. Don’t listen to the haters. You have to pay your staff and you do a great job of endorsing good products, so pay no attention!
    Love your blog, love your work, love the brand you’ve created… keep it up! ?

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  45. best post admin thanks for sharing this.

  46. Really Nice Post. Emily Your Post always awesome..

    Thanks for sharing

  47. Emily Your Post always awesome..

    Thanks

  48. Awesome Post Emily, Thanks for share…

    Really Good..

    1. Ya…very interesting post from Emily…Thanks Emily…i love it..so Mantra,if you need to know more about Office decoration and flooring you can also visit our website.

  49. Hi, I’m trying to find those Target desks–would you mind sharing the link?

    1. Hi Kelsi…

      I think you should customize these target desks,however you should be sure of the clean finishing..you can also take a look on office carpets and office carpet tiles as beautiful and heavy duty complementary office flooring solutions through our website.

  50. I love this space! And I honestly didn’t think I would ever decorate with green, but this is just beautiful. The blacks, the greens, the touches of gold and wood in the frames. I’m super impressed. And I’m definitely considering finally printing out some photos with Framebridge now, it just seems so easy

  51. Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.