There are several factors to consider when choosing art for the home or office and often these factors interrelate so I thought it best to break these up into categories for the sake of simplicity.
The Composition and the Room:
This is a great place to start. There are certain types of compositions that are best fitted to certain rooms. For example, when I think of the kitchen I think of fruits and vegetables, chefs, wine bottles, etc. When I think of the bedroom I think passion, softness and perhaps botanical, like a large rose picture. When I consider the bathroom I might visualise images that portray a clean, fresh, good smelling idea. Yes, it is ideal when the images we choose help the mood of the room. Another consideration with composition involves the application of more than one image in an area. When several pictures carry a common theme a very different feel is given to the room.
Colour considerations include the walls, furniture, carpeting, window treatments or draperies, trim molding and other room enhancements. The colours in a room should complement one another. An art piece with a well balanced array of colour can tie a room together. If a room is empty I like to choose the art first and then the furniture. Usually, people do the reverse, however, choosing the art first makes sense when you think about it. To illustrate, how often does someone walk into a room and say, 'That ottoman is majestic! It just takes my breath away!' However, that can happen with a well chosen piece of art. Often, art will be the show piece of a room. So, rather than let the furnishings dictate what your art will look like, allow the art to dictate what kind of furniture you'll choose.
This aspect can be tricky. Say, for example, you have a space above your stove that is a foot and a half tall by four feet wide. It could be hard to find one image to fill this space. However, you could use three images of a similar genre. I might choose three 8 x 10 sized images of grapes placed vertically. Another challenging space might be a very large sized wall or a room with a vaulted ceiling. A grouping of images often does the trick in both of these situations. I have also seen very large prints, 4 x 8 feet tall and larger, put to good effect. Art this large is proportionately more expensive, of course. Another option is to use a single image broken up into several gallery wrapped canvases spaced apart to cover a large area.
Genre and Personal Preference:
Perhaps there is an art piece that you are particularly fond of but it clashes with the style and architecture of your home, or maybe it just doesn't match the colour scheme of the room you want to put it in. I have seen people change wall colours and room accents to accommodate art. At the end of the day, I guess the real question when it comes to art is, does the art I chose put a smile on my face and on the faces of those who live here? If we can say yes, then everything else is just a rough frame work when it comes to choosing art.