Our Services - Artwork

Artwork

Every piece of artwork you bring to Fastframe of Santa Monica is important to you, so it is important to us. Your artwork might be a personal masterpiece that you or your child created, something that evokes memories from a vacation or a true investment for your valuable collection.

Our design consultants work closely with you on selecting a frame and matting to best showcase your paintings, drawings, prints and mixed media. For original artwork, limited editions, and rare and precious works, our Preservation Plus™ Framing envelopes your artwork in an acid-free environment that will preserve and protect it for years to come.

5 Ways FastFrame Can Help You Say Goodbye to Boring Walls

Friends pop into your home. Business associates or customers step inside your office. They all enter happy and glad to see you; two minutes later they’re sad and can’t wait to flee.

 

Why? They caught a glimpse of your walls and were dismayed by the monotony and sterility staring them in the face.

 

When people venture into your living spaces or your work areas, they want to encounter walls that give off warmth and good vibes. They want to gaze at walls that spark emotional connection – connection to your home or office, connection to you and your creativity.

 

Unfortunately, monotonous and sterile walls prevent such connection.

 

The solution is a two-step process.

 

First, acknowledge that your walls have a problem. Say aloud, “My walls are boring.”

 

Second, and this is the really important part, vow that from this day forward your walls will no longer be boring. Say aloud, “Goodbye, boring walls!”

 

Now that you’ve said goodbye to boring walls, it’s time to take action. Here are five ways the experts at FastFrame can help you send dullness packing.

 

  1. Go wild with custom frames. A 2016 Huffington Post article (updated earlier this year) addressed the problem of what to do with uninteresting walls. Many remedies were on offer, some great and others no so much. Tellingly, though, almost half of the 53 solutions specified use of custom framing while another 25 percent practically cried out for custom frames as a necessary finishing touch. The authors probably should have consulted with the experts at any local FastFrame store for some professional advice about that. After all, that’s what the FastFrame experts are there for.

 

  1. Keep it fresh. Interior design specialists say that, however you dress your walls, be sure to change things up every so often to prevent staleness from setting in. This doesn’t mean you need to replace your FastFrame custom frames once a month or even once per season. But, as FastFrame experts caution, if your wall displays are encased in so many layers of cobwebs that they resemble props from a Halloween haunted house, then it’s definitely time to recalibrate for freshness.

 

  1. Mix it up. The décor police will not come and arrest you for accenting your walls with an eclectic mix of custom-framed items. There’s no rule compelling you to display only photos. Or to display only memorabilia. Or only artwork. It’s perfectly acceptable – and even desirable in some instances – to showcase a cacophony of images and objects on the same wall. Talk to the experts at your nearest FastFrame for guidance in pulling this off brilliantly.

 

  1. Defy convention. A gallery of custom frames with nothing inside them makes for an eye-catching and conversation-launching wall display. Empty frames work for the same reason that skilled artists like to sometimes color outside the lines: it shakes up expectations.

 

  1. Reflect upon your situation. One of the best ways to say goodbye to boring walls is with the use of mirrors, custom-framed of course. The cool thing about mirrors is they not only make a wall come alive, they also fool the eye into seeing the room as considerably larger than it actually is. FastFrame offers an extensive selection of frames to fit whatever size or type of mirror you want mounted.

 

Bottom line: help your guests and visitors feel truly welcome by giving your walls personality and charm. The custom-framing experts at FastFrame are your first choice when it comes to help saying goodbye to boring walls.

Framing Decisions: What Type of Wood Do You Like? (3 of 3)

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  • Beech: Beech is a hard, strong, heavy wood with tiny pores and large conspicuous rays, sometimes similar in appearance to maple. This relatively inexpensive wood has reddish brown heartwood and light sapwood. Quarter sliced and half round cut beech veneers are commonly used.

 

  • Walnut: Walnut is one of the most versatile and popular woods for cabinet making and other household projects. Walnut is strong, hard, and durable without being excessively heavy. In addition to these excellent woodworking qualities, it takes finishes well. Walnut is light to dark chocolate brown in color with a straight grain in the trunk. It is often used in 18th century reproductions.

 

Now that you know a bit more about each of these types of wood, talk to Fastframe of Santa Monica to decide which one is best for dressing your cherished memories.

Framing Decisions: What Type of Wood Do You Like? (2 of 3)

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  • Cherry: This wood is moderately hard and strong with a closed grain and light red-brown color. Cherry is durable and good for frames because it resists warping and checking. It is easy to carve and polish, and cherry veneers and solids are used in a variety of styles. Cherry has been called “New England mahogany,” and it is often used to craft 18th century, Colonial, and French Provincial designs.

 

  • Mahogany: There are many different grades and species sold under this name, which vary widely in quality and price. Mahogany is thought to be one of the hardest, strongest, and best quality woods available. It is used extensively in the crafting of Georgian, Empire, and Federal reproduction furniture, so Mahogany frames will match well if you already have pieces in those styles.

 

  • Oak: Oak is a heavy, strong, light colored hardwood and is the most widely used. This type of hardwood is the most popular wood for crafting American and English country designs. It is also used for Gothic and William & Mary reproductions, as well as many transitional and contemporary pieces.

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Framing Decisions: What Type of Wood Do You Like? (1 of 3)

Frames are like clothes: they dress our memories with an elegance that makes our memories even more beautiful. And just as with fashion, one must know what type of clothing to wear to match the occasion.

One of the most commonly used frame types is wood. Wood brings elegance and sophistication with a hint of vintage feel to it. In order to appreciate the beauty of wood framing, you must know the different types of woods. Each type brings different characteristic to your home.

Here’s a quick guide to help you identify the type of wood to frame your cherished wall art or memorabilia.

  • Poplar: Poplar grows across most of the eastern U.S. and is the softest of the hardwoods we offer. It is also the least expensive and easiest to work with. Poplar does well with veneers and is yellowish-white in color.

 

  • Maple: This type of wood is very hard, heavy, and strong. It is resistant to abrasion, it sands beautifully, and stains well. There are 115 species of maple, but only 5 commercially important species grow in the U.S.

 

  • Ash: Ash is a hard, heavy porous hardwood. It has a prominent grain that resembles oak and is colored between white and light brown. Ash is widely used for structural frames and can be steam bent, which is sometimes seen in furniture pieces. It is often less expensive than comparable hardwoods.

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5 Questions to Prepare for Your Framer

You’re heading to Fastframe of Santa Monica, ready to bring your vision to life.

Pat yourself on the back – you’re taking the right steps! A seasoned framing expert can make all the difference in your project. But, don’t discount your own knowledge and input!

Your framer will likely ask you some questions to ensure your frame will complement your home, the piece, and your personal style. Here are some questions to think about before you get to your local FastFrame:

 

1. “How large is your space?”

You don’t want your frame to feel disproportionate to the space. The height and width of your walls will help determine the style, size, and shape that will best fit the space. Most homes have ceilings that are at least 7 feet high, but every home is different. Bust out the tape measure and take note for your framer.

2. “What color are your walls?”

Go beyond a generic description of your wall color to really paint the picture for your framer. Emphasize undertones and any other paint colors featured in your room. Pictures are a great place to start, but bringing in a paint swatch is even better!

3. “What wood tone is your furniture and flooring?”

Dark? Light? Cherry? This information will help your framer select the right frame to match or complement your room.

4. “How would you define your home décor style?”

Maybe you’re modern and trendy, or classic and elegant, or even shabby chic – no matter your style, your local FastFrame has hundreds of styles to choose from, and your framer knows exactly which ones will complete your look.

5. “Do you have any inspirations?”

Fabric samples, photos, paint swatches – anything! The more you bring in for reference, the better. Are there any displays that inspire you? Or concepts you’d like to avoid? Search sites like Pinterest and Houzz to find things you like and dislike.

Don’t know the answers? Not a problem.

Even if you don’t know where to start, FastFrame has you covered. Our framers can take you from vague concept to a beautiful completed piece. Framing is our specialty, and we have decades of experience creating the perfect piece for all kinds of spaces. So, don’t feel like you have to have all the answers! Wherever you are starting, come on in and let’s create something beautiful together.

What is Tru-Vue? (3 of 3)

Fastframe’s Choice for Quality Glazing Products

At Fastframe of Santa Monica, we use the highest quality glazing products to insure you will receive years of enjoyment from your framed art and cherished memorabilia. By utilizing the wide range of glazing options available from Tru Vue™, our expert designers can create a beautiful and high-quality framing presentation for any of your framing needs.

To learn more about the range of products offered by Tru-Vue™, visit their website at http://tru-vue.com. Or, better yet, drop by your local FastFrame store where our expert designers and craftsman can help you select the right glazing option.  

What is Tru-Vue? (2 of 3)

The Importance of Using Quality Glazing Products

 

Using the best choice of framing and matting is important to the overall esthetics of your framed piece.  Equally important is your glazing choice for your art and memorabilia.  

At Fastframe of Santa Monica, we frame many important and valuable pieces of art and personal memories. It is our goal to insure they remain well preserved over time. There are many different factors that may cause a piece to deteriorate with age. Among these are light, environment and handing procedures.  

We recommend using the Tru-Vue™ series of Conservation grade glass and acrylic to protect your piece from the harmful effects of Ultra Violet rays.UV rays, either from sunlight or indoor lighting, can cause colors to fade and materials to weaken over time. Tru-Vue™ Conservation grade glazings provide 99% UV protection, the highest percentage of protection available today. This added protection insures that your precious artwork, keepsakes and collectables can be admired and cherished for years to come.

Using quality glazing can also protect your memories from indoor pollution, providing a barrier between the environment and your artwork. And there are also those unforeseen “oops” moments that occur around the house. Whether it’s a spilled drink or a child with a box of crayons, glazing can help protect your artwork from those accidental occurrences. When safety is a major concern, Tru-Vue™ has a line of scratch and shatter resistant acrylics. Whether it’s a child’s bedroom or a commercial setting where people congregate, safety is a concern that cannot be overlooked.

What is Tru-Vue? (1 of 3)

Tru-Vue™ Glazing Protects and Preserves Your Most Beloved Pieces

One of the many different materials that help create your perfect custom frame is glass and acrylic. As a major component in framing, using quality glazing is a key part of showcasing the beauty and detail in any art piece or treasured memory.

At Fastframe of Santa Monica, we use the highest quality glass and acrylic from Tru-Vue™ to ensure that your artwork and memorabilia are protected and preserved for years to come.  

Adding Value Through Custom Framing (3 of 3)

Artistic Presentation Adds Value to Your Framed Piece

From the tone and texture of the frame, to the color selection and materials used in the matting, our designers look at every small detail to ensure a high quality and artistically pleasing framed piece.  Our designs will compliment your piece, not compete with it.  By using elements that bring out the true beauty of your artwork, we can create a design that truly presents the emotional and aesthetic value of your treasures.

You can place your precious memories on a shelf to collect dust or into a box for safe keeping.  By choosing to custom frame them, you allow yourself and others to share in the emotional value you place on these treasures.  Presentation is the key to adding aesthetic and emotional value to anything you wish to frame.

When presentation is everything, trust the expert designers and framers at Fastframe of Santa Monica.  

Adding Value Through Custom Framing (2 of 3)

“Presentation is Everything”

It is through proper presentation that our expert designers create aesthetic value for our customers.  By following a detailed process, our designers work with you to find the best way to present and preserve your treasured pieces.  

Consulting with our expert designers will give you insight into the artistry and skill required for a custom frame to convey the meaning behind the piece. Our designers use their artistic eye, along with their knowledge of framing materials and techniques.  Our creativity and experience in framing allows us to think “outside the box” to create the stunning frame your memories deserve.

Every picture tells a story and we love hearing about your unique memories.  If they are important to you, they are important to us.  No matter the piece, Fastframe of Santa Monicawill work with you to fulfill the vision you have for you work of art.

Adding Value Through Custom Framing (1 of 3)

Proper Presentation Helps Create More Aesthetic Value

When we see something or someone precious to us, we can feel a whirlwind of emotions.  These can include pride, joy, love, nostalgia or maybe even sadness.  When applied to a piece of artwork or cherished memorabilia, these emotions are what makes the piece valuable to us as individuals.

But, how can you convey your emotional attachment to a picture or artwork onto others?  It’s all in the presentation.  Meaningful presentation is the way you communicate a framed piece’s emotional value to others.

At Fastframe of Santa Monica, we seek to maximize the presentation of any piece we frame.  Our designers are experts in their field.  Like an experienced painter who takes a color palette and creates a wondrous work of art, our artisans use color and texture to create a presentation masterpiece that conveys the emotional meaning of your piece. 

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (5 of 5)

5. Don’t be Afraid to Add Eclectic Items

Diversity is part of what makes a gallery wall great! Include photos and frames of all shapes and sizes. Work with different types of matting and throw in non-framed items like monograms or signs. Mixing things up can add a lot of dimension to your wall.

Most importantly, approach your gallery wall with love. Whether it’s art, photography, pictures of your family, you love these pieces – they mean a lot to you. By treating them with patience and precision, you can bring a new level of comfort to your home.  Fastframe of Santa Monica will give your images the presentation they deserve.

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (4 of 5)

4. Create Templates

Visualizing your completed gallery wall may be a bit difficult, especially if you have a large quantity of frames.  By using templates, you can get a view of how the completed wall will look.  Begin by tracing your frames onto wrapping or butcher paper and cutting them out.  Then, using painter’s tape, attach the templates to the wall to plot out your vision.  Make adjustments and experiment with different arrangements until you are satisfied with the look and feel of your gallery wall.  It’s a quick, no-risk way to make sure your wall comes out clean, not cluttered. When deciding on your templates placements, keep measurements consistent and placements balanced.  And above all, don’t start hammering until you’re satisfied!

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (3 of 5)

Designing your frames and deciding on an arrangement for your gallery wall may take longer than you think.  Your precious photos and memorabilia deserve to be framed and displayed in a manner that is not only visually appealing, but in a way that expresses the importance you have placed on them.  When designing your gallery wall, patience is key. Planning and implementation may take a bit longer, but it is well worth the time you’ll invest in the project. 

At Fastframe of Santa Monica, we will take whatever time necessary to ensure your gallery wall is everything you wish it to be.  Custom framing will give you the finished look that complements your featured pieces alongside your room and furnishings.

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (2 of 5)

2. Select Complementary Frames

Not everything in your gallery wall has to match exactly.  Most homes are eclectic in the selection of frames and artwork.  With that being said, you still do not want to stray too far from a central theme. Experiment with shapes, sizes, and textures to find the best look for your space.

By working with our professional designers at Fastframe of Santa Monica, you can select frames that keep your wall looking organized instead of cluttered. Our designers have a skilled eye and can make expert recommendations on factors like matting, moulding, and even unique features that are unavailable in the “ready-made” frame aisle.

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (1 of 5)

Gallery walls are a fashionable way to display your personal photos and memorabilia. You can display as many photos as you want in a way that’s both effective and visually appealing. These dynamic displays appeal to our natural human preference for symmetry and balance. They make a room feel full without making it feel overwhelming.  

But, finding the right balance can be tricky. At Fastframe of Santa Monica, our professional designers and framers can give you the ultimate insight on your project.

 

1. Choose a Central Theme/Color Scheme

Not all your photos or art pieces have to contain the exact same colors. However, we do suggest picking a central theme and sticking to it, particularly surrounding color temperatures.

Try to avoid mixing warm and cool tones, and maintain a solid theme across pieces. Use colors from your room decor so your gallery wall looks at home.

For example, the gallery wall in this room is centered on black and gold hues, the room’s existing furniture and accents. The pieces chosen are diverse, but the central color theme pulls them together.

WHAT ABOUT FABRIC MATS?

The use of fabric mats can really add a distinct elegance to your framed art. Whether it is suede, linen, silk or various other fabrics, the colors and textures of fabric take your framing design to a new level. There is a wide range of fabric types and colors that come precovered onto alpha cellulose and rag mats. The majority of these mats, though, are not preservation grade. This is because the fabric does not meet standards for bleed resistance. Some fabric mat boards are preservation quality and can be used on higher forms of artwork. If you cannot find a precovered fabric mat to suit your needs, we can hand wrap any fabric over an existing mat. We have a large selection of fabric from which to choose. You may also bring in your own custom fabric for us to wrap.

WHAT KIND OF MATS SHOULD I USE?

For the highest protection for your artwork, you should only use mat boards that are preservation or museum grade. There are three basic types of mat boards used in picture framing. The first is a regular or paper mat board. These mat boards, while being cost effective, contain a product called lignin. Over time lignin breaks down creating an acidic gas that can leave a burn mark on your artwork. The color will also fade over time, and the cream-colored bevel will begin to darken. Some paper mats have a bleached white core, but the overall degradation of the mat will be the same. The second type of mat board is made using alpha cellulose. Cellulose is the chief material in all plant life. Alpha cellulose is the purest form of this material. These mats are buffered to maintain a neutral pH. They are considered to be preservation quality. They will not harm the artwork, nor will they fade or “bleed” over time. This type of mat is the primary, in-stock mat at FastFrame. The third type of mat is a rag mat. Made from cotton linters, rag mats are naturally lignin-free. They are made with a colored surface paper, which are preservation grade, or can be 100% rag mat, which is museum grade.

WHAT IS A MAT?

A mat is a border, usually made from mat board, placed around the artwork. The purpose of the mat is, first, to provide a spacer or separation between the artwork and the frame or glass. If the glass comes into contact with the art, there could be a risk of damage to the artwork. This damage may come in the form of mold, or the artwork adhering to the underside of the glass. Second, the mat, particularly the color of the mat, draws the eye into the picture. By altering the colors in the mats, we can make the colors in the art stand out. Mat boards come in a variety of colors and textures which will allow your FastFrame design consultant to select the mats that are just right for your picture. And third, the mat hides the mechanics of the framed piece. For instance, the mat will cover the mounting method used such as a hinge or dry mount.

The standard size of mat board is 32 x 40 inches, but some colors will come in an oversized 40 x 60 inches. The standard thickness of a mat board is 4 ply, which is about 2 mm. Mat boards are also made in a limited color range of six, eight and twelve ply thicknesses. These thicker mats create a dramatic presentation, drawing the eye directly to the art.

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