18 Ways to Decorate With Shiplap

Bedroom decorated with white shiplap walls and two twin beds under window

The Spruce / Michelle Becker

You've probably heard the term a million times, but what exactly is shiplap, anyway? A growing trend in decor, shiplap is a wooden board that's commonly used outdoors on sheds and barns, and as a form of siding. Each board is milled and connects snugly with the next, creating a distinctive line between each layer. Thanks to the rise in farmhouse-inspired style, more and more designers are bringing this rustic look inside. 

It isn't hard to understand why this trend has taken off. When paired with the right accessories and furniture, shiplap looks stunning as flooring, as wall paneling and even on the ceiling. This gorgeous living room from lizmariegalavan on Instagram has wide-planked shiplap flooring is proof that this versatile material can work anywhere—and will always make a statement. 

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    Thick and Thin Paneling

    thin shiplap panels on staircase


    From wide to slim (and everything in between), shiplap can be cut to suit your own personal needs. This stairway from the_home_project on Instagram uses very thin shiplap boards to add texture while maintaining a minimalist and modern look. Minimalism is a great way to make a statement without overpowering a space, and shiplap really helps make the look feel more polished.

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    Use It in Every Room

    shiplap in a bathroom
    A Beautiful Mess

    Though it takes a bit more thought and preparation to install shiplap in the bathroom than it does in other rooms, this stunning, airy bathroom from A Beautiful Mess is proof that it's worth the extra steps. You'll want to ensure the planks are treated against moisture before you attempt this look—but if you're tired of tile, shiplap is a unique alternative. 

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    Create a Shiplap Headboard

    shiplap headboard


    Your headboard is the focal point of your bedroom, and shiplap forms the basis of a rustic yet refined look that can be done in a weekend. This DIY headboard from jamiezanotti on Instagram looks like it cost hundreds of dollars at a high-end store, and the built-in nightstands and ledge for knickknacks help create a cozy, snug space.  

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    Open up Your Dining Room

    dining room with white shiplap walls
    Clayton and Little

    This mid-century-style dining room from Clayton and Little ​is the perfect mix of vintage and modern. We love the arched doorways paired with a shiplap wall, which lends a lot of texture to the space. The only thing left is to decide on the perfect table

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    Try Dark Shiplap

    bedroom with gray shiplap wall
    Table and Hearth

    Though white shiplap tends to be the most popular choice, it's not the only option. This moody, nautical bedroom from Table and Hearth is a wonderful example of how dark shiplap can create a focal point in a room and act as an anchor for the rest of the decor. 

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    Wall to Ceiling Shiplap

    shiplap behind the sink in the kitchen
    The Inspired Room

    This cozy farmhouse kitchen from The Inspired Room is giving us all the shiplap feels. Picking the same pattern for walls and ceiling can help define a space and point one's focus toward the room's furnishings. You can even switch up the colors on the shiplap to make a room feel bigger or smaller. 

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    Outfit a Nursery

    a child's room with shiplapped walls


    This adorable kids' room from neutral_studio on Instagram  is the perfect inspiration for your next nursery or children's room update. Whether you want to give your kids' room a modern makeover or keep it traditional, shiplap is a neutral material that blends with any decor style.

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  • 08 of 18

    Open a Hallway

    hallway with runner and staircase
    The Style Files

    Vertical lines help draw the eye forward and make a room feel taller. This hallway from The Style Files look uses a shiplap ceiling to make a narrow hallway feel wider and more spacious. Copy this look in small dens, patios or anywhere you want to add visual texture and create a more open look. 

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    Shiplap Fireplace

    shiplap fireplace
    Kleinworth and Co

    One of our favorite places to use shiplap is over the fireplace. As seen in this living room from Kleinworth and Co, adding shiplap helps draw the eye forward and create a focal point for your living room. Plus, it's a lot cheaper to use than brick! 

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    A Shiplapped Shower

    shower with shiplap
    Flippin Wendy

    Here's another shiplap bathroom idea from Flippin Wendy that utilizes the paneling—only in the shower. If you're sick of standard bathroom tile, you can opt to try a shiplap material called AZEK. With a little patience and water-tight installation, she gave her space a unique and nautical feel we love. As with any white shower, you'll want to take steps to keep it clean to maintain the fresh look. 

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    A Stunning Entryway

    entryway with bench and storage


    Whether you have a small foyer or you have room to play with, shiplap can help create dedicated spaces and visual interest in your entryway. We love this super-organized shiplap entryway from briahammelinteriors on Instagram. Creating a welcoming space like this one in your mudroom or entryway always offers a warm welcome after a long day. 

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    Create a Barn Door

    entryway with a staircase and a green sliding door
    Bright Green Door

    Barn doors even better when you add a little shiplap, as seen in this stunning hallway from Bright Green Door. It's an incredibly easy DIY that cost under $100 but adds so much character to the space. 

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    The Perfect Reading Nook

    beachy reading nook with shiplap


    There are few things in life we love more than a perfectly decorated reading nook. Line a nook with shiplap like ahousewithbooks on Instagram did here. It instantly feels segmented and special, a great way to add a dedicated space for a reading nook or a corner "office" in a larger space. 

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    A Hip Headboard

    bedroom with gray walls and a white headboard


    This Instagram-friendly bedroom from cynthia_harper_ is another way to add a bit of shiplap without filling the entire space. You can even DIY this look by affixing thin strips of plywood to an old headboard. 

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    A Rustic Bathroom

    bathroom with green shiplap walls


    One of the best things about shiplap is that it doesn't have to look polished to look good. This hunter green bathroom from newleafcustomhomesdallas on Instagram is proof that a matte shiplap can give off a vintage feel without feeling too stuffy or overly polished. Plus, horizontal lines help this small bathroom feel even bigger.

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    Keep It Natural

    open concept living room


    This open concept living room from truelockdesigns on Instagram uses just a sprinkling of rustic shiplap to help create a separate space and set a decor palate for the rest of the room. If whitewashed shiplap isn't your thing, you can stain it with any natural wood color to add rustic charm. 

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    Mix and Match Textures

    kitchen with shiplap
    Sita Montgomery Interiors

    This farmhouse-inspired kitchen from Sita Montgomery Interiors utilizes both shiplap and white brick to pull the whole look together. We love that the horizontal lines are woven throughout the kitchen island and behind and above the stove. Keeping the same color palette is a great way to mix and match textures without the style feeling disjointed.  

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    Try a Unique Pattern

    chairs with chevron wall behind
    Rachel Hsieh/Pinterest

    Who says you need to be conventional? One look at this uniquely beautiful sitting room from Rachel Hsieh on Pinterest, makes us want to lay chevron shiplap in every room. This pattern also works well above a fireplace or inlaid directly on stairs.