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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Framing Is Easy, Once You Get the Hang of It

There is no faster way to make an apartment or office cozy and comfortable than by hanging a nice picture on the wall.

Choosing the right picture is never hard in Moscow, with its innumerable auctions, private galleries and outdoor art markets everywhere from Izmailova to the Central House of Artists. But once the picture is purchased, things start to get a little more complicated. Getting a picture framed in Moscow can be considerably more difficult.

Ready-made frames are readily available at most outdoor art markets. Custom frames are a different matter. For many people, a frame is as much a reflection of taste and character as the picture itself. Fortunately, the number of places in Moscow to buy and order a variety of attractive, well-made frames is growing, so discriminating decorators will find they have a greater number of options.

One popular variety in picture frames is the baguette, long laths of elegant mahogany imported from Indonesia. There are several stores in Moscow currently offering baguette frames from Italy, the primary producer of such picture frames in Europe.

One good place for frames is either of the two new "Italian Baguette" workshops, both offering a wide selection of baguette frames. The Kitai-Gorod workshop's office is tiny, but features close to 100 samples of wooden frames in different colors and styles, from simple light brown laths to elegant lacquered and luxurious antique-style frames.

Prices for the frames range according to style: One meter of baguette can cost anywhere from $3 to $60. The price of the cut and additional labor ranges from $5 to $40.

Yevgeny Khachaturov, the commercial director for Italian Baguette, said a majority of his current clients are artists and interior decorators. He urgest customers to pick their frames very carefully. "Once a frame is made, it's forever," said Khachaturov, who added that he thinks of framing itself as a creative process, as important an addition to the interior of a room as the picture itself.

Cutting at Italian Baguette takes between three and seven days. The workshop can also produce large frames (3-by-2 meters and larger) by special order, as well as six- and eight-angled frames.

One Italian Baguette workshop is located at 5 Starosadsky Pereulok, near metro Kitai-Gorod. Tel. 925-8271. The second is located at 18 Petrovsko-Razumovsky Proyezd, between metro stations Dinamo and Savyolovskaya. Tel. 285-3873.

Another store offering a large selection of Italian baguette frames is the Art Salon (Khudozhestvenny salon) near Oktyabrskaya metro. A small stand in the middle of the store has displays of more than 70 samples of frames and 12 varieties of Finnish mat board. Prices range from 24,000 rubles (roughly $5) to 432,000 rubles ($93) for a frame, including the cut.

The framing takes up to 3 days, but can be done faster for a 20 percent surcharge. The mat board is available for $12 a meter. The Art Salon is located at 54 Bolshaya Yakimanka. Tel. 238-7913.

Elegant hand-made frames can be ordered at the "Lizard" workshop, where prices range from $50 to $150 per meter, including cut. The workshop is at located at 3rd Frunzenskaya Ulitsa 7, metro Frunzenskaya. Tel. 242-5787.

Another, less expensive option is Bagetny Ryad, a workshop where frames are cut from locally-produced material. The selection is not as large as in other stores, but the prices are accordingly affordable.

A meter of baguette frame costs from 20,000 to 40,000 (about $4-$8) and between 40,000 and 80,000 (about $8-$16) for the cut, which takes up to 10 days. Bagetny Ryad is located at 6 Ulitsa Ostozhenka (entrance in the courtyard), metro Kropotkinskaya. Tel. 202-3610.