After writing about small spaces, I received a ton of e-mail on my web site from people wanting know what to do with large rooms. Many of them said they wished their rooms were smaller because they thought they would be easier to decorate.
Grass is always greener...
Both small & large have their own set of challenges. It always comes down to how you want to live and what your lifestyle is really like.
COLOR: Adding color that is dark and/or warm on your walls can make a huge difference. It can help make your very large room a bit more intimate. In a giant room, you can afford to go large, heavy, dark and sumptuous without fear. The room can handle it.
LIGHT: Put table lamps and overhead lighting on dimmers. Instant coziness as well as helping to bring the large expanse of a room into a bit more of an intimate and livable lifestyle.
Also, if you have crown molding and a very high ceiling, you can use a darker color below the crown and a lighter version of the same color on the ceiling in order to create more intimacy--if you like that style.
Create seating areas not only for comfort, but for great conversation. Plan for more than one seating area in a large room and make sure you place tables by each seating area for drinks so that your guests feel welcome and comfortable.
Divide your large room into smaller areas that can be for entertaining, private conversations or reading. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, make a large room serve more than one function.
AND...Don't forget about scale. One of THE most important things in any room, any size. In large spaces with high ceilings you really have to think about the scale of your furniture. You can go big, even with your accessories. Too many smaller pieces will make a room feel cluttered and not too well defined. Play with furniture, rug & accessory placement. You will start to see how things work as you move stuff around and you will be training your "decorator eye." Well, you may even get more than 1 decorator eye--an actual pair! I hear they're rare.
Like any home, great design is about having as much information as possible (that pertains to your tastes), having a plan and a very healthy does of trial and error.