14 Chair Rail Moulding Ideas for Your Home

January 26, 2021

By: The Finished Space

Are you interested in chair rail moulding ideas for your home? Chair rail is a type of moulding that is used in the middle of a wall. Originally, chair rail moulding was added to dining rooms to protect plaster walls from getting damaged by dining room chairs.

These days, chair rail moulding isn’t just about adding protection to vulnerable walls. It’s a decorative element that can elevate a room’s design. There’s no shortage of inspiring and modern chair rail ideas for every room of the home.

Here are 14 inspiring chair rail design ideas for your home:  

1. Add Some White Space to Eccentric Wallpaper

For Blog Only - Jewel Marlowe - Chair Rail and Wallpaper Dining Room

Jewel Marlowe

Wallpaper can be tricky to pull off – especially if you choose a bold print. The white chair rail moulding helps break-up this eccentric wallpaper and breathe white space into the room. It creates a unique look that still feels light. 

2. Match Your Chair Rail with a Dark Wall Color

For Blog Only - Atmosphere Interior Design - Dark Gray Living Room

Atmosphere Interior Design

The grey chair rail moulding matching the wall color helps create visual interest in this playful living space. The moulding helps merge traditional and modern design and creates a successful marriage of elegance and comfort. Painting the wall and moulding a dark color helps add depth and makes the moulding pop off the wall, creating interesting shadows. 

3. Use Chair Rail to Ground Your Design

For Blog Only - Sarah Richardson - Robin Bedroom

Sarah Richardson

Sarah wanted to create a bedroom that was almost cloud-like. Using visually tantalizing textures and beautiful blues throughout the space, Sarah grounded this dream-like haven with rustic, earth tones found on the millwork and furniture. The chair rail not only adds structure and visual interest but also elevates the room with added luxe!

4. Add Classic and Sophisticated Trim

For Blog Only - Atmosphere Interior Design - Wainscot Hallway

Atmosphere Interior Design

Pairing classic chair rail moulding and baseboards with sophisticated panel moulding provides a terrific backdrop for this art wall. The art and perfectly decorated table bring your focus to the finishings on the lower half of the wall, making the entire wall a swoon-worthy spectacle.  

5. Match Modern Minimalism with a Angular Design

For Blog Only - Karin Bohn, House of Bohn - White Wallpaper and Chair Rail Bathroom

Karin Bohn

The angular moulding adds a clean line to this minimal design. It helps break up the space and create subtle interest without pulling too much focus. Sticking with angular styles is a perfect way to nail a modern simplistic motif. It’s also one of the more conventional chair rail ideas for a room.  

6. Enhance Your Stairwell

For Blog Only - Kate Pearce Vintage - Chair Rail Staircase

Kate Pearce

This stairwell is covered floor to ceiling with panel moulding, and it’s absolutely awe-inspiring. Who says stairwells and hallways have to be bland? You can use all types of moulding, including chair rail moulding, to add excitement to your stairwells and hallways. Most of our favorite chair rail ideas for a hallway involve layering chair rail moulding and panels to create a regal feeling like this design. 

7. Create a Bold Color Scheme

For Blog Only - Joao Mansur - Brazilian Red and Green Dining Room

Joao Mansur

This bold room designed by Architect João Mansur shows how you can use chair rail moulding to create a bold and unexpected color scheme. He chose to paint the chair rail cherry-red to create a vivid contrast against the green apple walls. It goes to show that you can use chair rail as a method for creating bold color schemes. 

8. Use Chair Rail for an Alternative Project

For Blog Only - Golf Road Warriors - Picture Rail Hanging Shelves

Golf Road Warriors

Consider using chair moulding as something other than its intended purpose in order to create a one-of-a-kind fireplace or a hand-painted craft. Don’t be afraid to use chair rail’s interesting shape and texture as a tool or material in other projects, such as a means to hang pictures or shelves.

9. Add Texture to Your Hallway 

For Blog Only - Atmosphere Interior Design - Hallway Panels

Atmosphere Interior Design

We love how the chair rail in this entryway draws you into the house and makes the space feel more welcoming. The chair rail adds a refined style to this space without making it feel cluttered. 

10. Install Chair Rail on Indoor Columns

For Blog Only - Terrene Homes - Tall Living Room

Terrene Homes

Chair rail moulding isn’t limited to the wall. This spacious living room uses chair rail on its columns and walls to produce a consistent and seamless feeling throughout the entire space. If you’re looking for chair rail ideas for a living room – this is definitely one to try. 

11. Use Chair Rail for Contrasting Panel Moulding

For Blog Only - Dabito of Old Brand New - Chair Rail with Gold Panel Mould


The gold panel moulding takes center stage on these walls. However, without the soft chair rail moulding, it wouldn’t be quite as attention-grabbing. This room’s design does a wonderful job at balancing contrast and minimalism, and it does so mostly with its trim elements and a few thoughtful decorations. 

12. Create an Edge with Angular Chair Rail

For Blog Only - Kerr's Home Products - Hallway Panel Wainscot

Kerr’s Home Products

This recessed panel paired with an angular chair rail helps create a modern look. The dimension of the panel helps make the walls appear to have a small edge. It’s an edgy twist on plain chair rail moulding – figuratively and literally! It helps lift the design from a more traditional space to something a bit more unique.   

13. Cap Off Wainscotting

For Blog Only - Emily Henderson - Blue Chair Rail with Wainscotting

Emily Henderson

If you’re looking for chair rail ideas for a bathroom, look no further than this stunning bathroom designed by Emily Henderson. Emily created a fun take on a classic design by using navy shiplap to create a moody wainscotting effect. However, rather than having the visible seam between the shiplap and the wall, she capped it off with chair rail moulding to create a more visually appealing transition. 

14. Create a Dual-Tone Wall Design

For Blog Only - Dabito - Yellow and White Chair Rail Dining Room


Even with a bold color like yellow, chair rail moulding is a fantastic way to create a dual-toned wall design. As it turns out, the standard chair line guideline of placing the chair moulding one-third of the way up the wall is the perfect proportion for two colors. Painting the upper two-thirds of the wall with the primary color and the bottom one-third with the accent color helps the room look elegantly balanced. The chair rail moulding helps add a definitive break between colors, making it even easier on the eyes.  

Try the Chair Rail Moulding Ideas that Inspire You

If you’re ready to transform your home with chair rail moulding, we’re here to help. We have a complete line of finishing touches that are sure to impress. Find out which chair rail moulding fits your style with Option M today.