Starting an Original Art Collection + Framed and Matted Review

I’ve got a two part post for you today; first, a story about how we’re starting an original art collection, and, second, a Framed and Matted review detailing my experience with this made-to-order online framing company. This post took a while to pull together because, as you may know if you follow me on Instagram, we’ve had a heck of a time figuring out our living/dining room at the condo — and that was impacting where this work of art was going to land.

This room has seen several different iterations and I’ve lamented here before how our dining table in the front bay window was simply too far from the kitchen — the living area seemed to form a barrier we wouldn’t cross. But, now that we have the dining table here, right in front of the kitchen, there’s more room and this painting is perfectly foiled by the sleek white pedestal table and the dark gray midcentury chairs.

Starting an Original Art Collection

Adam and I both love art. I was an art history major with artists abound in my family and Adam grew up in a family with an appreciation for collecting art. So, we’ve always known that we would want to expand our art collection beyond prints, my own work, and antique store finds. We’ve started slow, commissioning a small painting back in 2019 for our first anniversary.

Then, in Mexico City this past August, we spent a morning exploring El Bazaar Sábado and keeping an eye out for something that might resonate with both of us. A series of faces by Jorge Alberto Aguilar Rojas grabbed our attention and we spent far too long obsessing over each one, trying to find the perfect work of art that we both agreed on (spoiler: we should have gotten more than one). This bold strokes, abstract face, and evenly distributed color of this particular piece ended up being the one. It wasn’t a terribly expensive work, which made it perfect for a beginning collector, and we love that it has a story. It isn’t something we simply found online (though no shame in that — I’m an eyeing an artist I found on Instagram right now!), but, instead, it brings back memories of a cool morning in Mexico City surrounded by vibrant art, the sights and sounds of the bustling market, and,  of course, the margaritas we indulged in following our art excursion.


framed and matted review - custom framing at home

Framed and Matted Review

Because this work was a non-standard framing size, we had to use custom framing, and I tried out Framed and Matted, an online custom framing company that allows you to choose your frame and mat according to your specifications, sends you all the pieces, and then you put together the frame yourself at home.

How does it work?

Using the Frame Builder tool, you upload an image your item to be framed, and try different combinations of mat and frame. It’s so helpful to be able to see it just as it will look in person. Once you’ve made your selections, you place the order, and wait for it to arrive. The frame and mat arrive safely packed along with instructions for assembling the frame.

Note: if you have a piece you also need printed, they’ll take care of both printing and assembling the mat and frame!

How were the options for frames?

Because of the large size and non-standard sizing of this work of art, I was slightly restricted in my options. Classic black and white seemed like the best way to offset the vibrant colors and dynamic movement of this piece, but I wanted something that felt a little special, so I opted for a thin black inner mat to provide a border between the white and the color.

Was it easy to follow the instructions?

I was nervous putting it together because I didn’t want to mess it up, but it was so easy and took only a few minutes. It’s a super straightforward process!

How does the pricing compare?

Custom framing isn’t cheap. That’s the reality. This particular combination would have run a bit over $200, which is comparable to most online framing companies.

Why would I choose this over other online custom framing?

I have a friend who sent a sentimental piece to be framed and it was lost in the mail. I just don’t love the idea of sending a one-of-a-kind work of art out into the world, hoping it gets to its destination. Being able to do it at home added an extra layer of comfort and one less step to coordinate.

Overall, would I recommend Framed and Matted?

Absolutely! I absolutely love how professional this framing looks. It’s amazing how chic a timeless black and white frame can look compared to what I’d often just get at the craft store. I’m looking to use Framed and Matted for another piece I need framed this winter and I’ll be sure to share it on Insta stories.


framed and matted review - custom framing at home

framed and matted review - custom framing at home

Thanks for Framed and Matted for gifting me with a frame to try out their services and make this Framed and Matted review possible! As always, all opinions are my own.


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