Sunday, November 9, 2008

Interior Decorating with Framed Antique Prints

Decorating a room with framed antique prints is a popular method for many do-it-yourself interior designers. Adding framed antique bird prints and fish prints is a simple way to embellish a “lodge” atmosphere in a cottage. Creating groupings of antique botanicals, such as fruits and flowers, is a simple way to embellish a healthy green atmosphere in any room. While millions frame and mount antique prints for decoration, all face the inescapable decision of choosing to acquire antique originals, or opting to use antique reproduced prints. While the dilemma is seldom debated by decorators and designers, the decision made yeilds implications of potentially essential significance.

While some claim that antique original prints have a splendid visual character quality that cannot be duplicated, many find it hard to differentiate an antique original print from an alike reproduction print. The discrepancy in opinion is generally a product of the physical condition of the original print. The amount of digital enhancement performed on a reproduced image before printing can also make a significant impact on how the two compare. On the other hand, some things, such as the vintage appearance of worn and aged paper, just cannot fully be reproduced. Up until the 1990’s there was almost no question as to if an antique original print looked better than a reproduction antique print. It wasn’t until the current age of sophisticated computer technology that original antique prints were scanned (either by digital scanner or camera), enhanced, and reprinted with such superb quality and attention to detail that the reproduciton prints contend with the original source.

Regardless of any individual opinion on how looks factor into the decision, there are few who argue on the substantial difference in cost. Antique originals are overwhelmingly more expensive, and, depending on each print’s rarity and condition, can be three to one hundred times (or more) the cost of a reproduced of the same image. With this in mind, the question is often asked - if most viewers would have a hard time distinguishing between the two, one must wonder, is the cost justifiable? It really depends on the individual. For most hobbyist home decorators and DIY interior designers, the answer is no (especially considering that many will mount themed groupings in several rooms in their homes). Yet, to many collectors of original art, the vintage authenticity of a work of art that dates back several hundred years is very appealing, and the cost is justified. There is also something to be said about the investment value of some rare antique prints. Like any collectable, the values of original antique prints can potentially appreciate over time. For those who desire collectability and value more than they do decoration, this is certainly something to consider. Still, for many interior decorators it is much more cost efficient to seek quality reproductions that suit their individual needs and preferences.

Lower cost isn't the sole benefit to decorating with reproduced antique prints. They also offer flexibility and customization options that help fit a unique work of art into an already well-decorated room. Some print reproduction companies will offer prints in an assortment of size, matting, and framing options. Finding a desired print available in 8x10 to fit in a wall display grouping, when the original from which it came was a 5x7, is a luxury only available through reproduction. If trying to stay on a budget, look for publishing companies that offer prints in standard-sizes---(11"x14", 8"x10", 5"x7"). Because these sizes are widely used, one can easily aquire low cost framing and matting materials. The ability to order a print in Black & White or Sepia is also a decorating advantage. Although only some publishers offer these options, seeking out those who do may be an important element to giving a room the desired effect without compromising the established theme.

Joseph Borowy provides educational articles from - Visit our Antique Prints page at to view our unique antique reproductions!

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1 comment:

sallreen said...

Antique prints are a great way to spice up a room. Hanging framed antique fish prints and bird prints is a popular way to embellish a lodge-style atmosphere in a country cabin or vacation home. Creating groupings of botanical prints, such as fruits, grasses and roses, can be an easy way to give your kitchen a soothing and calming nature atmosphere.