Our Favorite Cactus Art
"Saguaros, Saguaro National Monument" by Ansel Adams in our Irvine Slim frame with a white mat

"Saguaros, Saguaro National Monument" by Ansel Adams in our Irvine Slim frame with a white mat

 

Lately we've seen a lot of cactus art popping up in our framing studio, on our Instagram, and on your walls. Fiddle leaf figs might be the hot plant IRL, but cactus prints are totally owning your walls. We thought we'd put together a little roundup of some of our favorite cactus art from around the web—complete with with inspiration photos, art links, and frame suggestions.



Got your cactus?

 
Curating a collected gallery wall with Desiree Venn Frederic
Desiree Venn Frederic in front of her expertly curated floor to ceiling gallery wall featuring art by Sir E.U. in our Hatteras frame

Desiree Venn Frederic in front of her expertly curated floor to ceiling gallery wall featuring art by Sir E.U. in our Hatteras frame

 

 

Here's the thing about Desiree Venn Frederic - she just has so much STYLE. We'd been fans of her's from afar - read: Instagram - for some time, so we were very (very) excited to have the chance to frame a few pieces for her collection at home. There's just something about seeing how someone's style translates into their home that is so personal and unique. 

Desiree's home is a lot like her sartorial style - overwhelmingly layered and colorful and so her. You're barely one foot in the door and you're immediately hit with sensory overload - the intoxicating scent of homemade chai, luscious red velvet upholstery, mellow tunes rotating on the record player, and large, bold art climbing from the baseboard to the ceiling. Set a quick walk from D.C.’s flourishing H-Street corridor, the apartment is vibrant, warm, and to home to Desiree - curator and founder of Nomad Yard - and her partner Tony Gyepi-Garbrah, the brains behind Gentleman’s Brim. It’s a sanctuary full of artifacts gifted and collected through the years, and pieces that reflect them and their stories. Relaxed and barefoot, we chatted with this one-of-a-kind vintage curator and her partner about investing in artists, picking the best vintage items, and what goes into mastering such a beautiful curated space - together. Take it away, Desiree. 


 
A pair of stunning green heels highlighted by a beautiful piece of abstract art in our Heathrow  canvas frame

A pair of stunning green heels highlighted by a beautiful piece of abstract art in our Heathrow  canvas frame

Desiree and Tony's wall effortlessly balances texture, color, and scale to create a truly one of a kind look

Desiree and Tony's wall effortlessly balances texture, color, and scale to create a truly one of a kind look

 

on decor


The tone was set and locked when we found this Ralph Lauren Paint; paired with rich browns, burgundies and blacks—it screams all kinds of deliciousness.

A home should feel "collected" and not merely "decorated".

Permanence is the goal, so I view each piece as an investment seeking timelessness and quality that will translate throughout your life journey. Our approach in this home was a masculine, heritage-inspired tone. However, we prefer less literal translations. So no, pinstripes and tartan. Rather, grounded classic pieces… bring in the vintage.

We like industrial, weathered, warm and raw elements like dark wood, and materials that will patina over time, like brass, copper, and leather.

The key element is texture: for every smooth surface, there is a counter-acting thick texture. And then delve into richness: the reddish toned hardwood floors bring warmth, elegance and depth to the look paired with the burgundy velvet victorian sofa.

 
Desiree's style on full display against a gallery wall backdrop featuring our Sonoma, Mercer Slim, and Heathrow frames

Desiree's style on full display against a gallery wall backdrop featuring our Sonoma, Mercer Slim, and Heathrow frames

 

On Art


Unlike most collectors, we don’t usually buy individual works. And, although we use them for research, we do not buy through auction catalogues.

Our connection is as much with the artist as with the art. Hence a burgeoning Washington focused collection.

The thrill is in discovering the new. Outside of the Elizabeth Catlett, Victor Ekpuk, Alex Gardner, we focus on collecting works from people we build friendships with. For example, Julian Alexander Barnes' work evokes a dense textural quality and to know the man behind the work.

 
 

Sir E.U. is a multi-disciplinary artist who won my interest years ago. His ability to transform his artistry from collage to music ensures he will continue to inspire for years to come. I commissioned the 2nd piece commemorating my brother's 18th birthday.

As vintage educator focused on indigenous groups, much of my work demands I explore both archeological and anthropological studies. The handwoven antique country cloth was gifted to my mother in the 1970's while she worked as a traveling midwife.

The exchange of goods for services is one that inspires the best of humanity—barter as commerce.

 
Desiree and Tony at ease in their beautiful space

Desiree and Tony at ease in their beautiful space

Collage by Sir E.U. in Hatteras and an antique handwoven textile from Sierra Leone in Sonoma

Collage by Sir E.U. in Hatteras and an antique handwoven textile from Sierra Leone in Sonoma

 

on curation


It is a process that begins with intention and is guided by thoughtfulness. The goal of curating a gallery wall requires an examination of the primary content, in our case, Andrew Cressman’s ‘Cow in the Fields’. In an effort to strengthen the elements of the piece, we positioned it with related content. Any activity that involves culling and selecting allows me to draw on the etymology of curating. It’s a process that demands intention, patience and a certain fluidity of mind and eye.

A few tips:

  • Vintage items: Research the history behind the piece. Understand the functionality behind it as well as the current events that played a role in its design/maturity. Try to place yourself in the shoes of the person who would've utilized it. Bottom line: it's a chance to collect an artifact of history.
     
  • Art: Research as much as you can. If you find something that speaks to you, research the artist as well as their contemporaries. Seek direct engagement. If they have a web page, email them. If they have a social media account (i.e. Instagram), direct message them. Go to their exhibitions, reach out to galleries that carry them. Don’t be afraid to buy a giant painting or a series that fills up an entire wall… it can be fantastically dramatic. Quite often I’ll see one small painting on a fairly large wall and it just seems lost.
     
  • Hanging: When it comes time to hang, don’t be scared. You just have to dive in. The worst thing that can happen is you have to touch up a little nail hole with paint. One tip - start lower than you may think. The bottom of the painting should be just a few inches above the top of whatever it’s hanging over — a sofa, table, mantel, etc.
 
 

Desiree framed her art with our Hatteras, Mercer Slim, Heathrow, and Sonoma frame styles.

Follow Desiree on Instagram @xodvf and check out her website xodvf.com.

 
Art We Love: The Met Collection
 

Attention, please! The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently released over 400,000 high res images from their amazing collection. What does that mean? You can print and frame your favorite Monets, Manets, and everything in between.

Our friends at The Met aren't stopping with 400k. The number will only continue to grow as more files are digitized. Check out a few of our favorites below, and then jump in and find a few favorites of your own.


One quick note: If you're hesitant about including a print of a world renown painting in your collection let us just say, we understand. We've all seen huge posters of Monet's "Waterlilies" or Van Gogh's "Starry Night" that have left us feeling underwhelmed, but if you love the classics there is a way to include them in your collection without feeling cliché. Just keep in mind the scale of the piece and the finishes you choose. 

Don't forget: If you want to print and frame one of these classic pieces you can do it all with Framebridge. Just follow these easy steps:

  • Click the buttons below each photo to download the art file.
  • Head to framebridge.com and click "Start Framing".
  • Select "Digital Photo" and upload the art file. 
  • Choose your size, frame, and mat options. 
  • That's it! Wait for your beautifully printed and framed piece of art to arrive at your doorstep—totally ready to hang.

 
 

“The Manneporte (Étretat)” by Claude Monet

“The Manneporte (Étretat)” by Claude Monet, 1883

The Manneporte (Étretat)” by Claude Monet, 1883

Print: For this piece, we really like the intimate scale of an 8" x 10" print. 
Frame: We suggest our Newport frame for a traditional look, our glossy rose gold Rosemont frame for a very on-trend look, or our Marin or Irvine Slim frames for a clean, modern gallery look. 
Hang: Add to your gallery wall, or lean on your desk for some calming energy.

 
 

“Bouquet of Sunflowers” by Claude Monet

“Bouquet of Sunflowers” by Claude Monet, 1881

“Bouquet of Sunflowers” by Claude Monet, 1881

Print: For this piece, we would opt for a slightly larger scale. Around 11" x 14".
Frame: We suggest playing up the rich tones with a gold frame. Our wide sloped Chelsea frame feels classic, while the delicate profiles of our Providence and Richmond frames add a sense of sophistication, and finally our Potomac frame plays up the painterly nature of the piece.
Hang: We picture this piece hanging in a sunny breakfast nook, or greeting guests on an entryway table.

 
 

“Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (Sunlight)” By Claude Monet

“Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (Sunlight)” by Claude Monet, 1894

Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (Sunlight)” by Claude Monet, 1894

Print: Go a little bigger on this one. We like the look of a 12" x 18" piece. 
Frame: We suggest keeping things light and bright here with a delicate metallic like our pewter Ventura frame, antique silver Newport frame, or champagne silver Monroe frame. You also can't go wrong with our clean white Irvine Slim gallery frame. 
Hang: The proportions of this piece make it a natural gallery wall addition. We see it really shining alongside travel photos and souvenirs. 

 
 

Ready to add a new piece to your collection?

 
A perfect moment from Cleveland's championship parade
"Witnesses" by Emily Roggenburk in our Tacoma frame with a white mat || Photos via Emily Roggenburk

"Witnesses" by Emily Roggenburk in our Tacoma frame with a white mat || Photos via Emily Roggenburk

 

“That day in Cleveland was something so long awaited that I knew photos from the ground just wouldn’t do it justice.

When the day came I didn’t really have a plan. I woke up that morning thinking how cool it would be to capture everything from above. I called pretty much every helicopter company in Cleveland that I could find on Google. The parade was at 11 AM.

It was probably 9:30 AM when I was finally able to charter a helicopter from Detroit. It wasn’t planned, but everything fell into place all at once.

The whole reason we had a parade and the whole reason we got the championship is because LeBron came home. There’s a big poster of LeBron on one of the buildings that everyone knows. It’s a thing in Cleveland. Everyone takes their picture in front of it.

This photo shows one of the most important buildings in Cleveland, the terminal tower, along with the poster of LeBron, and this huge line of people that look like they’re going towards this poster. Before LeBron left Cleveland the poster used to say, ‘You are all witnesses.’ I just thought it was so perfect that all of these people were witnesses to this historic moment.

For one day everyone came together for this one cause that no one could really argue with. No matter what background you're from or where you come from in Cleveland everyone got along that day and was able to unite for something bigger.

It’s a day that people will never forget.”

- Emily Roggenburk, photographer and Cleveland sports fan


 
4 Vacation Vignettes with Bree Madden Photography
 

You know that moment when you're on vacation somewhere warm, you step out of the airport, and feel your first splash of stress free sunshine on your skin? It's pure magic. With spring in the air and summer not far behind we want to help you bring that feeling inside.

And when we think beach-y, sunshine-y goodness we think of our friend and photographer Bree Madden's prints. We challenged ourselves and three influencers across the country to create a mini vacation gallery wall of their very own with one of Bree's prints and two framed Instagrams. And boy did they come up with some gorgeous arrangements.

P.S. Giveaway alert! Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom. We're giving away a mini vacation gallery walls to one lucky winner. 


Mixed Woods in Chicago with @livviejane

 
 

Nothing captures the beach vibe quite like our natural wood Marin frame. We love how Olivia Metzger (@livviejane) wasn't afraid to mix light and dark woods in her space. The rich brown of her dresser anchors the arrangement, while her mini gallery wall adds a light, bright feel.

Want to get the look? Frame Bree Madden's "Carpenteria" print (16" x 20") in our Marin frame with a white mat, and pair with two of your favorite vacation Instagrams in the same frame.


 

Modern traditional in Texas with @househomemade

 

We love a dark wall, and now—thanks to Jessica Nickerson of @househomemade—we've got a newfound love for beach-y art on dark walls. Not only does she beautifully blend traditional and modern elements, but she makes it all feel fresh with her art and frame choices.

Want to get the look? Frame Bree's "Newport Beach" print (12" x 12") in our Irvine frame with a white mat. Pair with two beach pics in our very on-trend burl wood Cairo frame with a white mat.


Bright and Preppy in Florida with @historyinhighheels

 
 

Ashley Buchanan of @historyinhighheels has the luxury of warm weather all year round in sunny Florida, but even she likes to bring that feeling inside. In her arrangement she's paired cool toned art with warm toned gold frames for high contrast look. We love how she incorporated a non-framed object—that fabulous hat—into her arrangement!

Want to get the look? Frame Bree's “S Pier” print (8" x 10") in our Richmond frame with a white mat. Add in two of our gold bamboo Mandalay Instagram Mini frames for some extra fun.


 

Bright Boho in DC with @framebridge

 

It was love at first sight for Team Framebridge when we saw this yellow lifeguard stand. You can't beat the color punch this piece packs. We considered pairing a couple different frames with this piece (Irvine Slim and Newport), but ultimately ended up with our new glossy pewter Ventura frame. We couldn't get over how beautifully it pulled out the metal elements in the lifeguard stand structure. 

Want to get the look? Frame Bree's "Yellow Tower #3" (16" x 20") in our Ventura frame with a white mat. Pair with two of your favorite Instagrams in our Newport frame. 


 
TBT: Five Things We Learned from Architectural Digest March 2012
Via Architectural Digest

Via Architectural Digest

 

The best part about Thursday (beside being Friday Eve) is we all get to take a trip down memory lane. Today let's throw it back to March 2012 and remember what was decking the walls and halls of the uber chic. First step: reference the bible of design - aka Architectural Digest. Step two: be pleasantly surprised to find out it was the celebrity issue, and Brook Shields's gorgeous New York townhouse graced the cover. Turns out what was stylish in 2012 is still stylish today. Keep scrolling to get the best of 2012, today.


I. Diptychs Can Balance a Design

 
Via Architectural Digest

Via Architectural Digest

 

Each side of Brooke's mantle features a different furniture piece. A marble topped table on the left, and a beautiful, heavy chest of drawers on the right. The portraits by Will Cotton of Shields’s two daughters that hang above the furniture unite the look through the cohesiveness of the artist style and consistent frame choice. 

Want to get the look? Try framing two portraits by the same artist in our wide sloped Chelsea frame

II. Column Gallery Walls are Always a Good Idea

 
Via Architectural Digest

Via Architectural Digest

 

As you might have read in this blog post, we're huge fans of column gallery walls. They're the perfect way to accent small spaces between windows (like you see above), or lonely corners that need a little love. The cool thing about these displays is that you can get playful with what you choose to frame. Here Brooke features a trio of rabbit paintings by Hunt Slonem in heavy gold frames adding a whimsical, graphic look to the space.

Want to get the look? Consider a trio of small modern art pieces that build upon each other. Frame in our antique gold Georgetown frame to add a vintage feel.

 

III. Make a Statement with Large Leaning Art 

Via Architectural Digest

Via Architectural Digest

 

If you're lucky enough to have a mantle somewhere in your home we highly recommend using that design opportunity to feature a big, beautiful piece of art. (Please, we beg you, don't waste the space on mounting your flat screen.) In Brooke's kitchen she's chosen a very literal painting for the kitchen by Malcolm Liepke. 

Want to get the look? Check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art's recently released collection of creative commons images (we've picked a few below). Download you favorite(s) and upload to our site for printing and framing. We suggest our Potomac frame style for traditional art. You can't beat how it's layered gold foil finish truly seems to glow in the sunlight.

IV. Everything is Frameworthy

 
 

We may sound like a broken record here, but everything really is frameworthy. (If you don't believe us, please read this story on a piece of cardboard we framed.) Now, we might not all have a piece of wrapping paper full of doodles by artist Keith Haring from a gift he gave us for our birthday, but you get the idea. Need a little framing inspiration? Check out this post for some of the craziest things we've framed. 

V. Leaning Gallery Walls are Your Friend

 
Robert Mapplethorpe and Annie Leibovitz, are propped alongside works by Richard Avedon, Adam Fuss, and others.

Robert Mapplethorpe and Annie Leibovitz, are propped alongside works by Richard Avedon, Adam Fuss, and others.

 

It was true five years ago, and it's true today. Leaning gallery walls are the best way to make a casual, yet sophisticated statement. You can rearrange them as you please without worrying about wrecking your walls, and you can easily add in pieces as your collection grows. To keep it from looking messy we suggest keeping one thing consistent in your display. Here, Brooke has stuck to a monochromatic mix of black and white. Want to try this look out yourself? Check out this post on how to build a ledge gallery wall.

We suggest mixing and matching wide and thin profile gallery frames, and incorporating a mix of matted and non-matted art to add texture to your collection.


That concludes our look back at March 2012. Head over to our Pinterest for plenty more inspiration.

 
Dudes' Guide to Framebridge
 

Welcome, gentlemen. If you aren't familiar with Framebridge let us introduce ourselves. We're the simple way to custom frame the things you love online. Nearly everything is under $159, and shipping is always free. Piqued your interest? Let us show you all of the things we can do.


 
 

Art

Send us your favorite art print to frame. Order online, and we'll send prepaid packaging for you to mail us your art. We'll frame it and ship it back to you totally ready to hang. Framing has never been so easy. 

 
 

Tickets

The cool thing about custom framing is that you aren't limited to standard sizes and standard items. That ticket from the once-in-a-lifetime concert you went to? We can perfectly preserve it for posterity, and your walls.

Concert ticket float mounted in our Bolton frame || $59 + $25 for float mount treatment

Concert ticket float mounted in our Bolton frame || $59 + $25 for float mount treatment

 
 
Football jersey in our Marin frame || 

Football jersey in our Marin frame || 

Jersey

What kind of framing company would we be if we couldn't give your favorite player's jersey the royal treatment? Ready to show off your favorites from all your teams (football, baseball, lacrosse,  soccer, and basketball). 

 
 

Vinyl

The perfect way to pay homage to an old (or new) favorite band. We'll float mount the album above the mat board (trust us, it's cool). 

Album cover float mounted in our Beverly frame || $99 + $25 for float mount treatment

Album cover float mounted in our Beverly frame || $99 + $25 for float mount treatment

 
 
Concert poster in our Sonoma frame || $99

Concert poster in our Sonoma frame || $99

Posters

Yeah, you could buy a cheap frame at your local craft store, but we can guarantee it won't look this good. Plus, you won't need to worry about finding a frame to fit your poster if it isn't standard size. We build every frame from scratch based on the size of your art. 

 
 

Photos

Of course, we can frame all your favorite photos. The cool thing is you can mail them to us, or upload them to our site for us to print and frame. Yep, you heard us right, we can do the printing at no extra cost to you. 

Family photo in our Bolton frame || $59 

Family photo in our Bolton frame || $59 

 
 
Pennant float mounted in our Sonoma frame || $139 + $25 for float mount treatment

Pennant float mounted in our Sonoma frame || $139 + $25 for float mount treatment

Pennants

If you want to really take your frame game to the next level, frame a pennant. Whether it proudly reps your college, your team, or Drake, it's a guaranteed statement piece. 

 
 

Flags

Whether it's small (like the one pictured here) or full size we can't get over how good they look framed. All you have to do is mail it in, and we'll take it from there. 

Vintage American flag float mounted in our Providence frame || $79 + $25 for float mount treatment

Vintage American flag float mounted in our Providence frame || $79 + $25 for float mount treatment

 
 
Diploma in our Providence frame with a blue accent mat || $99 + $25 for accent mat

Diploma in our Providence frame with a blue accent mat || $99 + $25 for accent mat

Diplomas

We know you've been meaning to frame your diploma, and there's no time like the present. You worked hard for your degree, so shouldn't you make sure it's professionally preserved and beautifully displayed?

 
 

We've listed a few of our favorite frames below, but don't worry if you have no clue where to start. We’re proud to have a team of talented designers who can answer any question (big / small / strange), and who will share their framing suggestions for your piece if you need an assist... Oh, and these recommendations? They’re free. Just select "Designer's Choice" as your frame style when you go to place your order. 


Ready to get in the frame game?

 
How To: Frame a Ticket
Concert ticket float mounted in our Irvine Slim frame 

Concert ticket float mounted in our Irvine Slim frame 

 

Everything is going digital, and we're mostly ok with that. Except when it comes to all those wonderfully nostalgic paper tokens—like movie and concert tickets—that are slowly becoming obsolete. Of course, photos are a great way to remember good times, but there's something really cool about having a physical ticket to tie your favorite memories to. (And you know we're advocates of displaying your favorite memories.) Here are a few tips for how to give your favorite experiences the royal treatment.


Our favorite way to display tickets is with float mounting. With this special mounting process your piece is suspended off the mat board so it appears as if it is, well, floating. We love this treatment because it adds a sense of drama to the display. Float mounting is $25 extra, but the drama is worth every dollar.

Keep in mind this special treatment requires that the frame style have a deeper profile to account for the extra height added by the float mounting technique. This is why you will see it's not available for all of our frame styles. 

 
 
  • To order head to our website and select "Start Framing".
  • Next, choose "Print/Poster." Upload a picture of your piece, and enter the size dimensions. We'll send you prepaid packaging for you to send us your ticket.
  • Now choose "Float Mounting" from the Mat/Mount section. Our website will auto-populate with all the frames that are deep enough to support this mount treatment.
  • Finally, choose your favorite frame style. Don't worry if can't decide which style you like best. Our design team is here to help! Simply select, "Designer's Choice" and we'll send over our four favorite options. 

Ready to show off your ticket?

 
Home Tour: A 550 sq ft Washington, D.C. sanctuary
 

Hi friends. Follow us right this way as we step into Amira El-Gawly's gorgeous Washington, DC apartment. Situated in DC's DuPont circle neighborhood, Amira's light, bright space has some seriously beautiful city views. The real beauty, however, lies inside, where Amira has built a beautifully curated space—in only 550 sq ft!

Like most homes, this one was not built overnight. Amira often works long hours, so her stunning apartment is the result of two years of paint jobs, hit and miss furniture selections, some professional advice (ahem, Framebridge), and a whole lot of rearranging. And you can really feel that it's all hers. This is the dream: it looks like a catalogue, but feels like a home. Let's dive in.


 
Dolly, Amira's fiddle leaf fig sits happily between the kitchen and living room soaking up all the light from the big windows.

Dolly, Amira's fiddle leaf fig sits happily between the kitchen and living room soaking up all the light from the big windows.

 

On Getting Started

I’ve lived here since April 2014—so two and a half years. When I first moved in, everything looked so different. I found it in the winter, so it was gloomy, and completely sparse. I didn’t have the mantle or the bookshelves. The bedroom was painted this really ugly blue and looked so much smaller.

It’s a small apartment (550 sq feet), but it looked even smaller. 

The first things I did was buy a fiddle leaf fig—Dolly. I got her from a florist I buy flowers from every week named Dolores. She helped me find her, so her name really suits her.

 
Amira's couch was her first big purchase for the space.

Amira's couch was her first big purchase for the space.

 

On Her Most Impactful Design Decisions

I painted the whole space white. It took two tries to get the color right. I first painted it a cream, but that looked too yellow-y. It wasn’t until I had it painted white that it completely opened up the space. The next challenge was furniture.

I have a really intense job, and my time at home is precious. I knew I wanted my space to be a sanctuary.

The couch was my first purchase. I didn’t have a bed for six months. I slept on an air mattress. Then I got a mattress and slept on that. And then I finally got a bed frame. I actually hired an interior designer, Shauna, from Homepolish to help me pick a few key pieces.

The couch I picked myself and the chair I picked myself, but there were necessities where I knew the look I was going for but just didn’t have time to find the right piece. Shauna helped me find my bed frame and headboard. She also helped me change out some of the fixtures. I think for anyone who has a crazy job, it’s a very useful service.

 
 

On Her Floor To Ceiling Gallery Wall

I have the bad habit of buying anything I find really beautiful. I bought so much art after I bought this home. And even before that, I had collected pieces that I hadn’t framed. I knew that I would have to have some kind of gallery wall, but I had no idea where that was going to be. Everywhere I considered putting it felt like it would be too much—like it would takeover the space.

One of the things I really wanted was for the experience of walking from the living room to the bedroom to be fun, because it’s so short.

Most people have long hallways or a staircase or something. I don’t have that. I wanted something for people to stop and look at. It was such a good confined space. 

I think it’s good to have points of engagement in the space. I want it to be like a sistine chapel kind of experience. 

 
Two postcards float mounted in our Newport frame

Two postcards float mounted in our Newport frame

 

On never settling

Selecting the rest of the pieces was a trial and error process. I was like, “Do I like this here?” and I would look at it for a couple of days. I just wouldn’t keep anything I wasn’t in love with.

I wanted to be in love with every. single. piece. I think when you’re in love with something you’ll find a way to make it work, but, if not, it will always bother you.

I didn’t want to have “a look”. I didn’t want it to be expected.

In apartments I’ve lived in before I would go to West Elm or CB2 and say, ‘Ok, I’m gonna get that chair, and this, and this, and I’m done.’ I didn’t want that. I wanted it to feel like me, which takes time.

 
Postcard float mounted in our Bali frame

Postcard float mounted in our Bali frame

 

On Finishing Touches

When I travel I always try to bring something back that I love. Not a lot of things, just one or two things. I have pottery that I bought in Vancouver during my sabbatical, pottery I found in a market in Abu Dhabi that cost 50 cents.

And the books. I talked to so many people about how to make it work. I actually got rid of 100 books. I had so many. I’m the kind of person where if there’s a book sale at a library I will to buy like 50 books. I want to read all of the books. It’s crazy. 

I kept books that I have read and loved. I kept the books that I really want to read—so like the next 50 books I’m going to read. And resources—beautiful books that I want to go back to, or that have poetry or stories that I want to share with other people.

 
 

On Art and Framing

I would say maybe 30% of the art is from traveling. Some I got with my mom back home in Abu Dhabi, I picked up some art in Egypt where I’m actually from originally, the art I’m about to frame is from Barcelona, some pieces are from Paris. The art is from everywhere abroad, but also from vintage markets in Pennsylvania, craft markets in DC. It’s literally from everywhere. 

I love that the frames let me tell a story. That’s what I love about Framebridge. You inspire people to tell a story with their frames.

I know photos do it, but you open peoples' minds to framing things and memories that I don’t think people would do otherwise. I get a lot of my design ideas from you all. I never would have thought to frame the postcards. I know that seems silly, but I never would have thought to frame them. A lot of the gallery wall inspiration is from you guys. Mixing and matching is not my expertise, so I got a lot of help from your team in making this happen. Actually your designers, Teresa and Tessa, helped me over email pick the frames in my collection.

I got so much help from your team in making this happen. Framebridge is part of the design family in this home. 

 
 

Amira's favorite frames for her art prints and vintage finds:
Bali, Providence, Richmond, Georgetown, Sonoma, and Newport.

For more from Amira's beautiful home follow her on Instagram @amiraelgawly.

 
Art I made in college for my daughter's nursery
A piece of original art in our Mercer Slim frame with a white mat | Via Francois et Moi

A piece of original art in our Mercer Slim frame with a white mat | Via Francois et Moi

 

“Back in college I made this piece for a class called ‘Color and Design in 2 and 3 Dimensions’. The assignment was super tedious. We had to paint numerous shades of gray onto card stock to create a grayscale from pure white to pure black. Then we cut those card stock sheets into tiny triangles to create a design that played on how the eye perceives foreground and background. 

I loved how it turned out, so I ended up keeping it all these years down in our basement in storage.

I had no idea at the time that I would keep it and it would become original art in my home all these years later.

When we started decorating our nursery I picked out a fun, organic blue and white wall covering, and I just liked the contrast and edge that piece brought into the space. The play between the geometric shapes and organic shapes was really beautiful. It’s a little unconventional for a nursery, but I love it.

I wanted the space to foster creativity for our daughter, so using a piece that I created in college was perfect for that theme.”

- Erin Francois, Francois et Moi blog

 
How To: Pick the Perfect Gold Frame
 

You know when you see something framed and it just looks *just* right, but you don't really know why? It's likely because the tones of the art and the tones of the frame are in sync. And this, friends, is the key to answering one of our most frequently asked framing questions: I know I want a gold frame to complement my art, but how do I pick the right one?

Tone is the key. When comparing and considering our gold frames, we look at them on a spectrum of warmest to coolest finishes. What exactly are we talking about? "Warm" frames have red/orange undertones, while "cool" frames have blue. You want to match the tone of your art with the tone of its frame: warm art with a warm frame, and cool art with a cool frame.

Once you've determined which tone looks best, you can narrow down your selection based on the style or vibe you like for the piece. Below, we've ordered all the gold frames in our collection from warmest to coolest and included a few notes on how to best use each one. Read on, learn up, and go for the gold. 


Concord: Gold beaded frame

Vibe: A classic frame, Concord has curvy, feminine detailing with delicate beading along the inner edge.
Tone: This is our most orange gold. Because of its undertones, we tend only to recommend using it with pieces that have green.
Pair with: Art with greens—especially outdoor photos.

 

Mandalay: Gold bamboo frame

Vibe: This is the frame we're known for. Pick this one if you want to add some fun to your art. It feels a little retro, but can also feel classic depending on your decor style.
Tone: This is a brassy, orange-y gold. It has red paint under the gold finish which comes through in tone. 
Pair with: Fun Instagrams and colorful art prints.

 

Richmond: Antiqued gold frame

Vibe: A little classic, and a little modern. The profile is classic, but it's thin and deep so it looks beautiful in a modern context, as well.
Tone: Like Mandalay, this is a warm orange-y gold.
Pair with: Looks great with almost anything. It's our go-to for photos. 

 

Chelsea: Wide classic gold frame

Vibe: Another great statement piece, this is our widest gold frame. It's very feminine and glamorous (hello curves), and reads as traditional. But! You can definitely mix it up by pairing it with a modern piece or using it in a modern setting. 
Tone: Warm. The perfect traditional gold. 
Pair with: Art prints, portraits, and wedding photos. 

 

Potomac: Wide gold frame

Vibe: This plein air frame's layered gold finish truly *shines*. It's wide, but flat on the front, which is an interesting profile—it's the only one we have like it. This is our frame that feels the most different in person from how it reads in photos, because it honestly glows in the sunlight.
Tone: Warm
Pair with: Art and paintings with rich, bright and deep colors. We like using it without a mat.

 

Olympia: Gold frame with black sides

Vibe: This is an artist's frame. The gallery profile—narrow on the front and deep on the sides—makes it a beautiful choice. A style chameleon, this frame feels a little traditional from afar and modern up close. It's dramatic.
Tone: The face of this frame is a warm gold with a lot of distressing (you can see dark undertones through the gold paint in certain spots). The outside edge and inside lip are black, so you can clearly see the frame's depth, which is the point.
Pair with: Art you want to float mount in gold. 

 

Lafayette: Gold rippled frame

Vibe: This frame is such a beautiful way to make a statement. It can feel classic or have a Hollywood Regency feel.
Tone: This frame has red undertones, but the overall tone is yellower than Concord or Mandalay.
Pair with: Bold, bright art.

 

Georgetown: Antiqued fluted gold frame

Vibe: Classic. Understated.
Tone: Muted neutral gold. Layered gold tones.
Pair with: Maps, botanicals, vintage pieces, or quiet photos. 

 

Dorado: Bright gold metallic frame

Vibe: Feels modern (flat front and side) but has a small edge detail with antiquing to add interest.
Tone: This frame has cool undertones, but is a really beautiful, *bright*, glossy style. This frame is actually the color of a gold foil print. 
Pair with: Gold foil prints! 

 

Carson: Clean gold frame

Vibe: This is our most modern—maybe even a little '90's?!—frame. It looks like brushed metal.
Tone: Cool.
Pair with: Bigger pieces. Want to frame a poster in gold? Carson is your best choice.  


P.S. Looking for a gold frame for a canvas? We got you. Looking for rose gold? Right this way.


What do you think? Ready to pick the perfect gold?

 
Studio Tour: Warm, colorful DC photographer's loft
Dominique Fierro in her Georgetown studio

Dominique Fierro in her Georgetown studio

 

Nestled in a row of shops in Washington DC's stately Georgetown neighborhood is Dominique Fierro's bright, beautiful studio. An artist in residence at Lynn Louisa, a casual chic womenswear boutique, this fashion photographer has transformed the shop's second floor into the kind of place anyone would want to hang out in. Her walls are lined with her latest pieces, and above her desk is a veritable Pinterest board of inspiration IRL.

You should know that Dominique is not your typical demure artist. Dominique evangelizes a women power movement. You see it in her portraits (like her latest Frida Khalo piece), and in the "Photo Therapy" photography sessions she offers. (Think: your own editorial style photo shoot.) Have we piqued your interest yet? 

Take a look inside Dominique's studio, and read along as we learn more about where she got started, how she's bringing sexy back, and how she's dedicated her art to supporting womankind.

 
One of Dominique's photos in our Irvine Slim frame

One of Dominique's photos in our Irvine Slim frame

 

On her Roots


My grandmother had a big influence on me. She was a seamstress and used to take care of me when I was little. In her apartment there was Vogue and Architectural Digest and Elle everywhere. Every design magazine, every fashion magazine. So when I was little I would say, “I want to be a fashion designer.” Which turned into fashion photographer. My mom paints and my dad is very artsy too. My whole family is creative.

They never told me “don't be an artist” or “you can’t make money doing that”. They always encouraged me.

My dad gave me my first camera when I was eight. Well, it was his camera. I just kind of took it and started.

 
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on her inspiration


Most of them are my photographs. My family, vacation photos, shoots, and samples. It’s everything. The board is meant to inspire me to change the world, and make it a better place.

Any time I’m in a mood, I just look at my board. It a constant reminder for me to get out of my own way.

That’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Worrying about the future, worrying about what people are going to think about me… It’s a constant battle. It’s a reminder for me to do what I feel inside. When I worry about the outside noise I hold myself back, and I don’t put stuff out there.

 
 

on her photography


I think it started back in college when our instructors would have us find models to pose. I was a fashion photography major. I noticed that I wasn’t keen on shooting models a lot.

I preferred shooting my friends, because once I shot them I saw the way their emotions would change after they saw the images.

They’d say, “Oh my God, I look like that?! I actually look like that?! You made me look so good!” I would say, “No, it’s really you!” Women nowadays see these images in magazines that are so retouched, and they think they should look like them. Those girls are completely retouched. They aren’t real!

I like to give women a sense of their own beauty. Their is so much negative self-talk right now among women.

It just hurts. It’s sad. I’ll talk to a woman and she’ll say, “Oh, I’m too fat. I can’t do this right now. I don’t feel good about myself.” or “My legs aren’t long enough. My stomach isn’t flat enough.”

It’s never going to be a good time. Just do it! And feel good about yourself. Stop comparing yourself to every single person around you. You are yourself, and that’s it. I want women to feel good about themselves, and empower each other. Comparing is the worst thing you can do to yourself. It makes you stay stuck.

 
One of Dominique's favorite pieces in our Mandalay frame || Read the story behind it here

One of Dominique's favorite pieces in our Mandalay frame || Read the story behind it here

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on women


I’ll have a negative thought, and say to myself, “No Dominique, you’re going down the rabbit hole. Don’t do it.” That’s why I have all these quotes on my wall. It’s something you constantly have to work on and be aware of.

Once you start recognizing your own negative thought patterns you start noticing it in other people. I feel like every woman should talk to themselves like you would your best friend.

You wouldn’t go up to your best friend and say, “Oh your legs look short, maybe you shouldn’t wear that skirt.” Or “Maybe you need to lose ten pounds.” You just wouldn’t say that.

Once women start recognizing their own thoughts they can start doing that and building their confidence.

 
 

On her Photo Therapy


Most of the women I photograph. They’ll say “oh I’m doing this for my husband” or “oh, I’m doing this because I don’t feel that great about myself” or “I’m 20 and want to capture the way I look for when I’m 60.”

One of my clients actually ended up being one of my good friends. Her name is Lucia. She had a horse, and wanted to do a whole shoot with her horse. She was lacking in so much self confidence, and you could just see it. When I first met her, I was like I need you in front of my camera. I need to draw this out of you because you’re in such a shell and you’re so worried about what other people are thinking about you.  

The entire day she was so free. At the end of the day I had her naked in a cornfield with truckers going by, and she was just like, “I don’t care! I feel amazing!”

And then she saw the images and she just felt so good about it and was so proud to show off these images. This was maybe 10 years ago, and now she says when she feels bad about herself she goes back to those photos. They remind her to be present.

 
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on her painting


Right now I’m playing a lot with texture. I went to Art Basel back in early December and realized all the work I was drawn to was textured. I wanted to touch everything, but of course you can’t touch anything at Art Basel.

I’m going through playing with mixing a lot of different compounds and paints. When I started painting I wondered what would people think of a photographer painting. I wondered if they would laugh at me. I just kept hearing the voice in my head telling me to pick up a paint brush. So I did. And I’m really glad I did. I want to give my work another level, and an alternate reality to what it was before.

It gives it a different feel, and it’s so much more fun for me to play with, because once I’m done with the women I don’t want them to leave. I still want to hang out.

 
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on frames


Framing has a huge impact on presentation. If I give someone a print that's different than if I give them an actual framed piece of art. I like to keep my work clean and framed properly for preservation.

My work is an investment, and I want to maintain it.

 

Dominique's go-to frames: Mandalay, Bali, Irvine Slim, and Mercer Slim.

See more of Dominique's art here, and follow her on Instagram @dominique_fierro

Behind the Scenes: Colorful Animals with Artist Megan Carn
Framebridge

Framebridge

 

South Carolina artist Megan Carn's paintings look like a smile feels. Through bright color palettes and soft lines she's able to transform even her most ferocious of subjects into gentle, pastel painted giants. Her candy colored tigers, giraffes, and elephants are always at home in nurseries and kids' rooms, while her bolder, brighter birds, zebras, and leopards are a welcome addition to any office or sitting area.

We discovered Megan's art right when the both of us were getting our start. In fact, the image you see above used to welcome every visitor to our original Framebridge website. We're excited to share the artist behind two pieces of art that hold a very special place in our team Framebridge heart. Read on to see where it all began for Megan (not at all what you would expect), and see what inspires her unfailingly optimistic point of view.


 
An overhead view of Megan's light bright studio workspace || Photo via @megancarn

An overhead view of Megan's light bright studio workspace || Photo via @megancarn

 

On Choosing art


I was "crafty" in high school, just like my mother and grandmother. In college, I decided I wanted to be an art therapist or art teacher, and I spontaneously added a second major to my to-do list. 

I always felt like I was behind the curve because I wasn't the best at drawing and I wasn't quite in the mindset of an artist yet.

I really figured everything out in the months after I graduated, and things took off after that!

 
"Spiffy Tiger" in our Irvine Slim frame with a white mat

"Spiffy Tiger" in our Irvine Slim frame with a white mat

Megan Carn with an pastel colored elephant painting || Photo via @megancarn

Megan Carn with an pastel colored elephant painting || Photo via @megancarn

 

On Changing Careers


I started a job in late 2013 after I graduated college and it was great, but it was not leaving me feeling so great at the end of the day. I needed more stimulation and more of a creative outlet...and more sunlight—my office was smack in the middle of the building with no windows. As the only employee there, I spent a lot of time alone, and that was a bummer too.

As I wandered around Instagram I said, “Hold up—I can do this. I can make art and turn it into a business.”

So I started working on it. And a year later, I left that job. It was CRAY. First, there was breaking that news to my parents: "Mom and dad, I'm gonna quit my job, and sell art all the time, okay?" They were really cool about it, though, and that was a great thing. Then, there was leaving the job I had, and explaining to everyone what the plan was. Two weeks later I moved to Columbia and started my full-time art career. I met my almost husband, I made a ton of friends, and I had tons of sunlight in my studio—it was amazing. It is really hard work and there isn't necessarily a paycheck every two weeks like at a conventional job, but it is fun and flexible, and I am really happy. 

 
"Leaf It to the Birds" in our Lafayette frame with a white mat

"Leaf It to the Birds" in our Lafayette frame with a white mat

 

On Color


 I have always been into the brightest things, the craziest combos, and how far I can push the envelope while maintaining taste and style. As I first started selling art, I was doing a ton of flowers and trying to do some abstract work. I realized quickly that not only does everyone do that, but many were better than me at it. I thought long and hard and experimented until it hit me: why not do animals, but in full, crazy color? Not too many artists are doing this right now... this is great. I loved it, and I have ever since: monkeys, tigers, lions, elephants, ostriches, oh my! Recently, I love using colors and layers that challenge a person to stare and examine and come back and go "hm.. do I love it or do I hate it? How many {birds} are too many {birds}?"

I like to make people smile with my art, and I love to smile when I look at art.

 
A quiet corner of Megan's studio || Via @megancarn

A quiet corner of Megan's studio || Via @megancarn

Our favorite frames for Megan's art: Mandalay, Irvine Slim, Lafayette, and Irvine.

Shop Megan's art here, and be sure to follow her on Instagram @megancarn.

Flag from our summer home in Massachusetts
American flag float mounted in our Irvine frame

American flag float mounted in our Irvine frame

 

“It’s had quite a journey. It was purchased in a very rushed decorating moment on July 4th by my mother-in-law in 1998 for a fourth of July party. It hung on the flagpole outside their summer house in Hyannisport, MA. It stayed there for a few years, and then when the family moved down to Osterville, MA it was stationed at the top of the driveway.

It was a very difficult place to find, so they thought they’d mark it with the biggest flag ever.

I think there was one really terrible storm that summer in 2006, and the flag broke off the pole. This meant it was perfectly suited for a wall since it couldn’t fly anymore. It ended up moving down to Washington D.C. where it hung in their Georgetown home off and on for 10 years.

My husband and all his brothers went to Georgetown (University) and they all lived in this Georgetown house over the course of their four years. The flag then made it’s way back to NYC where it was appropriately folded and preserved, but not displayed, in my husband’s former bachelor pad.

When we moved in together he had this flag tucked away somewhere. He told me the story and I said, ‘This is something we should display!’

So we framed it, and now it’s a focal point in our home. He’s sentimental when it comes to certain things like this, so anything that reminds him of family and their life together and growing up is meaningful for him. It’s a true old glory story.

My grandfather was a veteran. I’ve always grown up with flags folded in that triangular shape and preserved in some sort of display box, but it’s a different way of preserving something that’s so meaningful. You really get the full picture.”

- Meaghan Carrigan

 
How To: Build a Floor to Ceiling Gallery Wall
Floor to ceiling gallery wall in customer @amiraelgawly's home featuring our Providence, Newport, Richmond, and Mandalay frame styles

Floor to ceiling gallery wall in customer @amiraelgawly's home featuring our Providence, Newport, Richmond, and Mandalay frame styles

 

You know that classic salon style gallery wall? Let's take that up a notch. Hello, floor-to-ceiling gallery wall. This arrangement might seem intimidating, but if you've got a lot of art this is a great way to display it.


To get started, round up your framed pieces, or the items you'd like to frame. The key to success here is having a lot of smaller pieces you can easily move around to suit the space you're looking to fill. The best salon gallery walls feel organic, so don't be afraid to play around with the layout. 

  • A salon style wall is perfect if: You have an alcove or nook you’d like to fill.
  • What you’ll need: 10 - 20 (or more!) framed and unframed small photos, pieces of art and mementos.
  • How to get it: This gallery is supposed to look like you grew it over time, so don’t worry about making it too perfect! Start with a single piece somewhere in the middle of your wall, then add the others above and below, being sure not to center anything and leaving 2 - 3 inches between each.
  • Pro tip: These are meant to look collected over time! As you gather new pieces, just add them in.

Ready to build your salon gallery wall?

 
How To: Build a Grid Gallery Wall
Gallery grid of Instagram Minis in our Richmond frame with a white mat | Via Simply Sona

Gallery grid of Instagram Minis in our Richmond frame with a white mat | Via Simply Sona

 

Do you love having everything arranged just so? Are you a fan of clean lines, and even proportions? Well, we've got a gallery wall for you. Grids are a beautiful way to display a collection of photos or art. Matching frames and consistent sizing create a harmonious display that is about as perfectly polished as it gets. Yeah, you have to do a little math on installation day, but it's totally worth it.


  • A grid is perfect if: You want to exactly fill the space above a couch/headboard/dining table.
  • What you’ll need: Photography you love. If you have hi-res images, you can go for larger pieces, but we love the look of a grid of small framed Instagram photos (we print them at 5x5), too. 
  • How to get it: First, choose your photos. Crop all of them to be exactly the same size, then frame them with white mats in identical frames. At Framebridge, our favorite frames for grids are thin white gallery frames and delicate classic silvers.
  • Pro tip: Hang each frame 2 - 3 inches apart and be sure to keep your spacing consistent!

We're seeing grid gallery walls everywhere! Want more inspiration? Check out these beautiful spaces:


 

Ready to build your grid gallery?

Wedding vows we wrote together
   Calligraphy by Lauren Heim Studio in our Potomac frame with a white mat || Photo via Sara Logan Photography

 

 Calligraphy by Lauren Heim Studio in our Potomac frame with a white mat || Photo via Sara Logan Photography

 

“I really wanted to find a way to intentionally bring a little bit more of the ceremony—which lasted what? like twenty minutes?—into the rest of the evening.

We wanted to share our vows in a way that everyone could read them. I thought, oh we’ll put them on display at our reception. Of course, I wanted to make them beautiful in some way. My friend Lauren did the calligraphy. It was just too beautiful not to keep as a keepsake. I knew the second I saw her lettering that this was something I wanted hanging in our house forever.

We worked on our vows together. He wrote his in traffic on the way to work—how romantic is that?

It was a brain dump of ideas he wanted to include so then we refined them together. It was more emotional than I expected when he read everything he wrote to me. It hit home. We’re making these vows together. This is really happening.

This is the heart of what he wants to get out of this marriage—nothing scripted.

I’ve almost got them memorized at this point. It’s a really sweet reminder. Every time I see them I don’t just think about the vows, I think about the entire setting —the entire day really."

-Whitney Hawkins, newlywed and southern lifestyle blogger

 
How To: Build a Ledge Gallery Wall
Ledge gallery wall featuring our Irvine Slim, Mercer Slim, Bolton, Bali, Cairo, and Richmond frame styles || Via Emily Henderson, more here

Ledge gallery wall featuring our Irvine Slim, Mercer Slim, Bolton, Bali, Cairo, and Richmond frame styles || Via Emily Henderson, more here

 

While the traditional salon style gallery wall isn't going anywhere, we've seen a new frame display steal the spotlight—the ledge gallery. Perfect for those who are constantly rearranging their decor, the leaning look allows for a laid back look without the wear and tear on your walls. Plus, your frames, trinkets, and small plants can live side-by-side in beautiful harmony. Here's how to get the look for yourself. 


Before you begin take a walk around your space and figure out where you want to anchor your arrangement, and what frames you want to display. We suggest above a table, living room couch, bed, or desk. Once you have a general idea of what you're looking for it's time to shop!

 
 

Select your ledge. There are so many wonderful options out there. We got ours from Pottery Barn, but you can check  out all the usual home decor suspects to find the one you like best. (West Elm, Crate and Barrel, and CB2 ) 

Install your ledge. This is probably the hardest part of the process (because measuring), but we promise it's easier than you think. If you're installing a single ledge we suggest the following for each space. 

  • Couch or Bed: Aim for about 18"-24" inches above the top of the couch. You'll want to leave enough clearance to account for head room. 
  • Desk: Consider any tall things that will sit on the surface of your desk—monitor(s), computer stands, etc. Install a few inches above the tallest point.
  • Table: Install your ledge so that the center point of your largest frame will hit at your eye level. 

Style your ledge. This is the fun part. Start by placing your frames and build out from there. We love adding in our favorite succulents, trinkets, and books.  


Ready to build your ledge gallery?

 
Commissioned photo of frisky Lincoln ladies with glitter
Photo with glitter by Dominique Fierro in our Mandalay frame

Photo with glitter by Dominique Fierro in our Mandalay frame

 

“This photo was taken as part of a commissioned photo shoot  my good friend and designer Maggie O’Neill for a restaurant in DC called Lincoln. It was based on Abraham Lincoln, but they wanted the photo shoot to be provocative, involve tools that were going to be put in the restaurant, and have Lincoln hats.

So, I put these girls in my cousin’s basement and had them get frisky with one another.

That shoot I probably did three years ago, and really just wanted to add another layer to it. I bought all this glitter, and thought it was the perfect application. I liked the amount of blank space I had around this image. I could do something with it. I could play with it. I went back and forth between doing a section, and doing the whole thing. My friend said, ‘Just do the whole thing!’ And I was fine with that.

I just love it. I love their expressions. I think it’s a powerful piece. You know what I mean?”

- Dominque Fierro, artist, female empower-er, and master of glitter

 
A cuddle monster print from a local artist
"Cuddle Monster" by Mauro Baiocco in our Georgetown frame with a white mat

"Cuddle Monster" by Mauro Baiocco in our Georgetown frame with a white mat

 

“A lot of my art is from people I’ve met. I love buying from people I meet directly, so that I always remember and know where it came from. I loved this piece because of the name first.

Then I spent two years trying to figure out the most prominent place in my apartment so everyone could see it.

‘Cuddle Monster’ moves every few days. He just makes me happy. It’s elegant, but in your face cool and funky. You can’t look at it and not smile.’’

- Amira El-Gawly, Framebridge friend and collector of beautiful things