A chair rail, a piece of decorative moulding that runs the perimeter of a room, usually at 32 to 36 inches above the floor, traditionally protected the walls from furniture. Because of their varying styles, chair rails work well in any kind of home. In dividing the walls, they also provide a distinct layout for various painting ideas that would otherwise be difficult to achieve. A chair rail provide an opportunity for homeowners to experiment with wall colour in an organised and defined way. Chair rails create two distinct wall spaces, one above and one below the rail. Choose different shades of one colour for each wall section to create effects that range from subtle and relaxed to bold and bright. Begin with a simple white chair rail. In the space below the chair rail, choose a dark shade of your colour: dusty purple, burgundy and mocha are adaptable options.
Paint the area above the chair rail a lighter shade of the same colour: lavender, rose or cream create a matching pair. Keep the darker shade below the chair rail to avoid making the room feel small or crowded; the light colour maintains the open airiness of the room. Or for a bolder statement, focus your efforts on painting the chair rail. While most people paint chair rails white and add colour to the walls, you can simply do the opposite. Choose a neutral colour for the walls and a bolder colour for the rail. For example, white or cream-coloured walls with a sunny yellow rail would work well in a nursery or children’s playroom.