Posted on 11/07/2015

9 Ways to Use Shiplap in Your Home Design

3 minute read

If you’re a fan of any home improvement television shows, you’ve probably noticed the trend of using traditional building elements to enhance a home’s character. Whether you’re living in a newly built home or a fixer upper, shiplap is a great material to transform boring walls, ceilings, built-ins, and more into pieces of architectural interest.

Ways to Use Shiplap in Your Home Design
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Shiplap is characterized by long panels formed with overlapping grooves that give the appearance of a small gap between panels. If you have an older home, you may find this hidden treasure underneath wallpaper or drywall. Shiplap was commonly used to insulate farmhouse-style homes.

Traditionally used in areas with harsh climates because of its tight seal, shiplap is often associated with coastal and cottage style homes. Due to its versatility and relatively inexpensive cost, shiplap is a timeless detail that can be used in any style of home.


Shiplap Paneling

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This DIY-er created a faux shiplap room using thin strips of plywood, a nickel to simulate the grooves, and some paint to create the look of real shiplap. Using plywood turned a $400 project into a $139 expense.


Shiplap Built-Ins

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Shiplap adds texture and interest to otherwise plain built-ins.

Mixing Rustic and Modern

Rustic & Modern Shiplap

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As mentioned previously, shiplap doesn’t just complement coastal, cottage and farmhouse style homes. If your look is more industrial or modern, pair crisp white shiplap with modern lighting options and contemporary fixtures.

Painted Shiplap

Painted Shiplap

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Yes, shiplap, is usually painted white or stained to showcase its natural wood grain, but if white isn’t your thing, shiplap paneling in moody paint tones is pleasantly upscale.

Fireplace Mantel

Shiplap Mantel

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Add an additional focal point to your fireplace by framing and essentially extending your mantel.


Shiplap Ceiling

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The shiplap ceiling adds a ton of interest to this modern-rustic home. Using shiplap on ceilings is also a great alternative to the time consuming task of removing popcorn ceilings.

Accent Wall

Shiplap Accent Wall

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If you want to go nearly all-natural with stained shiplap, use it for an accent wall. This type of accent wall is also a great way to finish a basement on a budget.


Shiplap Exterior

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Perhaps the best example of how versatile shiplap is this exterior usage paired with sustainable building materials, which adds a surprisingly contemporary touch.

Kitchen Island

Shiplap Kitchen Island

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Can’t commit to an entire room of paneling? No problem. A ship-lapped kitchen island pairs beautifully with a subway tile backsplash.

Looking to complete larger scale home improvements? Download our Rehab & Construction Guide for information about how you can roll the costs of renovations into your existing or new home loan.

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