There's no denying that original canvas art adds a certain 'je ne sais quoi' to a room that mass produced, machine printed art just can't duplicate. Drama, authenticity, texture...it brings all that and more. I think that most people love the idea of an original canvas work on their wall, but have no idea how to frame or display it. And not knowing how to display it discourages them from buying original art. It's a fair enough problem -- you don't know what you don't know, until you know. Or however that cryptic saying goes.
The great thing is-- canvas art doesn't necessarily need to be framed. Often artists will paint the edges of the canvas so that it is a full and finished piece when you purchase it. And if it doesn't have painted edges and you prefer that look, you can request the artist to do a solid colour around the edges to clean it up a bit before you receive it. An unframed canvas is a much more flexible piece of artwork to have, because it is able to fit into many different rooms and styles. If you have a very modern or minimalist home, an unframed piece would probably fit better than framed because it gives a much cleaner look.
Framing a canvas, on the other hand, offers a few benefits that may help to sway your decision. The most practical of these is protection. Canvas is not invincible, and the edges can become worn and damaged, especially if hanging in an area that sees high levels of traffic. A frame would help to minimize this problem. Framing also can help your artwork fit better in the room in terms of decor. I've talked before about the effect of a frame or matting on an artwork, but let me do a quick refresher for you! A frame acts like a buffer around a piece of art. It both visually separates it from the wall it is on (super helpful if you are jumping on the wallpaper trend), and helps to unify the artwork with other elements of the room depending on the design and colour you choose.
The most cost effective way to frame your art is to do it yourself. There are some great tutorials online, like this DIY $10 Canvas Floating Frame by one of my fave DIY designers, Jenna Sue Design. I would say that ten dollars is a bit of a stretch considering the cost of wood these days, but you will still be paying less than a pre-made frame when all is said and done. If you don't have access to some of the the tools needed, you can get your pieces cut at Home Depot for free when you purchase your wood. Just bring your measurements with you and double check that it was cut accurately before you leave. Trust me-- it will save you a trip!
Now- if you'd rather go the easy (and less messy) route, there are lots of places that you can buy pre-made float frames for your canvas. Canada on Canvas (canadaoncanvas.com ) has a huge selection of floater frames to choose from and they make the selection process easy and efficient. You just plug in the canvas depth, width and height and choose your finish and voila! Easy peasy. I also think that the prices are fair considering the cost of supplies and the build time.
Alternatively, if you are in or near a city, there are usually custom framing businesses locally that can help you out. With a quick google search, I came up with 10+ framing businesses in the London area, like the Framing & Art Centre and GUTHRIE'S ART SUPPLIES & FRAMING . There's always Michael's, but I find them way overpriced with everything else and I'm sure their framing services wouldn't be any different.
If you are still unsure as to whether you should frame your art, try living with it unframed on your wall for a while and see how you feel about it. If after a month it still feels 'unfinished', look into a frame! And as usual, let me remind you-- there is no right or wrong when it comes to the art in your home. Choose what makes you happy and you can't go wrong!