Chair rails are the unsung heroes of home decor. Most people don't pay attention to them, much less even know what they are. The protruding molding stop chairs from wreaking havoc on your walls, while providing a easy way to add extra character to your rooms. You can find instructions for the basics of installing a chair rail here.
Add character to a plain wall with trim, baseboard and molding details. I've seen this done and it's amazing how realistic it is! Unless you touch it and feel the drywall between the mouldings, you would never know that it's not a full paneled wainscot!