redecorating a large wide 1950's bungalow hallway
I wasn't going to post a reply until i noticed no one else has been brave enought to weigh in! Its hard to really give a half decent opinion without the visual aid of a photo (or 2) but i'll try...
Anyway, I read a really great book on Feng Shui a few years back ("Move your stuff & change your life") Don't laugh! Its an excellent resource for practical interior decorating advise, especially for rooms that one feels compelled to stay out of because they just are just not inviting/ homey/ comfortable etc.
Any room which is too dark would benefit with a few (relatively) inexpensive & quick fixes
1) paint! cream, or warm white, soft yellow, pale taupe...any colour which ties in with your colour scheme and has no blue or green undertones (think hospitals - cold!)
2) any wall space you have add a mirror!! The bigger ,the better & pick one with a frame that is appealing to you (ie antique gold or something equally striking)
3) Make sure the front door/entrance had easy access (no clutter at the entrance is important) & try using a hall or area rug, if possible, to warm up the space
4) If /when you have the cash: invest in a new front door!! Go with a generous 3/4 door glass not just a wimpy 1/2 door glass (= more light!!) There are some amazing decorative options out there that can tie in with the age of your home & have different options in privacy levels. (I just put in a new double front with 3/4 glass in a wrought iron style and the change is amazing! the hallway was a gloomy, cold entry and now it is so inviting and bright: the best money I ever spent! (PS Feng shui book suggests the use of white or black at the front entry - my exterior is white so I went with a black front door - very tudor-ish looking)
If you can send along a photo & good luck!