Pastel or softer colors look better in flat paint. Chocolate brown or very dark colors, I think look better with a little shine to them. The satin or semi finish will keep them from looking dreary by reflecting light around the room. Painting is the most cost effective way to give your room lots of impact. You may want to select a striking wallpaper pattern in keeping with the color scheme of the rest of the home. Stripes are great for adding volume and height.
A plant stand made of wood; wicker or iron with a luscious green fern is a gracious look. Why not use the foyer as a tiny art gallery? Designate an entry hall area or wall where you can hang paintings or pictures that are special to you. Hang a group of fine prints all framed the same. The prints will stand out more, if the color of the frames contrast with the wall color.