Shiplap is all the rage right now. After all, it’s everywhere. And it’s a budget-friendly trend that complements a variety of home designs. But can we count on this trend to stick around?
What’s driving the demand for this material? Well, first off, shiplap’s a home run for the current trend toward clean lines, all-white spaces and modern farmhouse themes.
Second, shiplap lends itself well to the most up-and-coming trend: organic modernism. This look incorporates natural, raw and textured elements into those clean-lined white spaces.
Third, shiplap is dominating on the biggest platform of all: TV. Home makeover and design shows have given the look a significant boost in the market.
And finally, shiplap offers nearly limitless potential. It can be painted or stained to fit into organic or farmhouse modern, industrial, contemporary or transitional styles and beyond. And you can install it practically anywhere in the home.
The lesser-known truths
So, what’s the catch? Truthfully, there aren’t many downsides to this material — other than the dust buildup between the boards that can make it a pain to maintain. But there are a few misconceptions.
Shiplap doesn’t have to be white. Most shiplap you see is white, but you can paint or stain these boards any color or hue.
Shiplap is more than boards on a wall. True shiplap has grooves along the top and bottom edges that allow the boards to fit tightly together. This is what creates that signature spacing in between.
There are so many ways to use shiplap in your home that you could easily go overboard. Consider these ideas, but be prudent when it comes to choosing a look for your home.
Try a stain or color. If all-white shiplap is too “farmy” for your taste, paint or stain the boards to better suit the space.
Add interest to walls. Use shiplap as a bedroom accent wall, on bathroom walls, in your entryway or in the living or laundry rooms.
Upgrade basic backsplashes. So long as the wood is sealed against moisture and splatter, you can install shiplap as a backsplash for your kitchen or bathroom sink.
Make a statement with your ceiling. Shiplap can create dimension and add a rustic appeal to the fifth wall of a room.
Seize little opportunities. Install hints of shiplap on such places as the kick wall of your kitchen island, the fronts of cabinets and doors or your fireplace surround.
Take it outside. With the proper treatment and in the right neighborhood, shiplap can work as a siding material. Get that rustic farmhouse look with white, or go more modern with grays and dark blue hues.
With so much versatility and so few downsides, there just might be a shiplap design to fit every person or style. And its trend trajectory appears to be continuing full-speed ahead. So, with that, your decision comes down to your preferences, your home and where you want to integrate the material. Talk to an interior designer or a remodeler to get expert insights and installation, and start planning your shiplap project.
If you’re still on the fence, or on a super-tight budget, here’s an insider tip: There are removable shiplap wallpaper products that you can easily undo instantly, should you ever feel a pang of regret.
Lauren White is a reporter for HomeAdvisor, an online marketplace connecting homeowners with service professionals to complete home projects.