In order to brighten up the dark hallway, consider trying to use clever tricks to create light. Of course, electricity can provide this in the evenings but won't bring natural light in during the day. Think about placing a large mirror on the stairs - this might reflect light from your landing (which may have a window) or rooms upstairs.
The colour of the walls will then also need to create light. Dulux do a very nice paint called Light and Space (in a range of nice colours) which has light-reflecting particles in it - think extra glow, not glittering walls! Keep the walls either a bright cream, apple green or cornflower blue which will prevent gloom from setting in.
Other tips for enhancing the entrance to your home is to invest in the following:
1. A decent welcoming doormat - the thicker and more luxurious the better, as it encourages people to wipe their feet!
2. A light-coloured rug. Open up yet more light in the space with a neutral rug to streamline the entrance hall.
3. A hatstand or coat hooks. Again, to encourage visitors to deposit their outerwear in the hall and to not leave it looking bare.
4. Plants. Buy a tall plant which will create texture and colour in the hall without drowning out the light. Of course, if it needs a lot of sunlight perhaps don't put it in here!
5. Feature light fitting. Buy a large light fitting which will hang from the ceiling with grandeur - this will stop your hall from being boring and bland. Think light-reflecting - such as a chandelier or plastic interpretation. The more glass in the hall, the more reflective light. But don't go overboard!