How to Choose the Perfect Wood Picture Frame

Natural wood picture frames pair beautifully with all kinds of art, from minimalist prints to traditional paintings. With custom framing, there are plenty of wonderful wooden frame options to choose from—in fact, there are hundreds! But how do you know which type will complement your artwork and look best in your space? We put together a handy guide for how to choose the perfect natural wood frame. Read our professional advice and learn how to frame your favorite artwork and photos with beautiful, natural wood!

Boho style + frames

Creative, free-spirited, unconventional—all these words describe Bohemian, or Boho, style. Boho design often references nature through the use of warm, earthy colors, natural materials, and botanical motifs. It combines interesting elements from cultures from around the world, commonly mixing patterns and textures for a beautifully layered look.


Boho wooden picture frames with a simpler style tend to feature lighter wood tones like ash, beech, birch, or maple. Some boho frames have more of a global flair with carved patterns or inlay and may feature more medium wood tones such as oak, rosewood, or cherry.


Boho art ideas:


  • Travel photography

  • Art with soft shapes and a natural color palette 

  • Candid family photos

Farmhouse/Cottage style + frames

Modern farmhouse and country cottage design have experienced a major resurgence in the past decade. And it’s easy to see why—both are the perfect blend of comfort and functionality! They pay homage to rural living by incorporating rustic design elements and natural materials. Modern farmhouse tends to reference simpler early American design with minimal flourishes and a neutral palette, while country cottage is inspired by English cottages with cozy and charming decor. 


Farmhouse/cottage wooden picture frames tend to have more basic profiles and can come in a range of wood tones, though we especially like oak, ash, and cherry. These styles look great with rustic wood that features an interesting texture, visible wood grain, and weathered finishes.


Farmhouse/cottage art ideas:


  • Botanical prints

  • Handmade embroidery

  • Art featuring pastoral scenes

Modern style + frames

If you like modern style, you’re probably drawn to clean lines, neutral tones, simple shapes, and pieces that combine form with function. Sometimes confused with contemporary style, modern design actually references the early 20th-century design movement, modernism. Scandinavian design and Mid Century modern are popular aesthetics within the modern style family.


Modern wooden frame styles are clean and minimal, with no ornamentation. If your style skews more mid century modern opt for a medium-tone wood like walnut. If Scandinavian is more your thing, go with a lighter wood like beech, birch, or maple.


Modern art ideas: 


  • Black and white family photos

  • Abstract art with geometric and organic shapes

  • Architecture photography

Traditional style + frames

Inspired by European design in the 18th and 19th centuries, traditional style references the past with classic elements, antiques, and historical designs. Elegant and sophisticated, this style incorporates fine materials, luxurious finishes, matching furnishings, and symmetry. Popular for hundreds of years, traditional design truly stands the test of time!


Traditional wooden picture frames feature premium hardwoods like mahogany, walnut, and dark cherry. Darker wood tones pair well with this style to add depth and richness. Some traditional picture frames have ornate details, others exude more understated elegance.


Traditional art ideas:


  • Still life paintings

  • Landscapes

  • Family portraits

Vintage/eclectic style + frames

Vintage design is a mashup of many different decades and eclectic design is a mashup of many different styles. While they’re not exactly the same decor style, there’s a lot of overlap! Vintage design references times gone by with color palettes, furniture, and decor from (or inspired by) the past. An eclectic home embraces maximalism with colorful art, interesting objects, and unique furniture that make the space feel energized and inviting.


Vintage/eclectic wooden picture frames come in a range of fun styles, from sleek and mod to ornate inlays and carved designs. This style embraces color, so feel free to select wood stained in a variety of hues.


Vintage/eclectic art ideas:


  • Vintage family photos

  • Art with bold designs and vibrant colors

  • Vintage posters

Now you can pick out wooden picture frames like a pro! Need help choosing a mat? Check out our easy guide to mats and our in-depth exploration of accent mats.