Do Picture Frames Have To Match?

Decorating your home or office can be very rewarding, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have its challenges. When it comes to the smaller details, you might be stuck on a few things. Should you add framed art or photographs, maybe you're wondering if frames need to match or if it's okay to have a mix of styles and colors. We took a deep dive into countless home decorating sites and blogs, so you can have a definitive answer. 

Picture frames do not have to match, especially if you want to go for a contemporary style. While some decorators will use matching frame sets, others arrange frames of different styles and colors throughout their homes or even in the same room.

Now that we know that picture frames don't have to match, we'll look further into some other questions about picture frames that you might have. What color picture frames would go best with gray walls? What can you put into picture frames besides pictures? How many frames should a gallery wall have? For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post.

A picture frame on wall and sofa in living room, Do Picture Frames Have To Match?

Mix Or Match Picture Frames

Just because your picture frames don't have to match doesn't mean that they shouldn't. It's all about personal taste and preference. Here, we'll look at several methods of mixing and matching that might be good for your home or office.

Make them all the same

If your framed photos are all the same size, consider identical frames. Match the color of the frames to accent pieces of furniture or decor in the room, and you'll have a strong sense of order and organization in the room. 

Pick a scheme

Why not settle on a color scheme for the frames? Getting frames that are variants of the same color will make them seem more uniform and leave the impression that they are a set. 

Make it a little chaotic

Want something less rigid and more fun? Get as many different styles and colors of frames that you can find. Make sure none of them match one another. Focus more on the frame matching the color of a nearby lamp or vase. On the opposite wall, set framed photos out that are lined on a side table, all of which are different colors. Have some fun with the frames, and get creative on what you match them to in the room.

What color should my picture frames be?

Like any piece of home decor, picture frames will come in every color imaginable. Picking out the right color frames for your home might seem like a daunting task, but it's simpler than it might seem.

Consider the frames as matching pieces to the other parts of your room. Pair the colors of your frames with the color of the tabletop lamp that might be nearby or to the color of the room's baseboards and crown molding. If you display frames on a console table or end table, match the decor colors on the same table.

What color picture frames go with gray walls?

Getting the right color frames for your walls doesn't have to be a confusing nightmare. And sometimes, we tend to focus on matching the color of the walls when we really need to look beyond the wall color itself.

Blacks, whites, and grays are neutral colors. This means they are pretty easy to match, and opposite colors will look great paired with them. If you have a gray wall, consider looking at the baseboards and crown molding adjoining that wall. Match the frame colors to them.

If you have furniture or decor of a certain color, make your frames along with your gray wall match those colors. Brown sofa and dark hardwood side tables along a gray wall? Get a matching dark brown wooden frame. Is your settee bright red? Consider a matching bright red frame hung nearby.

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Picture frame, sofa and Christmas tree in living room

How many frames should a gallery wall have?

The number of frames on a gallery wall will depend on the wall's size, the area of the wall you want covered, and the size of the frames being hung. 

In general, you want to make certain that you have adequate spacing between each frame. This will add a sense of uniformity to your gallery wall and will make it seem organized. Cramming a bunch of framed pieces on a wall with the frames touching or not equidistant from one another will make the gallery wall seem chaotic. 

Proper spacing and arrangement are more important than the number of frames on your gallery wall. Depending on the frames' sizes, you'll want a minimum of four inches between each piece. The fewer frames you have to hang and the smaller the area, the greater the spacing should be. 

Additionally, you can make your gallery wall stand out if you select a theme. Picking a color scheme and sticking to it is another great way to draw attention to it.

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Black and white photo of photo frames on the wall

What can you put in a picture frame besides pictures?

If your home is already full of framed photographs, why not break with tradition and use some unique frames unconventionally? While there are too many other uses for frames for us to list, we'll share some of the more fun ideas here.


Vintage picture frames look great when they surround a mirror. Large or small, these framed mirrors will look fantastic, propped on a console table or hanging on the wall of your living room. Most hobby stores will have the size mirror you need, and some can cut a piece to fit inside a frame of uncommon dimensions.

Ornate picture frame on wallpaper wall

Vintage ads

Thrift stores and antique malls are often full of old magazines. You can grab a small stack of them for next to nothing. Flip the pages until you find an old, full-page ad that you like. Carefully clip it from the magazine, and frame it. Framed liquor, beer, and cigarette ads look good in home bars and rec rooms. 

Lucky Strike ad poster

Leave it empty

Consider spray painting a set of old wooden frames and then hanging them on the wall, empty. Vintage frames have a unique look to them, and if they are painted in different colors, they can be viewed as art themselves.

In Closing

With the sheer variety of frame styles and colors, you'll be sure to find something that will suit your tastes. While the most important reason for framing items is to protect them from damage, frames have been a popular form of home decor for centuries. Whether they are small and set on a side table or large as the focal point of the room, your home will look and feel better if you utilize this traditional form of encasing photographs and artwork.

If you found this post on picture frames to be helpful, we believe you'll enjoy reading the following posts on home decor:

Should Living Room And Dining Room Rugs Match?

How To Decorate Glass Cabinets In Living Room [5 Timeless Options]

What Size Should A Console Table Be – Length, Height, And Depth (Inc. Behind A Sofa)

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