What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home
Featured image: Celtic Custom Homes

Kitchen Shiplap Options

Kitchen remodeling can get a little bit complicated when it comes to installing shiplap. For one, there are plenty of tight spaces and corners to work around including cabinets, outlets and other appliances. There are also issues of heat and water that must be considered.

For those who opt to go the DIY route, precision measurements are crucial in the kitchen. You might also want to think about a waterproof finish for shiplap that is likely to be in contact with water. Additionally, consider using tile for the backsplash as it is much better at repelling water and is easier to clean.

Like the living room, you can decide to use the shiplap on a specific part of the wall, making it the focal point. For example, you can use it on backside of the breakfast bar, the side where family members and guests sit. You can also install shiplap vertically in the spaces between upper cabinets.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This bright and airy bathroom by Celtic Custom Homes features white shiplap walls that create a beachy, coastal vibe.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this rustic stairway by Leighanne LaMarre Interiors are stained a warm, rich brown that adds depth and character to the space.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This farmhouse-style bathroom by Living Stone Design features shiplap walls painted in a crisp white, complemented by black accents and natural wood tones.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this modern bathroom by Opulent Design Build are painted in a soft gray that pairs perfectly with the sleek stainless steel appliances and dark wood cabinets.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This cozy living room by Sophie Metz Design features shiplap walls painted in a soft blue-green hue, paired with a comfy armchair and plenty of natural light.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this contemporary living room by Highmark Builders are painted in bold warm brown, creating a dramatic and moody atmosphere.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This bright and cheerful dining area by Dillard-Jones Builders, LLC features white shiplap walls that contrast beautifully with the colorful accents and natural wood tones.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this farmhouse-style dining room by New England Design Works are painted in a soft blue-gray that complements the neutral color palette and rustic wood furniture.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This charming bedroom by Woodmeister Master Builders features shiplap walls painted in a cheerful yellow, paired with plenty of storage and functional touches.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this transitional bedroom by Brian Watford ID are painted in a warm beige that creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Where Can You Use Shiplap?

Essentially, anywhere in your house.  From the bathroom, to the stairs, to the hallway; the options are endless. One of the advantages of shiplap siding is that it can be customized to fit any space, big or small. We have listed some great spaces you can use shiplap below.

Shiplap in Your Living Room

If your living room walls feel a bit lacking in warmth and style, shiplap is the perfect addition. You can choose to accent a single wall or install on all the walls in the room. Considering that this is the center of your home, it makes sense to make it as warm and cozy as possible.

Note that some areas such as the place around the fireplace may require another material (such as tiles or stone) that can withstand the heat and is easier to clean. While the traditional style is to lay out the planks or boards horizontally, you can decide to put them up vertically for a more unique style. You can leave the wood exposed with all its spots and pockmarks for a realistic cottage look. Bonus tip: exposed shiplap really goes well with exposed beams for a nice quaint look. Works great for a living room, home library, or home office.

To enhance its effect, you can finish shiplap with white paint. This looks especially good in homes with large windows where plenty of natural light streams in. It almost feels like you are sitting outside a farmhouse somewhere in the countryside.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This coastal-inspired bedroom by Palmer & Assoc. Interiors feature white shiplap walls, a breezy canopy bed, and plenty of natural light for a relaxing and serene atmosphere.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this vintage and traditional bedroom design by VOH Architects are painted in a warm brown hue, complemented by vintage fixtures and traditional design.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This cozy farmhouse-style bathroom by VOH Architects features shiplap walls painted in a warm white, complemented by natural wood tones and plenty of cozy textiles.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this sleek and simple bathroom by Structures Building Company are stained a warm, rich brown that creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Have you ever seen one of those cozy cottages in movies and wished you could live in one? Well, you would have to build your own cottage, but there is a cheaper and quicker way to create a similar effect in your home by using shiplap cladding. In recent years, there has been increased interest in shiplap-focused interior décor. Shiplap has appeared on HGTV shows, filled up interior décor blogs, and appeared in numerous magazine pages. In our latest home improvement guide, we take a look at Shiplap cladding, what it is and how you can use it in your home. It is one of those home improvement projects that should take you a single weekend and not too much money to complete.

What is Shiplap?

Shiplap is a type of wooden board traditionally used on the exterior of buildings. It is an effective and inexpensive way to clad a building and protect it against weather elements, especially water. Homeowners have recognized the beauty of shiplap and over time, it has found a place in the warm interiors of many homes.

When used inside, it creates a cottage-like, farmhouse or shabby chic effect. It is especially good at turning a dull and cold space into a warm, cozy and welcoming interior. You can use it to accent a specific part of a room such as the wall around the hearth, the space above the tub or the area above your bed. Alternatively, it can be used more extensively to panel entire rooms such as the bathroom, living area, or bedroom. There are numerous creative ways you can use shiplap in your home. We will go through them shortly.

If by the end of this guide you area leaning toward some shiplap for your own home, you have two installation options; you could DIY it or call in a professional. As a DIY project, it’s difficulty is moderate and you will need an extra hand or two to help. But if you are not sure, we always recommend letting a professional handle it.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This bright and airy bathroom by Romanelli & Hughes Custom Home Builders features white shiplap walls, complemented by natural wood accents and plenty of natural light.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this modern farmhouse-style bathroom by Jonathan Raith Inc. are painted in a soft gray-blue hue, creating a serene and relaxing atmosphere.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This cozy cottage-style bar by Kemp Hall Studio features white shiplap walls, a charming tabletop, and plenty of sleek accents for a charming and inviting atmosphere.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this traditional and warm stairway by Markalunas Architecture Group are painted in a soft gray that complements the classic and timeless design of the space.

Bedroom Shiplap Designs

Here the options are numerous. One common style that we see as a favorite for many homeowners is using shiplap to accent the wall behind the bed. By contrasting it with the other walls, it almost feels like a large headboard.

Related: 5 Reasons to Convert Your Basement Into a Bedroom For Your Teen.

A dull bedroom can be instantly transformed by installing shiplap all-round and painting them in a warm relaxing color. A unique style that can also be applied to shiplap in other rooms is to use more than one plank along a single row. The seams created where two planks join come together to create a stylish masonry effect.

Trendy Shiplap Bathroom Ideas

While shiplap tends to result in a countryside/cottage look in other spaces, it creates a trendy beach effect in the bathroom.

You could fill up the entire bathroom with shiplap paneling or use it on specific areas. For instance, shiplap installed just above the bathtub creates a cozy space to take a bath in. You can also install it on a single wall, above the cabinet area, and wherever else you see fit.

Because of moisture issues, it is highly recommended that you buy shiplap that has already been primed. This reduces moisture absorption by the boards ensuring that they last. It is also a good idea to skip shiplap in the shower, where running water can easily cause damage, although if chosen in that space, it is quite an amazing look.

Woman/Man Cave or She-Shed Shiplap Options

The versatility in style of shiplap allows you to choose a design that fits your man/woman cave theme. If you are going for the chic-look, watch for wood that has been aged distressed by wind and water.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This eclectic living room by Allard Ward Architects features shiplap walls painted in a bold green hue, paired with plenty of colorful accents and bold patterns.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this transitional staircase by Wright Design are painted in a brown hue that creates a serene and calming atmosphere, complemented by plenty of natural light.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

This charming entryway by Redo features white shiplap walls, a cozy built-in bench, and plenty of natural light for a cheerful and inviting atmosphere.


What is Shiplap and Ideas For Your Home

The shiplap walls in this contemporary bathroom by Woodmeister Master Builders are painted in a soft white hue that creates a playful and whimsical atmosphere, paired with modern fixtures and sleek design.

Types of Shiplap

Traditionally, cheap wood such as pine was used in making shiplap boards. Today, homeowners have a range of material options to choose from. The most common is real wood, where your planks of wood are installed stack-style along the height of a wall. Real wood is especially ideal if you are planning to leave it exposed but it can also be a bit pricey.

Other less expensive options include plywood, MDF or hardboards. With these, you might have to apply a nice finish on top, such as painting, to create the full cottage effect. You can find these materials at most home stores including Home Depot.  Shiplap can also be categorized depending on their design. Some types of shiplap consist simply of planks of wood, MDF or plywood. Other types come with a design that allows them to fit snugly into each other. They are referred to as tongue and groove shiplap.

If you are doing a DIY installation, it is important that you understand the different types of shiplap and how installation varies among them.

Shiplap Wainscoting Works Everywhere

Instead of the traditional wood paneling for your wainscoting, why not try using shiplap? It creates a nice decorative effect, with unique detailing. Shiplap can work on all kinds of wainscoting from one that stretches to just a few inches above the crown molding to one that goes past half the wall height. Instead of the usual horizontal stack-style shiplap, you can also put the planks in a vertical design.

Shiplap in the Basement

One of the challenges of basement remodeling is turning it into an adequately warm and comfortable space. Shiplap is a perfect solution. If the basement is well insulated, you do not have to worry about moisture damaging the shiplap boards.

Whatever you decide to turn the basement into, whether a bedroom, family room, kitchenette, bar, or home cinema, shiplap makes for a perfect addition to the walls and ceiling or both.

Ceilings With Shiplap Installed

Shiplap is not just for the walls, you can also use it for the ceiling. Just as shiplap walls give a room the perception of more space, shiplap ceiling creates the feeling of more depth. For an even more spacey effect, extend the shiplap on the walls to the ceiling.

There are plenty of things you can do with ceiling shiplap. Painting it white spreads light around, enhancing the depth feeling. Leaving the shiplap exposed creates a spacious farmhouse style. Giving it an aged finish adds a vintage air to the home. A blue-painted shiplap ceiling brings a clear blue sky right into your home.

Of course the mechanics of installing shiplap on the ceiling are a bit different and can be more challenging than installing shiplap on the walls. If you are not sure of your handy skills, it is best to hire a professional.

Pros and Cons of Shiplap

Shiplap Advantages

One of the best things about shiplap is that it brings dramatic change without requiring a big investment in money and time. You can spend a single weekend putting up shiplap siding on a wall and less than $500 but the effect will be priceless. It changes the room drastically; producing a look that, using other methods, would have cost thousands of dollars.

Another advantage is the simple installation. Whether you are using plain planks, MDF, or tongue and groove shiplap, the installation process is fairly simple and straightforward. If you have someone to help you that has the right tools, you can do a quick and easy installation. There is no ripping out walls or messing around with utilities. Additionally, as many homeowners would agree, it is a pretty fun home improvement project to fill up your weekend.

Even if you opt to call a professional, the installation cost will not be too much. The décor benefits of shiplap are very worthwhile and with just several planks, a plain room transforms into a magazine-worthy space full of character. A cold bedroom suddenly overflows with warmth. A dull bathroom instantly feels like it has been built on a beach. A boring home office turns into a dreamy workspace that spurs your creativity.

Another advantage is its flexibility. It can be used in a wide range of applications both inside and outside the home. Just to mention a few that we have already shown above, it can be used for the ceiling, wainscoting, full wall paneling, creating a wall accents and so on.

Overall, shiplap is an efficient, highly effective, and inexpensive way to renovate your home.

Exterior Shiplap Cladding

While shiplap is better known for its use in interior décor, it was first used in exterior cladding. With a light finishing, you can also use shiplap on the outside of the house. In some climates you can include it in the porch, an outdoor sitting area, an outdoor kitchen, and exterior wall cladding.

Disadvantages of Shiplap

There are a few downsides and concerns we must make note of. One, shiplap in certain areas like the bathroom and kitchen are at a bigger risk of damage because of the moisture. Without proper finishing, the wood will start to warp or even rot.

Another problem arises when you need to repair damage to the shiplap or the wall underneath. Usually, it becomes necessary to remove a large chunk of the shiplap even for simple damage repair.

The world of interior design never stays still; new ideas and innovations keep coming. Shiplap is one of the best interior décor ideas you can use in your home. If not for any other reason, just the fact that it creates the exact style you want without draining your bank account.

To get the best out of shiplap our best advice is to be creative. There are many more ideas and ways to use shiplap at home than those we have highlighted above. Using this inspiration, find a design and style that is perfect for your home and go for it.

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