Best Design Ideas for Shiplap (How Much is too Much?)

living room with vaulted shiplap ceiling

Shiplap Room Ideas That Aren’t Overdone

Shiplap interior walls have had a lot of love in recent years. Some would argue, even, that it’s received a bit too much love. But why exactly is shiplap so popular? What exactly is shiplap? How much shiplap is too much?

Shiplap is an ideal design solution not only for its ease of installation (hello, interlocking wood slats!), but also for its cost. It’s far cheaper than drywall, which means you can designate your remodel budget elsewhere while still getting a high-end look that you love. Plus, the clean lines, (usually) neutral colors, and simple-living aesthetic it’s a great way to add texture and change the room feel, no matter where it’s used.

Pin this for easy reference:

how much shiplap is too much pin

As wonderful as it is visually, like any trend, it can feel overdone and outdated if it’s used too widely. So, how do you use shiplap without overdoing the trend? Before you get out your nail gun, read on for our list of shiplap ideas and inspiration that will have you loving the look and admiring all of its unique installation possibilities.

RELATED: Wine Lover’s Lower Level

Vertical Shiplap Wall

Mudroom, Bench, Shiplap, Hooks, bench cusion, storage, cabinets,
Using vertical shiplap planks on the hook wall, this creamy white mudroom with luxury vinyl flooring feels classic in every way. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Best Greige Paint Colors – Our Top Grey/Beige Shades for your Home

If you thought shiplap was only a horizontal thing, think again! We love using this style in the form of vertical panels – especially in smaller spaces like mudrooms or bathrooms. Not only does it bring your eye upwards and help to open up the space visually, but it also adds a touch of class, similar to that of wainscoting.

Shiplap Bathroom Walls

White shiplap Modern Farmhouse Basement Bathroom
By pairing white shiplap on the walls with a timeless subway tile shower and a black and white encaustic tiled floor, this bathroom is modern and oh-so-stylish in every way. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

White shiplap bathroom backsplash, 55044

A white shiplap wall serves as this neutral bathroom’s backsplash, making it as stylish as ever. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Simply White vs Chantilly Lace – Comparing Top White Paint Colors

One of the best elements of shiplap is its ability to keep a streamlined silhouette while still adding a pop of texture to a space. This bathroom is no exception. While the entire room is filled with a simple, neutral color palette, by playing with different patterns and textures, it is filled with visually interesting elements that instantly catch the eye. Plus, with shiplap that wraps around a space, it creates a sense of movement, enlarging the room as a whole.

Accent Walls

The TV and fireplace feature wall, complete with a stunning array of stonework, instantly takes center stage in this lower level thanks to a more subtle, but complementary, adjacent horizontal shiplap walls. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Shiplap Ceiling

If you’ve got a fixer upper with popcorn ceilings, this is the perfect place to add shiplap. If you’ve got a small space such as a small bathroom or laundry room, shiplap will make the space feel updated and fresh also adding an architectural detail.

Bright white kitchen with white shiplap ceiling in dining nook, 55044

Paired with a modern farmhouse sink, the subtle white shiplap on the small area on the ceiling of this dining nook feels fresh, interesting, and texture rich. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Neutral Paint Colors we LOVE and where to use them

Shiplap is also a fantastic solution if you’re looking to balance out a statement wall. Whether you have a fireplace feature wall or a large-screen TV in your living room or basement, the key to letting that space take center stage is to create a complementary statement wall to balance it all out. Shiplap is the perfect solution for this – especially in a white or neutral color palette. You can also use it on the ceiling to add texture and instant style.

Rustic Wood Ideas

Home Theater with Rustic Wood Accents and Ceiling Beams
A rustic-styled reclaimed wood TV feature wall gives this vintage-inspired basement remodel a touch of Western charm that is irresistible. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Wood Shiplap Fireplace

RELATED: Sherwin Williams Iron Ore: A Review

rustic and modern refinished basement boasts a cozy fireplace nook, 55044

With a rustic shiplap fireplace backdrop, this lower-level entertainment space is perfectly cozy in every way. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Of course, true shiplap doesn’t always need to be white or even one solid color. We can’t tell you how often we’ve incorporated reclaimed wood into our projects because, well, it’s just so good. This remodeled lower level is instant proof. Paired with cowhide stools, exposed reclaimed wood ceiling beams, and ultra-comfortable theater seating, the shiplap backdrop behind the TV is a showstopper.

Paneled Sauna

Large Sauna, Wood Sauna
A built-in basement sauna isn’t complete without a classic wood shiplap interior covering its walls and ceiling. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of shiplap, but specialty spaces like saunas or porches are excellent opportunities to incorporate this trend, but in a more natural and effortless way. Typically covering both the walls and the ceiling, an all-around wood panel look gives a space a calming aesthetic that evokes relaxation and a return to the environment outside our homes.

Subtle Backdrop

With floor-to-ceiling lake views, natural light, and exposed ceiling beams, this living room is a one-of-a-kind space that doesn’t disappoint.

Used as a subtle backdrop, the shiplap accent wall in this bright white living room allows the eye to move upward while still retaining a calm and tranquil neutral aesthetic. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

transitional living-room-with-white-shiplap-accent-wall

Another great use of shiplap that we are always on board for is its use as a subtle backdrop instead of all of the living room walls. In particular, when a room is extremely spacious with, say, floor-to-ceiling windows and cathedral ceilings, it can be difficult to fill the wall space. But lest you fill it up too much and end up with a cluttered aesthetic, shiplap is an amazing alternative. It is a good option to add just a touch of texture and visual interest, but still falls to the background and lets elements like custom cabinetry and lake views take priority.

Shiplap Fireplace

This living room infused with ample natural light gets a dose of contemporary style with its shiplap-covered fireplace centerpiece. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

There are virtually limitless ways to design a fireplace. Stone, tile, brick, and more await. But why not consider using shiplap instead? Unlike tile or brick, it tends to be cut into much longer planks, which instantly gives your fireplace and room the illusion of being larger than it actually is. By using this style on a fireplace in the center of a room, your eye is immediately drawn to either side, creating length and space.

Wall Nooks

A good place to add character and style in a smaller space is by using shiplap. Keep in mind the design style of the rest of your home to make sure this design feature makes sense. Shiplap is more commonly used in modern farmhouse or coastal design and not typically used in contemporary spaces.

Whether they are reading nooks, breakfast nooks, or under-the-stairs nooks, are one of our favorite design solutions. And in our opinion, there are few additions to nooks more stylish than a layer of shiplap. The texture gives off the same feeling that a wallpaper-filled nook might, in the sense that it provides a point of visual interest. But unlike wallpaper, it still feels calm and pared down, allowing you to play with patterns and color infusions via other decor elements like throw pillows or dinnerware.

Arched Seating Nook with Shiplap
In this wine lover’s basement, a comfortable dining nook provides ample guest seating, while still maintaining a textured allure with its shiplap walls. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Shiplap Tub Walls

Bright white bathroom with tub nook and shiplap wainscoting walls, 55044With pastel pink accents, this neutral bathroom feels fresh and calming, and by using white shiplap as the tub surround, it becomes a nook worthy of a totally relaxing spa day. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Best Pink Colors

RELATED: Project Reveal: Bathroom Renovation

So, after all that inspiration, are you still on the fence about this ultra-classic trend?

No matter your thoughts, just remember that shiplap doesn’t have to be an exact replica of Joanna Gaines Magnolia style. You can use it in just about any way. Try it vertically, as a fireplace design, a focal point on a basement wall, or mixed & matched with unique graphic tile in a bathroom. There are so many possibilities, we don’t think the trend could truly ever get old.


Hi, I’m Carla


I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with an outdated home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

I’ve been honored to be featured in:

Real Homes

The Spruce

Apartment Therapy / Cubby

Twin Cities Luxury + Fashion

MSP Magazine

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Home Crux


Remodel Freebie Image

5 Tips for Stress Free Remodel

Don’t miss a thing!

Enter your email below to be the first to know about design posts, new products and tips for a more beautiful home.

Don’t miss a thing!

Enter your email below to be the first to know about design posts, new products and tips for a more beautiful home.

Looking for something on the blog?

More Posts We Think You'd Love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments links could be nofollow free.

how to choose paint colors with confidence

Free Design Guide

Ever wonder what your own personal interior design style is?

Unlock Your Unique Design Style

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.