I installed panel molding, using 1 inch panel molding in a "picture frame" design, in my front hall. I used the guidance from http://kingofcrown.com/Proportion_and_Scale.html, to come up with the dimensions. I used 4 inches up from the base molding and 3 inches down from the chair molding, as shown in their illustration. Now I am ready to carry the molding up the stairwell. If I use the same guidance, some of the molding will be behind the bannister. I would simply remove the bannister, install the molding like the bannister wasn't there, and then put back the bannister. Alternately, I could make like the bannister was the chair rail and go 3 inches below it. This would throw it out of sync with the hall walls and then how would I handle the opposite wall in the stairwell, where there is no bannister? Also, I presume the verticle molding pieces in the stairwell are plumb rather than perpendicular to the chair rail? Are there guidelines for this or is it just a matter of personal preference?