The Great Shiplap DebateColby Morrell
The popularity of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, Joanna Gaines, is undeniable. The woman has made shiplap a household term by featuring it prominently in her projects. She has inspired countless renovations across the country as people flock to the lumber yard to incorporate shiplapped walls into their own homes. But, like many great things that become over popularized, the shiplap trend seems to be setting sail. We get a lot of questions from clients about our thoughts on the trend and our advice remains the same. But first, just in case you’ve been hiding in a cave for the past few years, lets talk about what shiplap is…
True shiplap consists of boards applied to the wall horizontally. Each board overlaps slightly and is flush to one another. The boards are not just nailed to the walls. There are actually notches (called rabbets) cut along the top and bottom of each board that locks them together. In most interior renovations, the boards don’t overlap each other and are just applied to the wall horizontally to create texture and dimension.
The debate revolves around shiplap being equated to the wood paneling trend of the 70’s. Anything super trendy will eventually look dated and homeowners are sure to grow tired of it eventually.
Our thoughts are simple…let the house do the talking. When we begin a project with any client, we get to know how they live and what they actually want from their home. Then we look at the home itself and see how it measures up to their expectations. Houses have their own character built into them. If the style of the house would benefit from shiplap – GO FOR IT. But sometimes, like we’ve seen on the show, an injustice is done to a home by adding shiplap.
While we’ve used this technique in projects to add character and dimension to a space, we’ve never covered an entire room with shiplap. The key to anything good is moderation.
When it comes down to it, nothing makes us happier than a happy client… so will shiplap continue to show up in homes across the country? Or will it soon be forgotten? Only time will tell.