In most rooms, wainscoting ends midway up the wall. This one flips that approach by taking the boards close to the ceiling. They draw the eye upward to give the illusion of height, while their horizontal orientation lends the impression of width — a skillful double play.
Horizontal wainscoting in this dining room helps to stretch the space visually — it feels larger than it is. It also lays a foundation for the creamy tones of the chairs, table and draperies.
In this bedroom, the wall planks reinforce the strong horizontal structure of the room (lampshades, floating night tables, twin vents).
This bedroom would have felt old-fashioned were it not for the unusual ceiling and wainscot treatments. Painting the wainscoting a few shades darker than the walls helps to ground the space.
So much wainscoting is painted white that it's always fun to see a different take, such as this richly stained wood. While mounting it vertically would have given the feel of traditional paneling, its horizontal placement makes it modern.