I was doing a search for chair rail moulding and found your blog. I am enjoying looking through the different posts on decorating and gleaning many ideas from your posts.
I am currently in the process of redoing the baseboards in my living room. I have always hated the chair rail and want to redo it as well, but I am having trouble finding something that is beefy enough for my tall ceilings, yet still elegant and simple. (You can't tell from the photos, but my ceilings are vaulted. The short end is 11 feet tall and the peak is 15 feet tall.) All the prefab molding is about 3 inches thick and I want something closer to 5 inches thick, therefore I will probably have to combine moldings to get this look. I read your post on chair rails and how wimpy you think most are, so I would like your ideas on different options to make my room look proportioned right. I am including photos of my living room with the old baseboards. The new boards are 7-1/4 inches tall with a slight curvature at the top. I am including a photo of the unfinished boards for reference. I am not interested in doing wainscoting.
I will have the entire room repainted when I am done with the trim work. The paint color I am planning is a lightened Graham Cracker from Benjamin Moore. I kept some black and red out of the mix. This color matches well with the color in my entryway. I am planning on it being painted above and below the chair rail. I have a lot of different textures and colors visible from the entryway so I don't want to do too much color in this room. But I am willing to consider any suggestions you may have. I am also including a photo of my stairwell so you can get the overall picture.
Thank you in advance for your time and input,
If you still go with the chair rail- a couple of things to consider. Without wainscot- have your darker color on the bottom- like the photo above- or have it all the same color. (I think I would paint it all the same color to minimize the entire look.) Whatever you do- do not paint the bottom lighter. It would be visually disturbing.