A business’s appearance is essential to success, and one of the key elements in appearance is how artwork is used to create a pleasant ambiance.

Consider color when choosing art for the walls of your business. Color can create or change the way people feel. Most office and retail environments are in neutrals such as off-white, tan or gray, which leave open color accessory options. Careful introduction of other colors helps build the desired atmosphere, and framed art can be one of the vehicles for that.

Running a ribbon of color around a room can tie a room together. Choose art with a theme your clients will appreciate, such as landscapes, seascapes or florals, which all work well. A pediatrician’s office might choose themes centered around children.

Mats, the colored borders around your art, help bring out color. Generally it is safe to go with two mats, the one on the inside to bring out color, the outside or top mat in a neutral to coordinate with your room. In some cases three mats may be used.

Choose a metal or wood frame, depending on the look you’re trying to create. Wood has a warmer, more traditional feel and comes in a variety of shapes and finishes. Metal also has many profile choices and a rainbow of colors to choose from.

Glass is an important choice. Regular and conservation glass are both available in either clear or non-glare. Conservation glass, which has come to the forefront the past 10 years, blocks about 98 percent of ultra violet light, protecting art from fading.

The choice between clear and non-glare depends on personal preference. Some people prefer non-glare because they don’t see light reflected in its surface. Others prefer the more brilliant distinct image they see through clear glass.

If you already have one or the other in a room, you might want to stay with that choice for the sake of continuity. The difference between the two can be annoying.

The farther non-glare glass sits from the art itself, the more distortion occurs. Non-glare glasses today are much clearer than they once were.

Plexiglass is a good choice for large art pieces. It comes in clear or non-glare finishes and is much lighter in weight but more easily scratched. There are ways to clean and handle it to lessen scratching. Make sure you get picture frame grade plexiglass as opposed to lower grades that may contain defects.

When finished, framed art should be sealed in the back, leaving it as professionally finished as the front. We provide two courtesy nail hangers to use in final placement.

Art does impact our lives. Imagine a room without anything on the walls to get an image of how important it is. Choose it carefully to help create the mood you want in your office or store.

Matting and framing can coordinate with wood and colors in the room to create a finished effect on the decor.

C.I. Shenanigans restaurant wanted a warm, inviting atmosphere that also looked comfortable. So pictures on the walls there are in traditional colors with traditional wood frames, adding a certain richness.

Burgundy and green matting makes the pieces larger and ties them in with colors in the decor.

A fast-food restaurant might choose something entirely different, perhaps more modern art with metal frames.

Quality framing work helps insure your investment, so choose a designer/framer carefully. Be sure you feel comfortable with them, their skill and expertise in helping you make choices. Look around their shop to see if you like what you see on their walls. If you do, chances are you will work well together.

Employees and employers spend a large part of their lives at work. Even if few other people see our working environment, we owe it to ourselves to like what we see.

Author Deborah Pittman-Evert, CPF, is a certified picture framer and owner of the Tacoma franchise location for FastFrame.