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Can Color Affect Your Mood?

Isn’t it interesting how color can possibly affect your mood. You may not realize it at first, but it can possibly change your mood slightly or significantly. There have been sayings that you may be familiar with:

– “I am feeling blue today”
– “I am so mad, I am seeing red”
– “I am green with envy”

Red can be typically classified with the feeling or sense of anger, rage, temperature rising, fire, standing out. Whereas, the color blue, can be classified as calming & tranquil and can give off a persona of trustworthy & strength. Green is the color that typically has relaxing/healing effects as it is associated with growth & nature (stroll in the park). Yellow, of course, you automatically think of the sun which is bright, inviting & warm. Black can have some possibly dark feelings, but more people think of black as classy, slimming & elegant (Black Tie affair).

The reason that I bring up this topic is that you may want to consider these possible factors when purchasing colors & pictures for your living spaces. You typically would not want to put a lot of red in a small room where you spend a lot of time, as it could possibly have some negative effects. What seems to work the best is calming pictures with blues, green & yellow (ocean, sky, nature, sun) for areas where you spend a lot of time to give off the relaxing nature & positive vibes.

We have all kinds of pictures that we can offer to you, to your specifications, that are new & exciting for your next hospitality or healthcare project.


Tips For Displaying Framed Photos On A Wall

Everyone loves photos – especially family photos – and framing these pieces and displaying them on a wall to enjoy every day is always a joy.

But sometimes the task can be overwhelming.  Where to begin?  What to frame?  How to display?

“We always take a very common sense approach to displaying framed photos,” said Margot Dark, co-owner with her husband Andy of Contract Pictures Framers Inc., of Westville, N.J., which has been providing quality picture framing, artwork and installation to businesses for more than 25 years.  “We want people to be able to enjoy the display without being overly artsy, which diminishes the artwork itself.”

As a general rule, frames should hang at eye level, or around 5 feet, or slightly more, from the floor. Hang them a little bit higher if you have high ceilings.

A large gallery display of family photographs is an especially attractive way to infuse any room with warmth. To create a photo wall, place your favorite pictures in frames of different sizes and shapes and hang them in a mosaic pattern.

Pull it all together by using like frames or mat color or by using only black and white pictures. New framed pictures can be added to the arrangement until you’ve formed an overall shape that works for you. Interesting options include diamond or rectangular shapes.

Dramatic Displays

Assemble a perfect display and create more than a backdrop on your walls. Fill a large wall space with a collection of images framed identically, or make a dramatic display with shadow boxes and framed works mixed. You could also create several groupings of smaller framed pictures, or arrange a gallery on a table using easel style frames.

Produce the impression of a single dramatic image by framing similar pictures or art work (like a series of abstract paintings) in the same size frame and hanging them tightly together.

Record a special event with pictures and create a stylish display. Choose your wall, then place three identical size frames in the center to establish a focal point, then add rows, grouping pictures about 1-2 inches apart to form a square or rectangle.

Stairway Wall Challenges

Stairway photo displays attract attention and make for very pleasant – and perhaps even fun – wall decor. It can, however, be a challenge to come up with just the right display design. The most important rule that should be followed when creating a picture wall display of this sort if to be sure to follow the upward angle of the steps.

How About Straight Rows?

To hang straight rows of frames – always a timeless and sophisticated option – use string stretched between two pushpins as a guide.  You can also choose to use a laser level to accomplish this.  Make sure to use a level after hanging each frame to be sure each frame is straight before moving on to the next.

As you can see, there’s are an overwhelming number of options to hanging picture frames.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Keep it simple and you’ll be quite pleased with the results for years to come.


How To Care For Your Picture Frame

Often a picture frame is a work of art in and of itself.

Which means it needs to be cared for just like what’s framed.

“People tend to forget to clean and care for their pictures frames as they would with what’s inside them,” says Margot Dark of Contract Pictures Framers Inc., of Cherry Hill, N.J., which has been providing quality picture framing, artwork and installation to businesses and homes for more than 25 years.  “Simple maintenance can literally give you a lifetime of pleasure.”

Thus, Dark offers these suggestions to keep your frame looking beautiful:

Regular Cleaning For Regular Enjoyment

Like anything in a home or office, picture frames need to be dusted and cleaned from time to time.  Start with laying a soft thick towel down on a flat surface.  This way the back can be taken off and the picture removed without scratching the front of the frame.  Never set a frame down on its front without laying it on something soft, as it could scratch it regardless of frame type.

Once you get the back of the frame opened up and your picture removed, simply take out the glass and give it a good cleaning.  Any glass cleaner will work for glass, but only use water and soap on acrylic.  Dark recommends cleaning with a cloth towel instead of paper towels, as paper towels can scratch acrylic.  Using cloth is not only more environmentally friendly, but is especially important if using conservation techniques to protect a photo (the acid in the paper towels left on the glass can slowly degrade a photo).

Types Of Frames

For most wood picture frames with a smooth finish (like furniture), use a dust cleaner or a slightly dampened cloth with water.  Make sure to remove the picture if using any type of spray cleaner.  With a rustic picture frame without a lacquered finish, then simply use water with a slightly damp towel to clean or use a soft toothbrush or microfiber cloth.  Be careful of dust cleaners or wood cleaners for unfinished wood, as it will absorb the cleaner differently and may discolor it.

How To Clean Metal Picture Frames

For metal picture frames, the way to clean them can vary greatly.  For gold colored, silver colored or aluminum picture frames, simply use a slightly damp towel with water and wipe the frame down.

This will clean your frame gently without damaging the finish.  And for unlacquered finishes like solid pewter picture frames, silver plated frames or sterling silver picture frames, use a good quality silver cleaner and follow directions of the cleaner.  If not sure on the kind of finish, use a small area on the bottom of the frame (or on the back) as a test area to make sure the finish is not being damaged.

Again, make sure to only clean and care for frames while the pictures are removed.

Once done cleaning the glass and the frame, don’t put back the picture until the glass is completely dry.  Moisture on the glass can cause the photo to stick to the glass and damage the picture.

So as Dark adds, follow these steps and you’ll be sure to keep your picture frames in the same beautiful condition as when you bought them!


More Tips To Selecting The Right Picture Frame

Choosing The Ideal Color, Style & More . . .

Picture frames are an art form unto themselves, and the selection of the right frame and matte for a photo or art print can be overwhelming.

How often have you walked into a frame shop, only to see a thousand different styles adorning the walls?

“Selecting the right picture frame and accompanying matte can indeed be overwhelming,” says Margot Dark of Contract Pictures Framers Inc., of Cherry Hill, N.J., which has been providing quality picture framing, artwork and installation to businesses and homes for more than 25 years.  “But our job is to put the customer at ease in simplifying the process.”

Thus, Dark offers some more pertinent tips when it comes to picture frame shopping:

Frame Style

  • The style of the frame should obviously go with the mood or style of the art.
  • A good example: a shiny black lacquer frame can look great with Chinese art.
  • If you want rustic, go with a wood frame.
  • A slender metal frame gives a sharp, clean, modern look – for an abstract painting, for example.
  • Metal frames can be less expensive and are good for posters, which generally demand simplicity.
  • A thin wooden frame can create problems for large pieces of art – remember, frames also need to hold the weight of the glass.
  • A wide frame on a small picture can have a dramatic effect – you’ll often see this in museums.

Color

  • It’s generally fine to use black, white or off-white for the matte, but it’s generally not a good idea to juxtapose white and off-white.
  • A black matte and a wood-finish frame work nicely together.
  • Choose a matte color that’s in the image, but not overwhelmingly present and not prevalent along the border of the art so that you have contrast.
  • Same with a double matte – the second color should appear just a bit in the picture to bring that color out.
  • Professionally made mattes come in a variety of textures.  Using texture can help set off the artwork, especially with a plain frame.  For example, a silk matte in a black lacquer frame can be quite impactful.

Glass

  • Regular glass is generally fine, but other types of glass exist.
  • Non-glare glass can be useful, although when viewed at some angles can dull the vibrance of the art.

Hanging

  • Hang small or medium-sized works in clusters, even if that means empty space nearby.  Grouping art like this is most attractive.
  • Group different sizes and different frames together for an eye-catching effect.
  • Leave some open spaces – not every wall needs to have a painting.
  • Hang art at eye-level of a not very tall person.
  • Err on the side of low; most people hang their art too high.

“Having so many choices is a good problem to have,” adds Dark.  “This is why selecting the right picture frame and matte can make the piece of art or photo so much more enjoyable to look at.”


Case Study: Rehabilitation Center Completely Outfitted With Framed Wall Art Throughout Its New Facility

Situation

A rehabilitation center in Florida – a five-star rated senior community and nursing home – recently built a new facility and was in need of framed wall art throughout the center.

Approach

Utilizing a building construction management firm to oversee the overhaul, Contract Picture Framers (CPF) of Cherry Hill, N.J., was selected as the vendor for all wall art throughout the 120-bed facility.

However, deadlines were extremely tight, as CPF had just four weeks from the mid-November of 2012 award date to complete the installation – all while being 850 miles away.  CPF worked with the Project Designer in selecting the theme of the design, the art and framing, as well as location placement.

In this short period of time, CPF manufactured 480 pieces, including 125 bulletin boards and 20 mirrors.  The remaining 335 pieces consisted of wall art and picture framing, including canvas prints in floater frames, with images printed on acrylic, bamboo and aluminum (the design theme).

Outcome

CPF was ready for the December 15 deadline; however, other building delays pushed the installation date back to January 5.  CPF loaded its truck January 2, drove to Florida January 3 (a 16-hour drive), unloaded and began install January 4, finished install of all 480 pieces January 5, then drove back to New Jersey January 6.  The project was completed on time and on budget.

The rehabilitation center, as well as the Brooklyn-based construction management firm, was thrilled with the CPF’s turnkey operation – its design selection, quality of work, and installation abilities – and has asked for additional work on the next phase.

About Contract Picture Framers Inc.

Contract Picture Framers Inc., of Cherry Hill, N.J., is a premiere provider of beautiful custom framed artwork.  Owners Andy and Margot Dark began their career in the picture framing business in 1982 with the purchase of a Deck The Walls franchise, then added two more locations.  In 1999, they left the retail side of business to focus on commercial sales, and reincorporated as Contract Picture Framers, Inc.

Today, Contract Picture Framers serves much of the area’s healthcare industry, while also meeting the needs of countless other businesses and individuals, and offers thousands of styles to choose from, quality matting, and even delivery and installation (the latter utilizing theft-resistant security systems).  All orders are custom made to exact specifications, and there is no outsourcing, as all work is done at their Cherry Hill production facility.  For more information, visit www.contractpictureframers.com call (609) 304-5083, or e-mail sales@contractpictureframers.com.


Tips For Choosing Wall Art & Picture Frames For The Office

Different Considerations From The Home

One of the easiest ways to add a little personality to your office is to decorate it with framed art.  Having your artwork or photos professionally framed can be very expensive, but with a few tools and a little know-how you can do it yourself.

“People generally don’t treat their offices like they do their homes when it comes to decorating with art and picture frames,” said Margot Dark, co-owner with her husband Andy of Contract Pictures Framers Inc., of Cherry Hill, N.J., which has been providing quality picture framing, artwork and installation to businesses and homes for more than 25 years.  “But a thoughtful approach to the office environment can boost morale and productivity.”

First, choose the piece of artwork or photo you wish to frame. This sounds simple, but there are things to think about here, too. If you want to frame a photo or a series of photos, say that you took on your vacation or from your wedding, you will need to decide if you want to blow them up, mount them together in the same frame or in different frames, or keep them small and mounted in the same frame. The answers may depend on the quality of the photo and if you have the negatives (which will allow for a cleaner image when enlarged) if the pictures logically belong together (as in a series, like someone swinging a bat or tossing a bouquet) and what kind of frames you like.

Once you have chosen the photos or art you want to frame and know what size it is, you can begin thinking about matting. The mat adds to the size of the photo and makes it look more professional. A mat can be used to hide the ragged edges of your preschooler’s latest work of art or to add unity to a group of pictures. Mats can also help draw different accessories together by using a similar color theme. Mats come in different widths, and the general rule is to use a narrower mat on a smaller picture. You don’t want the mat to take over so people notice it instead of the art it surrounds.

To help you choose a color for your mat, consider the colors in the picture you are going to frame. Perhaps there is a subtle color in the background you want to play up, or a dominant color you would like to compliment with your matting choice. If you don’t know what color might look good with your picture, you can get someone at a crafting or frame shop to help you by describing the colors in the picture to them. They can offer you some good choices you might not have thought of.

Now it is time to consider the frame itself. Of course the frame and mat go hand-in-hand, and if you’re choosing a frame that comes with a mat the mat decision will be made for you. The frame is almost as important as the picture itself when giving a room a theme or trying to set a mood. Do you want your office to be playful? Modern? Do you want it to look like an antique shop? Or something completely different? All of these moods are possible with different kinds of frames. Let the piece be your guide and choose a frame that harmonizes with it. If the picture is wild, choose a more subdued frame. Think about any other accessories that may be in the room that you will want to coordinate with.

Remember, too, that coordinate does not mean match. Just because the desk set in your office is brown leather doesn’t mean all your frames have to be brown leather, too. But it does mean you have something to work with, warm colors, perhaps leather in a different shade or just dark brown wood. The things that are already in the office give you a place to start, but it doesn’t have to be the place you end up.

Have fun choosing the artwork and frames that will decorate your office. This room is the place where you spend the most time, and you should have things to look at that you enjoy, that look good and that reflect your personality.


Contract Picture Framers Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary

From Humble Beginnings As A Deck The Walls Franchise

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (December 10, 2012) — Back in 1982, Andy and Margot Dark were working long hours as a chemical engineer and insurance company representative, respectively, when they decided to put an offer on a Deck The Walls franchise being sold in their hometown of Cherry Hill, N.J.

To their surprise, the offer was accepted, and a new career in the picture framing business was born – and one that now thrives 30 years later (on December 12, 2012, to be exact) as Contract Picture Framers, Inc.

One of the region’s premiere provider of beautiful custom framed artwork, Contract Picture Framers serves much of the area’s healthcare industry, while also meeting the needs of countless other businesses and individuals, and offers thousands of styles to choose from, quality matting, and even delivery and installation (the latter utilizing theft-resistant security systems). All orders are custom made to exact specifications, and there is no outsourcing.

“We were both getting tired of our careers and looking for something different,” notes Andy Dark. “We didn’t know a thing about picture framing, so didn’t even think our offer for the Deck The Walls franchise would be accepted. But it was, and suddenly we were in a new career.”

“We trained for a week at the Deck The Wall headquarters, opened our store the next day, and things took off from there,” adds Dark.

Dark and his wife went on to open two more locations – in the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussa, Penn., and in the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem, Penn. – and expanded efforts to commercial businesses by offering on-site design, delivery and installation services. They even won the Deck The Walls franchise national award in 1988 for the top percentage growth from the previous year.

However, with the decline of shopping malls – and retail in general – beginning in the mid-1990′s, the Dark’s made the decision to leave the retail side of business to focus solely on commercial efforts, and reincorporated in 1999 as Contract Picture Framers Inc.

Today, Contract Picture Framers is successful because “we are obsessed with offering superior service – superior design, super delivery, superior installation, superior quality, and competitive pricing,” says a prideful Dark.

Contract Picture Framers also has a policy that if a piece they manufactured and installed is not right for any reason, the will exchange it, no questions asked.

“We don’t want a picture hanging on the wall that the customer passes by every day disliking, and then disliking us,” reasons Dark.

And because of this commitment, Contract Picture Framers still works with many of its original customers.

“We go to great lengths to make heros of our clients,” boasts Dark.

Now 30 years later, those clients number in the thousands, and while the Dark’s are perhaps working more than in their previous careers, it’s a labor of love, and one that shows on the walls of countless satisfied customers throughout the area.

About Contract Picture Framers
Contract Picture Framers Inc., of Cherry Hill, N.J., is one of the region’s premiere provider of beautiful custom framed artwork. Owners Andy and Margot Dark began their career in the picture framing business in 1982 with the purchase of a Deck The Walls franchise, then added two more locations. In 1999, they left the retail side of business to focus on commercial sales, and reincorporated as Contract Picture Framers, Inc. Today, Contract Picture Framers serves much of the area’s healthcare industry, while also meeting the needs of countless other businesses and individuals, and offers thousands of styles to choose from, quality matting, and even delivery and installation (the latter utilizing theft-resistant security systems). All orders are custom made to exact specifications, and there is no outsourcing, as all work is done at their Cherry Hill production facility. For more information, visit www.contractpictureframers.com, call (609) 304-5083, or e-mail andy@contractpictureframers.com.


Picking The Perfect Artwork For Your Company

Put Some Diligent Thought Into This, And You’ll Reap The Benefits

The healthcare sector may be big business, but when anyone enters the premises of these facilities, the powers that be want you to think they’re anything but big business.

They strive for a warm feel, an inviting feel. And a large part of this is not only a matter of color choices on the walls and the types of furniture featured, but the artwork on the walls, as well.

“People often don’t immediately notice artwork when they first walk into some place new, but studies have shown they ‘feel it” when combined with other aesthetic aspects,” says Margot Dark, who along with her husband Andy, founded Contract Pictures Framers Inc., of Cherry Hill, N.J., 30 years ago, and which caters to the healthcare industry with artwork selection, custom framing and on-premises installation. “The artwork companies select say something about them, and that can’t be underestimated.”

“Art is part of our culture here,” notes a senior staff member of a large senior residential community development firm, which worked with Dark and her company in selecting artwork for their headquarters. “And since we decided to put more of an emphasis on it, we’ve noticed more residents, employees and visitors alike take notice in a complimentary way. This is nothing but a positive for us.”

As part of a company’s overall branding strategy, Dark offers these tips in selecting the right artwork for your company’s walls:

  • Keep It Simple – Most walls look great with simple wall art. You really don’t have to choose something with a complex design in order for it to enhance the space you are decorating. Something complex could completely change the mood you are trying to create. Simplicity will directly convey a message to anyone that looks at them.
  • Inspiration – Wall art can be a valuable source of inspiration for people that view them. Motivational art work can inspire residents, employees and guests and are always a good choice. Many people choose prints that give people hope in today’s stressful world.
  • First Instinct – No matter how nice a piece of art looks with your furnishings, if you don’t care for it, don’t buy it. Additionally, the art work should accurately reflect your company’s personality, giving employees and visitors a clear idea of the attitude or mission of the organization. “There are so many styles of wall art available these days that it’s easy to find something stunning that reflects your organization’s unique personality to a tee,” adds Dark.
  • Mirror, Mirror On The Wall – Dark notes mirrors are always a terrific choice to incorporate into your selections. They come in all shapes and sizes, and help to open up small places, or expand on warm colors and furniture selections.

But above all, put some diligent thought into what you want on the walls of your business. It will set the tone, and with the right tone, everyone benefits – including your bottom line.


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