How Much Shiplap is Too Much?

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? And what exactly is shiplap? 

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 creates makes it a no-fuss solution that wows, no matter where it’s used.

As wonderful as it is visually, like any trend, it can feel overdone and outdated if it’s used too widely.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? 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.

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Vertical Style

Creamy shiplap walls in busy family mudroom, 55044
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.

Texture-Filled Neutrals

White shiplap walls in bathroom with bold black and white encaustic floor tiles, 55044
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)

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.

Statement Walls

White shiplap statement wall in refinished lower level entertainment space, 55044
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 white shiplap wall. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Bright white kitchen with white shiplap ceiling in dining nook, 55044
Paired with a farmhouse sink, the subtle white shiplap 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 shiplap on the ceiling to add texture and instant style.

Reclaimed & Rustic

Rustic home theater with cowhide stools and rustic shiplap wall, 55044
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)
Rustic and modern refinished basement boasts a cozy shiplap 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, 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 shiplap 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.

All-Around Wood

Custom home sauna with natural wood shiplap walls and ceiling, 55044
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 shiplap look gives a space a calming aesthetic that evokes relaxation and a return to the environment outside our homes.

Subtle Backdrop

Lakeside home with soaring ceilings and white shiplap walls, 55044
Used as a subtle backdrop, the shiplap 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)

Another great use of shiplap that we are always on board for is its use as a subtle backdrop. 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 works 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.

Fireplace Pizazz

White shiplap fireplace in modern neutral living room, 55044
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, shiplap 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.

Nooks

A wine lover's basement with white shiplap dining nook, 55044
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)
Bright white bathroom with tub nook and shiplap wainscoting walls, 55044
With 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)

Nooks, 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.

After all that inspiration, are you still on the fence about this ultra-classic trend? Or are you ready to embrace it with open arms? No matter your thoughts, just remember that shiplap doesn’t have to be an exact replica of Magnolia style. You can use it in just about any way. Try it vertically, as a fireplace design, in a breakfast nook, 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. 

(P.S. Be sure to take our Design Style Quiz here to find out what YOUR personal interior style is! You just may find that shiplap is your perfect fit!)

By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Carla Bast Design

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Choose your paint colors with confidence

Hi I’m Carla

carla-bast-interior-designer-and-blogger

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 and outdated 90s era 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.

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I’ve been honored to be featured in and receive awards from:

The Spruce

Apartment Therapy / Cubby

Houzz / Best of Service & Design

Minnesota Chapter ASID – First Place Award

MSP Magazine, Best Use of Color

Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

 

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