Dining Room Chair Rail Ideas

In today’s world of “builder basic” homes, many homeowners crave the character found in older houses. Ornate moldings, archways, and fireplaces are just a few of the features that add interest to a home. But don’t fret if your home is lacking any of these fancy elements…you can fix that with a dining room chair rail!

Chair rail moldings are one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways to add character to an otherwise plain room and adding a chair rail in a dining room can add elegance and sophistication. The possibilities for what is placed above or below the chair rails are seemingly endless – from wainscoting, to wallpaper, to contrasting dining room colors.

There is no hard-and-fast rule about how high to place a dining room chair rail on your wall. Generally, experts suggest placing the chair rail molding between one quarter and one third of the way up from the floor, usually 28 to 32 inches. This number is flexible, however, and placing the molding higher is a great way to emphasize various wall features.

As well as the following dining room ideas we also have plenty of great chair rail ideas for the bedroom, bathroom and living room as well.


Interesting Neutralsinteresting neutrals

A simple chair rail infuses a subtle interest to an otherwise neutral dining room, repeating the rooms’ crisp white crown molding and baseboards.

Light and Darklight and darkSource: www.jefflewisdesign.com

The white chair rail in this transitional room acts as a dividing line between the lighter and darker dining room paint colors.

Dark Bluedark blue

In this chic dining room, the dark blue painted under the chair rail adds sophistication and brings out the blue in the rug and other accessories.

Light Graylight gray

A more casual dining room chair rail with a flat profile mimics the board and batten used in this families’ eclectic room.

Maximum Elegancemaximum elegance

Tone-on-tone striped wallpaper on the top half of the wall gives way to a beautiful chair rail and molding treatment on the bottom to achieve maximum elegance.


A white chair rail and beadboard ramp up the refinement in an otherwise casual dining room, which features slip-covered chairs and a flat weave rug.


To keep this playful dining room from getting overwhelmed by color, a chair rail is placed higher on the wall, with the neutral beige underneath covering the majority of the space. The pop of green paint above the molding keeps the space fun.


The chair rail idea in this stylish dining room acts as a divider, allowing both of the colors in the chair fabric to have a place on the wall.


Faux bois wallpaper above this dining room chair rail adds a bit of whimsy and charm while the molding treatment below injects a more traditional feeling.

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