Shiplap is all the rage in some home decorating circles today. Yet, it has been around for centuries! While it has not always been used in home décor, it was once commonly used in home construction. Unlike the faux shiplap used in decorating today, true shiplap is comprised of planks of wood overlapped with a rabbet joint. Historically used in ship building, the construction was water tight. This characteristic made it a perfect choice for the exterior finish on houses and buildings that are in areas with extreme weather conditions.
shiplap in home decor
Most of the “shiplap” used in home decorating today is actually made of boards nailed side-by-side with small gaps between.
The walls in many older homes were constructed of sheathing made with boards and then covered with a wall covering. This sheathing was often laid out diagonally to provide rigidity and stability. One of the older homes I lived in as a child had this type of sheathing. It was exposed in areas where the wall covering was peeling off. Unlike today, “shiplap” was not a desirable design element when homes like this were being built. It was simply used to provide structural stability in building construction.
Today, shiplap is one of the most popular home décor elements. It has many applications and can be installed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. It can be used to cover both walls and ceilings in any room of the house. An entire room can be wrapped in shiplap or just one accent wall. Backsplashes, vent hood covers, kitchen islands, and decorative signs are some of the many ways it can be displayed in the home today.
While the popularity of shiplap is not as great as it once was, it is still being used and will definitely be around for quite a while longer. So, if you’re a little late jumping on the “shiplap boat” don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to get on board.
SHARE YOUR SHIPLAP
What about you? Do you have shiplap in your home? If so, where? Do you prefer it horizontal, vertical, or diagonal? I’d love to see how you have used it as a design element. Please send an email with your picture and a brief description (optional) HERE. I’ll be adding some of these pics to our Guest Gallery.
If you’d like to follow along with me as I use this popular design element in my home remodel, just sign up for my email newsletter HERE. You’ll be one of the first to know when I’ve added updates to my blog. In the meantime, check out the article below for shiplap ideas from Chip and Joanna Gaines.