What's in a frame? I'd say everything! A good mat and frame can make something mundane into something exquisite. One of my favorite framed pieces is mummy cloth my dad brought back from Egypt in 1979. My mom had it elegantly and simply framed and passed it down to me (with a little persuasion). While I don't think anyone can disagree that professional framing is ideal, sometimes you have to throw some less expensive options in the mix. Here's my list of top 10 sources:
1) Ebay! Search vintage frames in the home/garden section. You can refurbish by painting, if needed. Black is always a good option.
2) Thrift stores/garage sales/flea markets--try to focus on the frames and not what's inside, unless you like what's inside then you've got a double-win!
4) West Elm's--Gallery frames are quite nice.
5) Ikea-One word:Ribba. I profess, I've always thought the mat was a little too thin on the sides, but this is a good, cheap frame.
6) Urban Outfitters--this set of 10 frames would be great dispersed and used as fillers in different rooms. $28.00? Are you kidding?
7) American Frame--I've actually never purchased from this online shop but have seen rave reviews online.
8) CB2--the Gallery frames are simple and stylish.
9) Michaels--40% off coupons, anyone?
10) Local Frame Shops--for their miscuts and returns. I stock up at Jayson Home and Garden in Chicago. They have monthly warehouse sales and keep smaller mis-cut frames stocked all the time. I buy simple black and white standard sized frames then take them to my local framer to finish-off once I have the artwork picked. Having a custom mat and glass cut is still much cheaper than a full custom job. What about you, do you have a secret source for frames on the cheap?