Installing a horizontal feature detail (e.g. painted stripes, wainscot, tile) gives the illusion of “pushing” the walls out and tricks the eye to make the room look larger. I have used this technique in many projects with many different materials.
Painted stripes (or “bands”) are of course the least expensive way to get the look. Other ways to achieve the results are to install wainscot, a chair rail, or a combination of materials to make up the band.
On one of my projects, we used flat stock moulding and tile to create wainscot and a “band” that ran around the perimeter of the room. This not only made the space feel much larger, but also added a classic, architectural detail. Quite honestly, this room could not have been any smaller!!