You may not know this about me, but it probably won't come as a surprise to you: I love nice frames. I am well aware that that is a sort of strange thing to get hot and bothered about, but god dammit if you don't feel classy saying something like, "Oh, yes, I took that piece to get framed." Even if "that piece" was a free poster in the goodie bag from an event you crashed at the Barnesthat one time.
No, but seriously, there are some very cool antique, refurbished, reclaimed frames out there. When you add a custom mat to whatever it is you are framing, you really have something special to hang up on your wall. We've gotten several things framed at Flying Pig here in Philly, and I can't recommend them enough. Their frames are works of art all on their own. We had them frame our wedding invitations, and they had the genius idea to turn the paper that lined the envelopes into the mat. As much as I love Flying Pig, however, I really can't recommend them without adding that professional framing, in general, is wicked expensive. We dropped $375 to frame our 5x7 invite, our 18x24 wedding contract and octopus painting gifts from Gillian Turner, and an 8x10 photo of Philly. It's not crazy when you think about the fact that someone is using their hands and their brains to give you something beautiful, but it definitely adds up when you have a bunch of things to frame.
After the wedding, our amazing photographer, Vanessa, sent three cute prints along with the CD that contained the digital files of her photos. We loved the prints and wanted to frame them, but they were a funny size. I also had a vision that they would all be in one frame in a mat with three windows. Basically, these little puppies were begging to be custom framed.
"But I already spent about $400 on wedding-related framing!" I told the little buggers.
"Frame us! Frame us! Frame us!" They countered.
I didn't know how to quiet their little nagging voices until I heard about Framebridge. Framebridge touts itself as affordable custom framing that gets sent to your door. It is another one of those on-line solutions that appears right when you didn't know you needed it. But would Framebridge be able to create a three-windowed mat for our precious little pictures? I reached out to a designer there and she said yes, they definitely could make a three-windowed mat for us, and they could do it for $79. Thus began my relationship with Framebridge.
On November 19th, I made my order on their site. I chose the option to have their designers show me a bunch of frame options instead of picking out the frame when I ordered. Two days later I received a heavy-duty cardboard sheath in which I put the photos and sent them back (free shipping!) with a note saying, "I like gold." What can I say? I'm tacky.
They received my photos on November 27th - the day before Thanksgiving - and I got an email saying i would hear back in two days. Then I didn't hear back from them. I assumed that my project got lost in the Thanksgiving shuffle, so on December 9th I wrote to them checking on the status of the order. I heard back immediately from Designer Dave. Dave apologized and said they would prioritize my project. He was also such a sweetheart and said very nice things about our photos. The very next day Dave sent over his frame suggestions with cute little notes about each selection:
"Georgetown is how it sounds — formal, regal, and timeless. I think it definitely speaks to a formal occasion like a wedding and it's a classic frame that will always be in style. I love it. I think it works really well here, especially given the architecture in the background."
"Carson is the bling of the bunch. It's pure glam — just all clean, glossy, gold. It has that Hollywood or rock star appeal. It makes a statement without the noise. It definitely has that modern feel."
"My favorite style is Lafayette. It's very bright and bold and fun with sheen of sophistication. It's definitely New Orleans chic — dressed to the nines but up for the party. I think it's really fun like these pictures! I rarely get to use because it has such a specific vibe, but I think it could work here. There's something just whimsical about it."
"Concord is just plain pretty. Each time I lay it down I just take a step back and nod in agreement. It's simple, clean, and shinny with a hint of black detailing - just enough to turn your head. I think it's simply gorgeous. Whereas Georgetown harkens to those formal city halls, I think Concord is the frame you would find in a French chateau or country estate - both equally gallery worthy."
"Finally, just to add something different a little bold, I chose Chelsea. This is a BIG frame. but I think it could look really neat with these tiny photos."
I immediately knew we wanted the Lafayette. It's so perfect and gaudy! Dave also said that he really liked the photos just floating in the frame without a mat, but I said no, no. The mat was the whole point of this adventure. Then he suggested that the photos could be floating inside the windows of the mat. He showed me what that looked like and I said, "Designer Dave, you are a brilliant person." I also told him that we did not need the frame before Christmas, so it was totally ok to stop working on our project until after the holiday rush.
Then on January 11, we received our pictures in a very, very secure package!
Not only did we receive our pictures framed so beautifully, we also received a nail to hang the photo and a hand-written note from Designer Dave and the team. I mean, come on! How adorable!
The frame was perfect, the floating photo effect was stellar, and the service was impeccable. And, you guys, this whole thing was $79.
So part of how Framebridge makes its service so affordable is by only offering a select number of frames. They run the gamut from funky to classic to modern, so there is something for everyone. Don't worry, I'm not planning on abandoning my Philadelphia framing professionals, though. I still like to have a plethora of unique frame options that I can see in person for very special pieces. That said, if you want a high-quality, affordable, stylish frame and you want to work with kind, talented, and efficient designers, I cannot recommend Framebridge more.
Need more convincing to go frame something? Further proving that the folks at Framebridge are the loveliest around, they are giving Queer Martha readers 15% off your first order when you use the referral code QueerMartha ! I can't wait to see what you hang on your wall.