Nothing captures the eye then a room dressed with Wainscoting. By definition, Wainscoting is something treated to the lower third half of the wall. This can be accomplished with a chair rail and architectural box combination, a recessed panel design, raised panel or tongue and groove beadboard .
By far, using a combination of a chair rail with an architectural box design is by far the “best look to value” ratio. Chair rails can be either a single piece, two piece or a chair rail and sub-rail combo. The architectural boxes are comprised of a special profile molding that when equally spaced with a proper ratio yields the a “recessed look”.
The next level is a recessed panel design. This is a little more complex as it requires removing the existing baseboard molding, adding either a backband to the original casing or upgrading the casing to be thicker. This is needed to accommodate the 3/4” rail and stiles that are used to create the panel. This is then topped off with a 2 1/4” cap rail.
One step up from recessed panel is raised panel wainscoting. The same process applies to recessed panel except inside is a raised 3/4 panel, similar to a cabinet door.
The last style is beadboard. These are 3/8” thick tongue and groove strips that cover the lower wall surface. It is topped with either a cap rail or a small sill. This style is most popular when used for laundry rooms, mud rooms and basements.