Is Shiplap Out Of Style?

Tips for Creating a Beautiful Home

Is Shiplap Out Of Style?

Once upon a time, I gave my fireplace a total makeover (you can read about it here) and I decided to use vertical shiplap to add texture and depth. It was a last minute decision, but a great one! Now it’s truly the focal point of the living room. Best of all? It was a quick DIY and low cost! Read on to find out why you should consider shiplap in your next project! And an answer to the big question: Is shiplap out of style?

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Is Shiplap Out Of Style?

I’ve heard this too. Though shiplap has been around for centuries, it came to the forefront of modern interior design in the 2010s. The farmhouse style became… trendy, and once something becomes trendy it will become dated.

Here’s the thing though. Shiplap or wood panels (I’ll use the terms interchangeably in this post) are simply materials. We will also use strips of wood of some form in interior design. It’s how we use it that can point to a specific style. Used a certain way, shiplap can be farmhouse or coastal or traditional or modern or even minimalist!

Joanna Gaines’ kitchen circa 2018. What most people think of when you say “shiplap”.

Most of us think of white, rustic and horizontal when we hear the word shiplap. I love the modern farmhouse style and I’m not here to knock it, but it’s not what I was going for in my home. And if you think it’s not for you, just wait until you see some examples of how you can use it, regardless of your interior style!

Benefits of Shiplap

It’s Cheap

At $3-4 per square foot, it’s significantly cheaper than covering your wall or fireplace with tile or stone veneer. I took a look at some nice stone at Lowes while planning my fireplace makeover and couldn’t deny that stone would be more expensive (and more difficult to install).

Or you can grab large nickelgap panels, like these ones from Home Depot that are more like $1 per square foot!

It’s Versatile

Yes, shiplap works for any interior style. Installing vertically (as I did on my fireplace) tends to look more traditional and polished, whereas horizontal installation leans more rustic or boho. But that’s not always the case. The width of your boards, as well as the texture and paint color can emphasize the look you’re going for. Check out the examples below.

It’s Easy to Install

You can use one of the easy big box store options mentioned above: The pre-primed tongue and groove shiplap boards I used for my fireplace, or these nickelgap panel sheets I used in my master bathroom renovation. If using the sheets, make sure you don’t have to make lots of cuts for doors, windows etc. Then it’s no longer an easy installation… which I learned the hard way.

You just need a chop/mitre saw, table saw and nailgun. If you don’t already have these tools the price will add up in comparison to tile or stone, however, it would still be a great deal quicker and easier than cutting tile or stone. Consider renting these tools.

It. Adds. So. Much. Character.

Shiplap really adds texture and visual interest in places we tend to get stumped for design. Sometimes you just want to keep it clean and simple, but not so much so that it feels like a padded cell. Adding vertical panels especially will not only add subtle pattern, but will draw the eye up.

I personally love paneling because I’m partial to that traditional English feel. Look how much character it adds to this all-white kitchen! Adding shiplap automatically makes your home look more custom.

Vertical paneling in kitchen via The Grit and Polish

Shiplap Fireplace Design

So this brings me to using shiplap for your fireplace makeover. Since the fireplace is the focal point of a room, it’s the perfect place to add texture. Here, I used some intricate marble picket tile by Jeffery Court, but it was pricey per square foot so I couldn’t afford it on the entire fireplace. For the overmantel I’d considered a faux concrete, but it looked too busy. The vertical shiplap was clean, white, yet not boring.

My shiplap overmantel

Vertical shiplap has become a common feature in fireplace design by some famous interior designers. It makes the ceilings look taller and makes the room look upscale.

Where Else To Try Shiplap Accents

That blank wall? The bare space behind your shelving? Add shiplap and it can still look clean and refined while adding character. Ceilings, accents walls, and cubbies are also efficient cost-effective places to add interest where needed as well.

So, is shiplap out of style? A resounding “no”! I think paneling is one of those timeless elements we will see evolving in interior design for years to come, and that includes shiplap. Stay tuned to see how I’m using it next!