Many clients over the years, designers or not, have puzzled over this question. While the style of the room the artwork is to reside in absolutely cannot be ignored, the bottom line must always be the enhancement of the piece in every way possible, trusting that it will work in its environment. And it almost always does! Perhaps that's because usually the same mind and sense of taste that dictated or inspired the room's design and colors also chose the artwork.
We've all walked into a room and seen an elegant black and white photograph in a barnwood frame, a delicate pen and ink sketch overshadowed by a big goopy gold frame, or a 18th century oil in a mid century frame.
And what happens when you move, or redecorate, or want to hang the piece in a different room? If framing is done solely with an eye to a style or color scheme, some lucky framer will reap the rewards of reframing it again and again and again...
We would really rather find the perfect moulding, matting, colors and proportions to maximally enhance the artwork and frame it just once. When in doubt, Art Rules!