It's All About the Details: Chair Rail

Happy first day of May friends!  I cannot believe where the time has gone; it just keeps flying by.  Today I wanted to hone in on another interior detail that can make a room stand out from the rest and that is with a chair rail.  A chair rail can add a sense of refinement and proportion to a room.


Chair rails, as well as moldings, have been dated back to the ancient Greeks, and have continued to be an interior detail still used today.  However, more times than not, trim molding is generally an afterthought.  So next time you are thinking about sprucing up your home, think of adding a chair rail.

When designing your chair rail, there are many molding profiles to choose from and many ways to design chair rails.  Most contractors have local resources that you can select pieces from.  Depending on your preferred design style will determine the chair rail profile.




Location is key!  At what height do you place your chair rail?  Typically chair rails are placed in the lower 1/3 of the wall, which makes the ceilings appear taller.  Bisecting the wall with a chair rail can make the ceiling and room appear shorter than it is.  And for rooms with high ceilings, 24 feet plus, chair rail with paneling below placed around 8-feet looks fantastic.  Remember proportion and scale are the determining factor!



How you treat the wall below or above the chair rail is an important element to the overall molding design.  For some, just the actual chair rail molding is all they want, but for others paneling above or below is a more preferred look.  You could also paint below a different color.  All are great looks.


Who says your chair railing has to be wood molding?  In bathrooms we often see tile chair rails or a border design around the room which has that chair rail look.


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