Thin frames or wide frames – what's the difference?

The width of a frame's edge really makes a difference to the result of your framing. Here, we show how the same picture looks with several frame widths.

You might think that deciding the colour of your frame is enough. But there are many more decisions to be taken before you buy a frame – at least, if you want to make a careful choice. We're talking about different materials, different types of glass, and different edging. But in this article, we've chosen to focus only on the width of the frame's edge – even that alone makes a big difference!

Thin frames – modern and stylistically simple

A truly tiny frame edge can be less than a centimetre in width. These frames often have a very stylistically simple and modern look, whilst at the same time being discreet and allowing the image to be in focus. A good choice if you have pictures that you really want to attract attention to – or if you just have a modern decorative style.

Wide frames – complement your picture

With a wider frame edge, you outline your image more clearly, at the same time as the frame demands a little of the viewer's attention. The image is always in focus, of course, but a wide frame doesn't sit back in silence and let the image take all the attention. A wider frame complements your picture, and becomes a more important part of the wall art, rather than just elegantly framing it.

Medium width frames – for those who love everything in moderation

If you're looking for a compromise, a picture frame that is distinctive but doesn't steal too much attention from the picture, then you could choose a medium width frame. Sometimes, you just want everything in moderation. 

Three black picture frames with different widths - blakc & white pictureThree picture frames of the same size, but with three different edge widths – which do you prefer?

The size of the frame is also a factor in the choice

Remember that the width of the edge on your specific picture frame is the same no matter whether you choose a large or a small frame. And the width can come across as bigger or smaller in relation to the picture frame's – and the accompanying picture's – size. If, for example, you have a large 50x70 cm picture frame, with an edge width of 9.8 mm, it will be seen as thinner than if you had the same edges on a 15x20 cm picture frame.

Two glossy black picture frames with black & white imagesDifferent sizes with the same edge width of 9.8 mm. To the left: New Lifestyle Black 15x20 cm // To the left: New Lifestyle Black 50x70 cm

What should I choose?

So, what width should you choose? The truth is that it's completely a matter of taste, and there are no particular rules. Sometimes, it's the place on the wall where the frame is going to be which determines the choice. Other times, it's the picture itself. For example, many prefer a discreet and neutral picture frame for framing their professional achievements, such as a diploma or certificate. But that is, of course, also just a matter of taste. Some prefer powerful, pompous picture frames for that exact purpose.

if you're looking for a picture frame which is stylistically simple and allows the picture to be completely in focus – in that case, you can choose a thin frame. Perhaps you're looking for a picture frame which outlines the subject a little more clearly, but still doesn't steal too much of the attention? In that case, you might choose a medium width frame. And if you're looking for a picture frame which complements and becomes an important part of your framing – then you should choose a wide frame. Or maybe even a grand frame with decorative edging, to really embellish your picture.

Whatever you're looking for, we are convinced that you'll be able to find your perfect picture frame in our enormous range!