Shiplap in New Construction

If you watch HGTV or have a Pinterest account, chances are may you have heard of this current decorating obsession. What is shiplap exactly? Traditionally it is wood board that is used to construct the walls of barns, sheds, and outbuildings. They are overlapped to create channels and visible gaps. It can either be left unfinished for a rustic feel, stained to bring out the wood grain, or painted for a more uniform look.

While newly trendy in the home decor world, shiplap is by no means a new product. In fact, this type of wall cladding has been around for centuries. Nowadays, this wall treatment has become more of an interior design feature. When painted, white shiplap is a common color choice. Usually installed horizontally on top of drywall to create a planked wall look, shiplap clad rooms have become a sought-after feature by prospective home buyers.

Due to the recent craze, many builders and fixer upper renovators are opting to incorporate this material into their inventory and model homes to capture the attention of style-savvy buyers. Here are a few ideas on how to utilize shiplap boards in new construction:


Installing a shiplap ceiling will draw your eye up and show off a vaulted ceiling or room with height. It will also add depth, texture and visual interest to an otherwise plain space. Often shiplap is paired with beams or a coffered ceiling to create an architectural statement. For even more of a focal point, consider painting the shiplap a different color than the traditional white. If the walls are a light beige, try a faint blue on the ceiling. This is especially striking in a kitchen with white cabinetry or a coastal themed home. This is a great look for an intimate dining room, master bedroom, or kitchen to create a cozy atmosphere.


Covering all the walls with shiplap can be a real show-stopper and add a ton of texture to a room. The design possibilities are endless: paint it white for a clean and bright space or opt for a moody navy color for extra impact. If leaving the wood unfinished or stained, use caution when applying shiplap to all the walls as this can look reminiscent of a log cabin or the dreaded seventies wood paneling. We love this application in a smaller space like a bathroom, foyer, or kitchen. A multi-use way to incorporate shiplap is by applying it as a backsplash – a great option for adding texture and that popular farmhouse look.


Sometimes less is more and this can be true with millwork on the walls. If you are installing wood boards that will remain unfinished or stained, it can be overwhelming when applied to the entire room. Instead, create a shiplap accent wall; this will allow the wood to stand out without making the room too dark. On the other hand, if you paint the wall in a space a darker color, adding a single shiplap wall in white or gray can brighten up a room and break up the dark paint. An accent wall looks great in a bedroom, home office, nursery, or media room.


Does the home you are building or renovating have an amazing fireplace? Or are you designing some cool built-ins? Shiplap is a great way to flaunt fun architectural features. Install it on the back of bookcases for depth or draw the eye upward by creating a shiplap fireplace feature above the mantle. Try incorporating shiplap into unexpected areas for interest and a custom feel; some of our favorites include pantry walls, mudroom built-ins, or wainscoting in a powder room.

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