Currently the trending decorating craze, shiplap involves the use of wood board in building the walls of sheds, barns, and outbuildings. If you own a Pinterest account or you often watch HGTV, you have probably seen how it looks.

The wood boards are made to overlap in a way that creates visible gaps and channels. Shiplap is sometimes intentionally left unfinished to achieve a rustic feel. It may also be stained to make the wood grain come out, or painted to get a uniform look.

Joanna Gaines, co-host of the show “Fixer Upper”, is probably responsible for the resurgence of using wood on interior walls. Before the highly-popular TV show gained public acclaim, probably only houses you’ve seen with wooden walls are those built way back in the 1950s.

Although it is trending today, shiplap is not a new concept. Truth is this wall cladding style has been in existence for centuries. Because of its recent rediscovery, a lot of builders try to include the material in their model homes and inventory to capture the fancy of prospective clients.

Following are some ideas on how you can use shiplap for your construction project:

Shiplap Installation on the Ceiling

With shiplap installed on the ceiling, it draws the eyes upward, and highlights a vaulted ceiling or a high room. It also adds visual interest and texture to an otherwise bland and plain space. Shiplap is usually used paired with a coffered ceiling or beams for a strong architectural statement.

To add more drama, try painting the shiplap with a color other than the usual white. If you have light beige walls, paint the ceiling in blue. This can be particularly striking in kitchens with a coastal theme or white cabinetry. It is also a good idea to use shiplap in a master’s bedroom, kitchen, or living room to bring out a cozy atmosphere.

Shiplap for the Entire Room

Using shiplap to cover all the walls can be quite a sight, and it will add a lot of texture to the room. Shiplap offers practically limitless design possibilities. You can paint it in whit for a bright and clean space. Or, you can go for a navy blue color for impact.

If you intend to leave the wood stained or unfinished, be careful when using shiplap to all the walls because you may end up with a wall similar to that of a log cabin or some wood panelling from the hippie 70s. Shiplap is recommended for use in a study, foyer, kitchen, and practically anywhere else.

Shiplap on Entire Room

In some cases, less is definitely more. This particularly applies with shiplap on your walls. If you intend to install wood boards, stained or unfinished, it can be overpowering when used on the entire room. To avoid this, you can create an accent wall instead. This will make the wood standout without unnecessarily making the room very dark.

Meanwhile, if the drywall is painted in a dark color, you can add a shiplap wall in white color. This can make the room brighter, and break the dark paint up. An accent wall is ideal for a nursery, bedroom, or media room.

Shiplap as Featured Accent

If the home you are renovating or building has a great fireplace, or you are designing some cool built-ins, shiplap is a good way to highlight fun architectural features. You can install shiplap behind bookcases to create depth or draw the eyes upward. You can also create a shiplap column above the fireplace mantle. You can also add shiplap in unexpected areas to generate interest as well as a custom feel. Some popular applications are mudroom built-ins, pantry walls, or powder room wainscoting.


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