Building Tips

Five Different Ways to Use Shiplap Throughout Your Home

Photo Credit: Rebekah Westover Builder: Millhaven Homes

Thanks to Joanna Gains, shiplap has taken over the design community over the past several years. Whether rustic or modern, shiplap has become a go-to design element for many.

The term shiplap was originally used to describe a plank of wood that had rabbets cut on each edge that would allow the boards to overlap, revealing a small groove. But now the term is used to describe many different types of material that result in the same look.

In our current house, we use a material called nickel gap boards. It gives the same final appearance as a shiplap, but instead of rabbets, it has a tongue and groove.

Using shiplap is an easy way to add visual interest to a room. Here are some different ways you can incorporate shiplap into your home:

Entire Room

Probably the most obvious and widely used application of shiplap is to use it to cover all of the walls in one entire room. This is usually done in a great room or entryway. We did this in our current farmhouse.

Curtains | Gold Geo Wire Lamp | Woven Rug

When used in this way, I think it’s best to use white paint. It creates such a clean and crisp look as the grooves in the shiplap flow all the way around the room.

Kitchen Backsplash

While tile is an obvious solution for a kitchen backsplash, shiplap is another option that works great. It’s a refreshing detour from the usual tile patterns that we are used to seeing in a kitchen.

However, using wood as a backsplash material can cause concerns for some, and in some areas building codes might even prevent it. Wood doesn’t get along very well with water and heat. So you can get creative and achieve the shiplap look for your backsplash by using a cement fiber board like Hardie Plank.

Melissa of the Inspired Room used Hardie Plank for her kitchen backsplash and it looks amazing!

Photo Credit: The Inspired Room

Accent Walls

If you feel like doing an entire room in shiplap is too much, you can always use it for an accent wall. And this is a place where you can get creative. Here it is fun to do the unexpected, like running it a different angles, or vertically. This causes the wall to be a focal point in a room.

We did a vertical shiplap accent wall in our home office and painted it a dark blue.

Desk | Light Fixture


Using a shiplap on a ceiling is also another unexpected way to use this material. If you don’t want to use beams as a way to add interest to an otherwise boring white ceiling, shiplap is a great alternative.

It can also be a great way to cover an ugly popcorn ceiling of a remodel. It might just be easier than trying to scrape all of that popcorn off. Even though I don’t have any experience in that area, I’ve heard it can be a nightmare!

Millhaven Homes incorporated shiplap beautifully here on this kitchen ceiling.

Photo Credit: Rebekah Westover Builder: Millhaven Homes

Kitchen Island

I’m a big fan of custom islands, and one way you can customize an island is by adding a shiplap. This can be done by using a shiplap as a focal point for your custom island ends and also running a shiplap on the backside of the island where the bar stools go.

We did this without an island and painted it using Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray. It was a great way to make the island a focal point while tying it in with the shiplap walls.

Bar Stool | Cutting Board | Marble Cutting Board | Pendant Light

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Allison

    Can you tell me what type of flooring was used in the first kitchen photo on this blog post?
    Thank you!

    July 17, 2019 at 12:13 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Allison. I’m not sure. You may want to contact the builder. They should be able to tell you.

      July 17, 2019 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Eddie Smith

    Hey Brooke and Henry! So excited to see your blog! Seeing family makes us feel old! We are in process of building now and I wanted to ask you if Henry still building swings? And cost? Thanks so much!

    October 7, 2019 at 6:15 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hey Eddie! So good to hear from you! That is so cool that you all are building. We would love to come and see it what you all are doing. We actually aren’t making the swings right now because we just don’t have the time, but it is something we may do for next year in the spring. We are hoping to move in a few months and that should free us up some.

      October 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Can you recommend a white paint color for shiplap used in a guest bathroom? Love your IG account! Thx for the inspiration.

    February 19, 2020 at 1:51 pm
  • Leave a Reply