Also known as dado rails, chair rails are a type of decorative molding typically installed at about waist height along a house’s walls. Many people pair them with wall trim or paneling like picture frame molding, board and batten, beadboard, and shiplap to create wainscoting.
Chair rails were adopted as a functional element in the 19th century, whereby they were used to protect walls from being damaged by chair backs. However, homeowners use them to add a decorative touch nowadays. Their ability to add color and break up walls while adding understated character and depth to small, expansive spaces makes them even more popular.
- Does the darker color go above or below the chair rail?
The darker color should go below the chair rail. Installing the darker color above the chair rail will create a visual weight that’s too heavy for the upper part of the wall. This can make the room feel dark and cramped.
On the other hand, if the darker color is installed below the chair rail, it will create a more balanced and visually appealing look.
- Should I paint the chair rail the same color as the wall?
It depends on the look you are going for. If you want to create a more cohesive look, painting the chair rail the same color as the wall is a good option. This helps to make a room feel larger and more open.
However, if you want to add visual interest, you could paint the chair rail differently. This can create a more defined space and make the room more attractive. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
- Are two tone walls out of style?
No, they aren’t. In fact, such color trends are even more popular nowadays! Two-tone walls allow designers and homeowners to remove the dullness of one color by adding a contrasting or a complementing color.
Now, let’s look at 17 two color walls with chair rail ideas you can use to transform your home into a magical haven.
1. Black and White
A stairway is an excellent place for a two-tone wall project. Black is a fantastic color that brings a lavish, refined atmosphere and creates a charming presence that will always be trendy.
White, on the other hand, brings timeless classiness and elegance to any room. It creates the illusion of space, making a room seem bigger than it is. This idea uses these two colors to create an inviting foyer.
The wooden flooring gives the whole look a warm neutral tone.
2. Mint Green and Yellow
This is a bolder approach to two-tone wall designs. Instead of painting a color below or above the chair rail, this chic nursery uses wallpaper.
The cherry lemon motif above revitalizes the mint green lower wall and chair rail. This creates an age-appropriate and timeless nursery that your kid will cherish until it becomes a bedroom.
The crown molding and baseboards are also mint green, making the architectural trim detail more visible.
3. Gray and White
Chair rails aren’t exclusively incorporated into traditional homes. If you want them to work in modern and contemporary homes, placement and color selection are key.
The white lower part of the wall complements the upper gray portion to create a bright and neutral bathroom.
4. Navy Blue and White
via Marker Girl Home
You can always create a bold, intriguing effect in any room using deep colors. This is the case with this two-tone wall.
The navy blue color covers ¾ the wall and mixes with the white chair rail to create a striking balance you couldn’t have ever imagined! The navy blue makes the wall look classical, imposing, and modern.
The white accent wall adds light to the whole design.
5. Beige and White
If you are looking for a contemporary minimalist home decor design, pick light-toned colors such as white and beige. These colors are very trendy in the world of interior decor.
The chair rail and wainscoting are painted a warm-toned white paint, while the upper wall is covered in beige. The beige color creates a warm embracing atmosphere, while the wood flooring completes the contemporary homely vibe. The dinner table setup also complements the color scheme perfectly.
6. Crimson Red and Dark Gray
Gray is a versatile shade that goes well with many interior design styles.
This dark gray wainscoting has been paired with a bright crimson-red hue, giving the room an opulent appearance. The gray crown molding separates the red from the ceiling, adding depth and making the color scheme more distinctive.
7. Baby Blue and White
White and baby blue are some of the best complementary colors for home decor projects. The two colors combine to create a joyful and calming atmosphere in the bedroom.
The white shiplap, chair rail molding, and baseboard achieve the right balance with the baby blue color, creating a relaxed, airy aura.
8. Blue Gray and White
The number of ways to design a two-tone wall is endless. The walls in this design are predominantly white except for the area between the chair rail molding and the baseboard, which is blue-gray.
This minimalistic design makes all the architectural elements stand out. The accent wall uses picture frame molding, making the whole design unique.
9. Burnished Cream and White
Using colors from the same family is an excellent way to incorporate a contemporary vibe into a traditional design element.
The upper wall is covered in cream wallpaper, while the chair rail and lower part of the wall are white. The framed golden art pieces add elegance to the home decor, and the white side table and accent pieces complement the entire wall.
10. Light Blue and White
Chair rail molding doesn’t have to be at the lower part of the wall, as seen in the above example.
The white chair rail molding divides the wall into equal halves, with the upper wall painted a light blue color. These two colors maintain cohesion while creating contrast, allowing the white chair rail and trim, creamy furniture, and blue rug to complete the relaxed, coastal vibe.
11. White and Greige
This color combo of pink-gray, and white creates a suave, sophisticated space. The color scheme particularly makes the fireplace stand out.
The bright yellow, red, and black accents add depth and character to the space without overwhelming the dominant theme.
12. White and Off-White
via CJH Interiors
This paint color combination creates an elegant, minimalist and air room. White and off-white colors complement each other well and exemplify modern classiness.
The chair rail, the lower part of the wall, and the crown molding are white, making the off-white part stand out. The blueish-green couch adds color to the living room and acts as a focal point.
13. Timberwolf Gray and White
Cool white and light gray paint colors are the go-to options if you want a simple modern background. Their incredible ability to reflect light makes every room appear airy and bright.
You can use this color scheme to decorate kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, and even your kid’s nursery and rooms.
14. Light Khaki and Wood
Combining a muted yellow hue and a natural wood wainscoting is a great way to achieve an old-world aesthetic from the 19th century.
The traditional couch and classic picture gallery complement the vintage theme, which introduces an artistic contrast that elevates the room’s appearance.
15. Cream and Desaturated Blue
via Camilla Kelly
Incorporating a rich cream hue on the walls and a light blue-grayish wainscoting chair rail at the bottom of the wall is an excellent backdrop for your traditional and farmhouse design styles.
This idea uses different colored furniture to add color and character to the living room.
16. Beige and Peach
You can always rely on chair rails to incorporate a bold color without overwhelming your room.
The bottom third of the wall is painted a bright shade of peach and paired with white to add a welcoming contrast and emphasize certain architectural elements. This wouldn’t have worked if the entire wall had been painted peach; the color would compete with other beauty elements in the room.
17. Mustard Yellow and White
via Farrow and Ball
This two tone wall design breaks the conventional rules of chair rails. Chair rails usually define where the colors meet.
The white color extends just below the chair rail to meet a shade of mustard yellow. This is an unexpected and playful way of emphasizing the architectural detail of the shiplap beadboard. The wooden desk and chair bring a more natural feel.