What Is A Floating Frame? (And How To Style Yours)

What Is A Floating Frame? (And How To Style Yours)

Ever heard of floating frames, and wondered what they actually are? If so, you’re not alone. Floating frames are relatively new, but have grown quickly in popularity. Floating frames mimic the look of a gallery artwork, so they can offer a more chic, contemporary look to your wall art.

Gallery artworks often use floating frames so that the artwork isn’t touching the frame itself, which can often be delicate. This ensures the artwork is preserved for longer. So, what is a floating frame and how can you style yours for maximum impact? Keep scrolling to find out!

What is a floating frame?

What is a floating picture frame? Well, as you’ll have no doubt already guessed, floating frames are given their name because they offer the illusion that your canvas picture is actually “floating” within the frame. This is because the picture itself sits away from the frame, instead of the edge of the picture disappearing behind the frame itself. Most floating canvas frames are made up of a thin wooden frame on the outside, with a slight gap in between the frame and the edge of the canvas picture.

Floating Frame For Canvas - Wooden Frame

Floating frames gives definition to the picture itself, and the slight gap creates visual space around the canvas, so the eye can better appreciate it. If you want that “gallery-style” look, floating frames are your answer.

Most floating frames for canvas prints also don’t hide the image behind glass. This gives a decided advantage, as the texture of the canvas print is often what gives it depth, creating an interesting look and adding depth to the picture. The shiny reflective look of glass can also make it more difficult to see your chosen wall art design, especially if your rooms get lots of sunlight!

Unlike other framed prints, floating frames allow you to see all the way to the edge of the artwork so none of your beautiful picture is obscured by the frame.

floating frame on canvas

Floating Frame vs Regular Frame

There’s no doubt floating frames look elegant and sophisticated in any home. But how do you decide if your canvas prints from photos look better with a frame, or without?

Both framed and frameless canvas prints can look fantastic in any setting. That said, there are several reasons you may want to choose a floating frame. For instance:

  • Your picture doesn’t match the surrounding décor. Perhaps it’s a different style or colour. Choosing a similar-looking frame to your other interiors scheme can help tie all your home décor together, making it look more cohesive
  • The background of your canvas blends in with the wall. In this scenario, your beautiful canvas print will just look like wallpaper!  Instead of “popping” and attracting the eye, it will get lost. A floating frame can be a great way to create a contrast against the surrounding walls
  • Your artwork is already framed. While it’s true that you don’t need to perfectly match all your frames, if you want your new print to sit beside five other framed pictures, you might prefer it to also be framed so it doesn’t look out of place
  • You prefer a finished look. Floating frames are great for those who prefer a more finished look or don’t like the frameless look, yet still love the texture of canvas.
  • You don’t want the edges of your canvas to be bumped or damaged. Perhaps your print is in a common area in your house, or in your child’s room where it has the potential to be knocked around a little. In these scenarios, a floating frame can provide your precious picture more protection.

Floating Frame For Canvas - Create A ContrastBy: Baboo

Styling your floating frame

Hanging your floating frame is often more difficult than it seems. So how do you style your prints so that they work with your other decor?

Firstly; the frame. When choosing a frame, you’ll want to consider a versatile frame, so that even if you move your picture, it will still work in any space. At Canvas Factory, we have three frame choices for our floating frames; black, white and wood grain. This range of neutral choices means that any picture you choose will always stand out within your floating frame, yet will be versatile enough to move around.

Other than that, you can style floating frames the same way as you would style any picture. Creating a beautiful wall display is really about experimentation and personal preference, but there are some tried-and-tested ways to hang your pictures.

Arranging your wall art on canvas

You can group and style your pictures in a multitude of ways. Start by considering how many pictures you have (or want to have). Then, think about whether you’d like to group frames together by theme, colour or style.

For instance, you may want to display all your travel photos together in one cluster in your dining room, then save your more personal photos for a more private room in the home. Or, you could style them by colour or frame colour.

There are endless ways to style your pictures, such as:

  • Grouping 2, 3 or 4 larger pictures together in a wall display
  • Grouping a large number of pictures together in a gallery-style cluster – more on this below! If you consider your style more romantic or eclectic, this style might be better for you
  • Creating a symmetrical or “grid” display of the same-sized pictures hung in a square or rectangle-shaped formation. Grid displays result in a more classic or structured look.


Creating a gallery wall

As a general rule, when creating a gallery wall, don’t start hanging until you know what the entire gallery wall will look like, or you’ll be hammering holes in walls unnecessarily.

To avoid removing hooks, build the whole wall display out on the floor beforehand. Lay it all out the way you want it to look on your wall, swapping, adding and re-arranging as necessary. Then, measure up masking tape on the walls or cut up some art paper in the exact sizes and formations that you want your pictures to be in, and stick it to your wall.

This way, you’ll be able to see what your picture sizes and shapes look like before they’re hung. Next, hang your pictures, and you’re done!

Floating Frame For Canvas - Gallery Art

Floating Frame Tips

Although there are no set rules for styling your canvas prints, there are some tips and tricks which can make the whole process much simpler.

  • Stick to an odd number of pictures, unless you’re creating a grid-like wall display; in which case it doesn’t matter what number of pictures you have
  • When it comes to matching wall art on canvas with various rooms, consider the colour palette for each room. You can even choose colours from your pictures and match your home décor accordingly, using one or more of the colours in the picture or pictures
  • When picking pictures or photos, include a mixture of different kinds of photos. For example, if you’re adding photos from your wedding, include all kinds of different images; close-ups, images from far away, group photos, photos of flowers. This ensures your display has depth and variety and creates intrigue for the eye. As long as the images are tied in together with a similar colour palette, it will work
  • Begin with a larger centrepiece in the middle. This works as an “anchor” piece which will tie everything together. Then work your way down, up and outwards, with the larger pieces closest to the centre and the smallest on the outsides

Floating Frame For Canvas - Different Colours

Ready to Start Styling?

Don’t feel that every single frame needs to be the same colour; it doesn’t. However, if you have black frames for everything, then one random woodgrain frame might look a little unbalanced.

However you decide to style your wall art on canvas, floating frames can be a beautiful way to make your favourite canvas prints really shine. Canvas Factory offers a range of frame options and sizes. That means you can personalise your canvas prints and make them stand out.

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to check out our floating frames today!


Megan is Canvas Factory's resident Social & Content Manager, and has worked with countless other homewares and interior design businesses over the years. It goes without saying that she also has a passion for decorating her own home!

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