Until recently I’ve never really appreciated the aesthetic benefits of a dado rail (also known as a chair rail). Commonly today we see various spaces using a contemporary approach to walls, but with the growth in popularity with paints and wallpapers these Victorian aesthetic features may just be coming back!
We can see the early use of the Dado rail during the Victorian period and so are commonly seen in period housing. They were initially designed to protect the backs of chairs from damaging the walls, but as design progressed these rails became more popular as an aesthetic feature more than the purpose they were designed for. These rails are usually measured around a meter from the floor upwards and come in an array of styles. Used now not only for creating a divide or stopping point, they also provide a functional element by providing shelving for picture frames.
Simple yet bold, this gorgeous hallway designed by Brian O Tuama Architects draws the users eye into the space through the use of colour and pattern. Using the fitted dado rail not only to guide the flow throughout the space but adds that final break-in colour.
I love this combination of being able to divide your wall space and use both your favourite colour and wallpaper. The combinations you could apply to this are endless! When applying this approach to your walls keep in mind the colours you are using and make sure they correspond with each other.
It’s common for people to prefer placing wallpaper on the upper part of a wall but applying to the base can enhance the interest within the space. When doing this consider the finish of the dado rail and skirting board as this will frame your chosen wallpaper.
Strong rich colours can potentially overwhelm a room, but I love the use of this white Dado rail which slices through the dark hue creating a contoured effect to the space.
I like the use of this concept and would perfectly for less trafficked areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms. You would have to make sure the rail you have or plan to use is thick enough to place picture frames on, and also is secured appropriately to the wall to be able to support the weight…. meaning makes sure your Dado rail is not glued on!