May 31, 2022
Many of our Driftwood Interiors customers buy our unframed wall art prints, and choose ready-made frames to display their new artwork. With so many options on the market, it's hard to find a frame that offers both affordability and quality. Custom framing can be expensive, particularly with larger size prints, so I've done the leg work for you and reviewed six different ranges from popular Australian retail stores. And with so many great frames on offer, it's never been easier to create a designer look without the designer price!
When it comes to framing, you really do get what you pay for. Ready-made frames are a great option though, particularly if you're on a budget or if you're styling a home for sale. One tip we always suggest is that you buy your frame before you choose your print if you possibly can. That way, we can help you choose the perfect size print, particularly if your frame is an odd size or has a non-standard mat opening. We're only an email away so if you're ever unsure of what print size you need, just message us and we'll be only too happy to help!
Pro tip: Whether you buy a ready made frame, or custom made, there's another factor that makes a big difference in the final look - the print itself. When buying unframed prints - choose carefully. Cheap prints are usually printed on thin, flimsy, glossy paper and will buckle and warp. They're usually not lightfast either, so your print will fade quickly regardless of your frame choice. You need to make sure the paper is at least 220gsm (which is the thickness and weight of the paper) and it must be matte so the face of the artwork doesn't stick to the glass.
At Driftwood Interiors, all of our prints are 300gsm, which is nice and thick and has a lovely texture to it. We only use the best quality archival paper and inks to make sure your print doesn't fade, warp or twist over time. As with frames, you really get what you pay for when it comes to wall art prints so do your research before you buy.
Ok, so now let's go frame shopping!
Let's begin with the biggest range of frames available. Ikea has an incredible selection in heaps of different sizes, so you'll definitely find a frame to suit most prints. They come in standard sizes, (e.g A4, A3) as well as other sizes like 40x50, 50x70 etc. Frame colours range from black, white, gold and silver, along with lots of different timbers. One thing to note is that all of their frames now come with acrylic rather than glass, which is a shame but it's quite common to see with budget frames. The acrylic is less likely to break in transit and is lighter than glass which keeps the costs down.
Their most popular range is the RIBBA range, in fourteen different sizes. And all of their frames are available online, which is makes shopping quick and easy. Take a look at their largest RIBBA frame, which is the 61cm x 91cm option:
This large 61cm x 91 cm RIBBA frame makes a real impact and it comes with a mat as standard for bonus points.
I was at Ikea recently and they've got a few new frames on offer. One I really like is this one - it's their Fornbro Frame and it's very similar to the lucite frame Country Road used to offer. Sadly, Country Road doesn't stock these in larger sizes any more so it's great to see this at IKEA. And the price is great too at $49 for a 40cm x 50cm size.
Pro Tip: Cheap acrylic can scratch and warp easily. The thinner it is, the more likely you'll have problems with it. I often suggest clients buy ready-made frames and then replace the acrylic with glass. It's not expensive and most glass companies will cut glass to size for you. I've had a local company cut some glass for a ready-made A3 frame and it was $14. It's a great compromise between custom framing and ready-made and often gives you a fantastic frame for way less.
We've done a deep dive into Kmart frames in the past, so for everything you need to know you can check out our in-depth review of Kmart frames here. But let's take a look at their range and how they compare to others on the market.
Everyone loves a bargain and Kmart has really upped the ante when it comes to on-trend homewares at a great price. They stock a great range of frames in sizes from small to xl, and one thing they offer that many other budget frames don't is mats as standard. Most larger sizes of A2 and above usually don't have mats, but their Anko range does which is a great inclusion.
Quality is hit and miss with these frames but that's not unexpected, considering their A1 frame is a mere $22 - the cheapest option on the market by far. You'll need to check each frame to make sure it isn't cracked or split, and the acrylic isn't scratched. It's worth checking as much as you can in-store before you buy, but sometimes that's a bit hard when the frames are in their packaging. If clients choose these frames, I always recommend buying a few more than they need, and then choosing the best of the lot. You can then return any damaged frames to Kmart for a full refund.
Target has quite a few picture frames to choose from, but their range is better in smaller sizes. Like Kmart, they'e introduced lots of unique homewares and you can usually find something a bit different there. They even have really on-trend terrazzo, marble and wicker frames from time to time, so it's worth heading into a store in person if you can - you never know what gems you'll uncover.
Their largest size is the Elena frame in an A1 size for $49, which comes with a mat as well. It's also real timber which is great, but the perspex is quite flimsy. Recent reviews aren't great on these frames, as the quality seems to have slipped in recent times. Again, you'll need to choose each frame carefully as some will have damaged corners or ill-fitting joins.
Like Kmart, Big W is really focusing on trendy homewares on a budget. Their range is always changing and new styles are being added all the time, so it's definitely worth keeping an eye on their new stock. Their frames go up to A1 but they have the best variety in smaller sizes.
Big W has recently introduced a premium range of timber picture frames in sizes up to A1. These aren't the cheapest option at $99, but they're Australian made, using sustainably sourced plantation timber and they have a lifetime warranty - very impressive. These are showing as online only, so I've ordered a couple to check them out for myself. I'll update this post as soon as I receive them and give you the rundown on how they compare. I'm hoping they're as good as they seem as there's definitely a market for premium ready-made Australian picture frames so fingers crossed.
Sadly, the range at Freedom is nowhere near as extensive as it once was. You could usually find a really nice frame here, but it seems they've reduced their range quite a bit. They do offer the largest matted frame I could find, with their Arden Matted Frame coming in at $59.95 for a 70cm x 95cm size to suit an A1 print. It's an MDF frame with perspex, but it's a good price for such a large frame size. Their smaller sizes (A2 and below) all come with glass as standard for $49.95 and these offer great value so worth considering.
Myer has a great range of frames on offer, with A1 frames, 60cm x 90cm matted frames, shadow box frames and square format frames to name a few. Their online offering is extensive and many frames are Australian made using eco-friendly materials (sustainable engineered wood and crystal clear tempered glass). They come in black, white and timber, as well as metallics.
One of their more unique options is their A1 Metallicus gold frame. It's the only metallic option I've found in the A1 size, and it comes with a mat too. It's a great alternative to timber look frames, so if you're after something a little bit snazzier then this frame is a great choice. I love how sleek and slimline the frame is, so your gorgeous new artwork will be complimented beautifully with this frame. At $99 it's not the cheapest frame, but it's definitely a stylish option for the price.
If you're looking for stylish ready made frames, you can't go past Country Road. Their homewares are always beautiful and their frames are no exception. They have the edge on style and they offer frames up to A1 size. I like that their frames are that little bit different - they often have detailing and features you don't find anywhere else. Although their frames come with acrylic rather than glass, they look more custom than ready made which is always great.
But style comes at a price and these A1 frames will set you back $129. Definitely not the cheapest option but a good compromise between ready made and custom framing.
So there you have it - your ultimate guide to choosing the perfect ready made frame for your new artwork. Do you have any other options I haven't covered here? If so I'd love to hear from you so feel free to reach out and I'll take a look. Until then, happy shopping!
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