Add interest above the picture molding

My house has high ceilings and no crown molding.  I love the height and the airiness, but in some rooms, where there isn't large scale art to fill the space, the expanse of wall and plain paint color feels vast.

I'm drawn to the idea of adding a picture rail with a contrast to the wall above.  I love what my blog friend Abby just did in her guest room:

And here's an oldie but goodie from Domino, by Barrie Benson

 A second color (and contrast ceiling) is nice, but wallpaper--grasscloth to be exact--is even better.

And how about using other materials?  Jamie Bush put cork wallpaper most of the way up this wall

And mixed penny tile walls wil a wallpaper ceiling in this bathroom.

My practical side also loves the idea of stretching your wallpaper budget by pairing it with paint.

What do you think of this look?