Europeans do a great job of combining aesthetics with functionality; case in point, two-tone walls, as in the French room shown below. The lower section of the wall (the area that gets the most wear and tear) is painted in a satin finish, which can be easily wiped clean, while the upper half is a matte finish. The wall may be painted in a single tone, but the technique works equally well when the wall is painted in complementary tones. In the room shown below, Green Ground is used for the upper portion of the wall and Ball Green for the lower portion; both from Farrow & Ball.
Above: Photo via Madame Chacha.