Interiors Style Classic – Dado Rail is Making a Come Back

When I say “Dado Rail“, what springs to your mind? I always thought dado rails were there for decorative purposes only and served no real function.. but did you know that in the Georgian period it was fashionable to leave the dining room chairs against the walls away from the table. A wooden dado rail (or chair rail) became fashionable to protect the walls and decor from being damaged.

Image Credit – Leoma HarperStyle The Clutter

As the time went and fashions changed, dado rail slowly disappeared and came back only in 20th century, when it was used for purely decorative purposes.

There is no surprise that the dado rail is coming ‘into fashion‘ yet again. We are becoming more creative with our homes, we want our homes to be as unique as we are. We want to make a statement or perhaps honour the period features in our homes by restoring them to their former glory. Whatever the reason, dado rail is making a very strong come back!

If you thought dado rails were old fashioned and maybe no longer served a purpose, just look at these beautiful homes. Dado rail may not have a practical function anymore but it has definitely made a mark in home styling! Isn’t it remarkable how you can change a blank wall with the help of a simple dado rail and add a ton of character, create a beautiful space and make a statement.

Amanda Cotton
Instagram – @houselust
BlogHouse Lust

Clare Zerny

Leoma Harper
Instagram – @styletheclutter
Blog – Style The Clutter

Sandra Baker

Instagram – @__itslucy__
Blog – It’s Lucy

Instagram –@lookweboughtahouse

What are your thoughts on Dado Rails? Do you like them or do you think they are dated and no longer serve a purpose?

PS. I will be sharing my hallway makeover (No 2) very soon and guess what?? SPOILER ALERT -it will feature dado rails!

22 thoughts on “Interiors Style Classic – Dado Rail is Making a Come Back

  1. Beautiful selection of images! I absolutely love Sandra’s staircase, so full of character. I totally agree about dado rails they definitely add a lot of character to a place

  2. We have dado rail and paneling at home as we live in a Edwardian home and it just feels right to have it. I love how different everyone’s home is and dado rail definitely adds character to the walls. I love Lucy’s hallway and the cat photobombing is so cute .

  3. I loved this. I think on it’s on it’s still looks very dated but like all of your examples here when it accompanies wood panelling on the lower half of the wall it gives a really fresh look. Can’t wait to see your hallway! D x

  4. I absolutely love dado rails! Unfortunately, I don’t live in a period style home so definitely can’t put any in. A bungalow built in the ’50s (I think) definitely wouldn’t suit it aha!

  5. the thing with dado is – i hate it – as i have short ceilings and in my home it looks just silly , but in a ny home with a tall ceiling dado is a must have as it looks sophisticated – and i love it that way – can someone please make my ceilings higher

    1. I know what you mean Pati! Our hallway is quite long and even though not a period home with high ceiling, adding a dado rail really has made such a difference! Can’t wait to paint it all & share!

  6. I think they look absolutely beautiful in the examples you’ve shown, ideal for period properties. We have a 1970s house, and I don’t think they would work so well here! Love the two tone wall effect, it looks gorgeous x

  7. I love dado rails in the right property/setting i.e., taller ceilings. They add a lot of character especially when paired with panelling. Some fabulous inspiration here Evija!

  8. This is so cool! I have an old style dado rail which I think I will now paint instead of remove! LOVE the photo frames feature wall also±!

  9. im in 2 minds now im doing my 2 bed house conversion up,im thinking of putting a dado rail up in my hallway,however ive spoke to a couple of people and they say its old fashion,i wouldn’t mind but it is a old Victorian property,im planning on panelling the doors aswell which ive done in the past what do you think?i will be wallpapering with 2 different wallpapers

    1. Nikki, personally I don’t think dado rail will ever be old fashioned ! Saying that I don’t follow fashion or interior trends and really decorate how I like it ! If you like the dado go for it 100%!! You are the one living in your home and not your friends so do what makes you happy 🙂 adding features like paneling and dado especially to a Victorian home adds a ton of character and feature ! Good luck whatever you decide

  10. Julia West, designer, Toronto:
    Panels on the wall at dado height and higher also look lovely in a Dining Room where the top can be a plate rail, which is deeper than a chair rail and has a rounded grove where you can display plates. I have recently recommended this to a client who has a collection of Fornasetti plates. It is going to look fabulous. It will be a grand mix of traditional and modern in a Victorian house.

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