One of the things I liked about the floorplans for our house was that the upstairs hall area was more like a living area rather than a long narrow hall leading to the bedrooms. It is not a big space but it gets plenty of natural light.
Here is the version from the Healthy Home Plans site:
Here is our version in its developing stages:
The little step-down before heading down the stairs is actually a nice little detail that we like. It leads to our daughter's room and just provides a little architectural detail without being too obvious. It's just something we like without really having to know why.
(The walls and ceiling are Hubbard Squash from Sherwin Williams.)