Joanna Gaines of HGTVs Fixer Upper
Joanna Gaines, interior designer of HGTV's hit "Fixer Upper", is famous for her love of shiplap (seen here on the walls and ceiling) in interior designing. Via HGVT.
Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love. -Nate Berkus

The subject of a recent trend in home design, shiplap is a great material to consider for small and large home decorating projects alike. Made popular most recently by the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper (whose interior designer loves the look of shiplap), this method of wood paneling is versatile enough to be made to look rustic, chic, elegant, modern, and anything in between. Plus, it’s fairly easy to install and still pretty unique, which can help you create a custom look for your own home. While it might seem rustic, if you’re looking for home decor that’s a little more modern, don’t cross it off your list yet! We’ve got plenty of inspiration to help you determine the perfect way to use shiplap in your home.

What exactly is Shiplap?

Exterior front doors in shiplap design
This entrance is done completely in all-natural shiplap - the texture of the wood really shines! Via Stonewood Products.

Shiplap is a type of pine (or similar) planks, often used in constructing barns and similar rustic buildings. Traditionally, shiplap boards have grooves in the top and bottom that allow them to fit together seamlessly with the surrounding boards, creating a tight barrier from the outside elements. The planks can be anywhere from 3 inches wide to 10 inches wide, which gives you plenty of room to decide what will look best in your home. These days, shiplap used in interior spaces is often painted, which subtly showcases the texture without going too rustic, but keeping the shiplap natural and allowing the natural grain to shine is a great choice as well.

Qualities of Shiplap

Interior wall design in shiplap materials
Shiplap has tons of great qualities that make it an excellent choice for home decor. Via A Beautiful Mess.

...or in other words, why bother with it in home decor?

  • Adds natural texture to any room
  • Looks great stained or painted (and texture will still shine through paint)
  • Easy to install, easy upkeep
  • Can be used as a backdrop or accent wall
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Can be a DIY project

Best Examples of Shiplap in Decor

Beautiful shiplap walls for a dining room
Using shiplap for the walls can create a versatile look that pairs well with any number of decor styles. Via Studio Mcgee.

Shiplap Walls: Shiplap is a great addition to the walls of any living space, whether you’re going for a rustic look or not. By painting the boards with a crisp white, you can pair shiplap with anything from rougher wooden accents to pretty gold finishings to get exactly the look you want. Plus, shiplap is an easy DIY project, though having a contractor come in can help make sure the look is perfect.

Interior kitchen design in shiplap
The natural look of this shiplap creates a beautiful accent for the entryway, and the shiplap in the adjoining room keeps the look cohesive. Via Pinterest.

Shiplap Accents: One of the more recent usages of shiplap involves covering only a part of a space - say one wall of the living room, or the space behind the headboard in the bedroom - with shiplap. You can highlight the natural wood with a stain, or paint it to create that seamless flow in the room while showcasing a particular visual element, similar to the way you would by painting an accent wall. Shiplap works particularly well compared to other types of wood paneling, as the panels can be bold or subtle, and come in a variety of widths based on what you need.

Bathroom interiors with shiplap accents
The creamy shiplap complements the navy blue wall and rustic/chic vanity perfectly, adding just the right amount of texture. Via HGTV.

Shiplap in the Bathroom: Your mind might not automatically jump to using wood paneling in the bathroom, but shiplap can add wonderful visual interest without being overwhelming when incorporated in tasteful ways. By only covering one wall with shiplap, or using shiplap vertically rather than horizontally, you can get that classy look in even a small bathroom without having to stick with paint or tile.

Wooden butcher block countertops with shiplap
Rustic shiplap paired with white brick creates a cozy, rustic-inspired kitchen with lots of color and light. Via HGTV.

Kitchen shiplap: As well as the bathroom, shiplap is a great addition to a kitchen, particularly a big, open space kitchen (even without much wall space). Not only are kitchen remodeling projects great home improvement investments, but shiplap in the kitchen can add some creativity that matches your creative flair for cooking and baking. Whether a rustic kitchen or not, shiplap will always be right at home.

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