Shiplap: Paneling Makes a Comeback

Shiplap. It’s a word very few outside of the design world knew about until Joanna Gaines’ Fixer Upper hit the airwaves. The HGTV show has popularized the Texas designer’s style: a rustic, yet elegant mixture of new and old textures. Fans of the show know that Joanna loves to incorporate shiplap into almost every one of her designs.
But what is shiplap? It is a paneling, traditionally made from pine, that is often used for the construction of rustic outhouse buildings such as barns or sheds because of its low cost. The boards are often between 3” to 10” wide and laid horizontally. It is made of very affordable lumber because of the nature of where it is usually found — outdoors. Shiplap was originally used because it is structurally sound. It is affixed to the interior and exterior studs of the building.

Shiplap is being incorporated more and more into design, because it adds architectural detail to a space. The texture and uniqueness is what is driving its popularity for uses on walls, ceilings and cabinetry. The grooved edges of the shiplap boards add just enough interest to the walls without drawing the eye away from the overall design of the space.
To its core, shiplap is paneling. When you hear the word paneling, 1970s homes may come to mind but shiplap is changing the way people see paneling because of its modern design with horizontal slats. Like its 1970s predecessor, shiplap is being used both painted and stained. Both can be used to contribute to a rustic, farm house feel. When shiplap is paired with sleek white cabinetry or subway tile and high polished chrome, it gives the space a transitional look and feel. If farm house is not your style but you still enjoy the shiplap pattern, it can be incorporated into other design types. Rich wood stain or bold painted shiplap can also be incorporated into modern designs to add an upscale feel.
Here in Louisiana, we don’t have shiplap hiding under our interior sheetrock walls like so many of Fixer Upper’s Waco homes. However, the same look can easily be achieved by affixing boards to dry wall.
Shiplap can be used from mudrooms to master bathrooms and you can find it from floor to ceiling. Our Acadian House Kitchen & Bath team loves to work with shiplap because of its versatility. Check out our shiplap board on Pinterest for ways to use shiplap in your home.