As interior trends shift from easy minimalism to intricate maximalism - and back again - a retro photo frame remains immovable. The simple allure and versatility of a retro frame lends itself to vintage furnishings, clean modernism and everything in between.

A carefully selected retro picture frame can bring character to neat, uncluttered lounges or provide the crowning piece to artfully historical styles.

No wonder then, that these frames are abundant and increasingly popular. We’ve picked out four of the most on-trend pieces to help you find a timeless addition to your living room.

Best retro photo frame for a wall behind the sofa

Retro Photo Frame Norfolk Wood Walnut Effect

To create a balanced and proportionate above-the-sofa display, your photo or artwork should not surpass the width of your sofa. A good tip is to keep displays within 2/3 of its length, positioned around 10” above the back of the seating.

Our favourite frame for this purpose is the Norfolk Wood Walnut Effect 20x16” Frame. Well, three actually. We recommend a triptych display of three of these frames, each separated by around 3” hung in the portrait position.

Large, simple monochrome prints or black-and-white retro scenic shots (think Paris and New York) work especially well within the distressed appearance of the Norfolk frame, ensuring a pleasing equilibrium is achieved.

Best retro photo frame for shelving

Retro Photo Frames Vintage Black Shabby Chic Frame

So long as the length allows it, there is no limit to the number of frames that can displayed on shelving. Retro picture frames work best when rested against walling in a casual style, so there is no need to worry about stands.

An elegantly strewn frame display works well with emerging maximalist interior trends - recently rechristened cluttercore  - but requires a neutral base-colour with which other frames of different tones can be off-set.

Which brings us neatly to the Vintage Black Shabby Chic 6x6” frame. It features copper gold inlay inside a Victorian style finish. Behind the glass is a cream mount with a heart-shaped aperture. A key element of the maximalism trend is creating ensembles that showcase your memories, life and interests. The heart insert lends itself to precisely that function.

Best retro photo frame for next to the tv

Retro Picture Frame White Geneva 16x12

The modern television set is a clean and neutral in design, so can be perfectly counterbalanced by retro picture frames. An increasingly popular way to incorporate frames into the television space is to build a gallery wall display.

The advantage here is that it can neaten a room, making your interior decoration style coherent and draw attention away from the TV, making it appear part of the overall display.

Photo Frames & Art Retro Photo Frames Living Room

Image source Rain on a Tin Roof

The ideal frame is the White Geneva 16x12” featuring soft cream mount and old photo frame effect. Its discreet tone allows for varied photography or art displays, yet its soft intricacy provides a display with character.

The key here is to pay attention to lines, which should be in absolute alignment. Similarly, the spacing between photo’s must be identical, with at least 3” between each photo frame. You’ll want to use no more than one style of frame and our recommendation is just the one type.  A single colour palette ensures a consistent aesthetic is achieved.  

Best retro photo frames for above mantelpiece 

Retro Photo Frame Sussex Ornate 20 x 16

The Sussex Ornate 20x16” photo frame is perfect for our two most cherished mantelpiece displays. Both the ledge gallery wall, and the statement large display, are exhibited with character and elegance in this old-fashioned frame.  

The ledge gallery requires no nails-to-wall mounting, allowing you the freedom to switch and match as you please, simply leaning each frame against the wall. An ornate frame like the silver Sussex will provide the galley’s centrepiece. Alternatively, a single statement display is fortified by its distressed and intricate detailing.

The convention with hanging artwork is to hang at eye level. This maximises the visual impact of the piece. Since mantelpieces don’t allow for this, your choice of artwork or photo can be as bold as your taste permits. The considerable height and size of the frame works to set the ambience of the room, making the frame an ideal starting-point with which to build and alter the entire décor of your living room.

Kayleigh Jordan