When clients ask about chair rails, I often suggest that they paint everything below it a glossy white so that it becomes more of an architectural element in the room. I also love how the crisp white looks against a really bold color on top.
(This photo is Conan O'Brien's dining room, btw. Who would've thought?)
However, after an online client recently shared this inspiration picture with me, the look of flip-flopping this idea and using a really dark color on bottom and a lighter color on the top is growing on me:
It's a really bold statement that works well in this small foyer and makes the white trim stand out even more.
Here are some other ways to achieve this look--whether you have an actual chair rail to work with or not. . . .
It's even more dramatic when paired with a shiny black floor (and a black painted vanity):
Desire to Inspire
This designer created a low "chair rail" by taping off a line around the room:
In kids' rooms, this effect can be created and can serve double duty by using chalkboard paint:
What's your take on this look? Would you do it in your home?
PS Announcing the MirrorMate giveaway winner later today. Have you entered?