Interestingly, when I met a friend for lunch last week, he happened to ask about how to pick out art for his home. He lives with his wife and two kids in a 6000+ sq ft mansion, yet he doesn't even know where to start when it comes to selecting paintings or framed art. I gave him the following suggestions:
1. Pick out a style of art to complement the overall style and theme of your house: for example, if your furniture has boxy, clean lines and it's made of MDF coupled with some metal framework, chances are you should be looking for art with metal frame or plain soho poster frames. The art itself can be black-n-white photography, minimalist fine art such as Mark Rothko's prints.
But if you have a lot of solid wood furniture like we do, original oil painting with gold-leaf frame will spice up the classiness. If your overall style is transitional, then I suggest you invest in some unique and vintage art prints with champagne-leaf frames.
2. Pick out the overall color tone of your furniture and accessories. If you are putting up a focal piece, try to pick out all the major colors in that room in the painting/art. If you are filling up some blank wall space, try to look for color tones in the art that either complement the overall color tone (e.g. muted green goes well with gold, champagne or seagreen), or do the opposite to give that "pop" or "wow" factor (e.g. fuschia pink with chartreuse, the color combination you can only find in some orchids!).
As usual, here are some pictures.