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Is shiplap in or out this year?

Some caution that the white-hot farmhouse craze, with its heavy reliance on shiplap, may be cooling off as homeowners look for fresher fads to latch onto. Others contend that farmhouse design isn’t going away — it’s just getting a little more refined

Keep reading for some of the advantages of shiplap, as well as ideas for incorporating it into your next new build or remodel. 

Why Shiplap?

Regardless of the trends, shiplap paneling remains a versatile material that has many benefits for homeowners. Its uses and benefits go beyond the well-planned accent wall and into other rooms in the home and to the home exterior.

Hidden grooves form a secure, even fit between the boards, with just enough flexibility for the wood to safely expand and contract over time long after installing. Other factors continue to influence client interest in shiplap: 

  • Believe it or not, shiplap works with many building styles besides farmhouse. These include organic, modern, industrial or contemporary. 
  • The wooden boards are traditionally white but can be painted or stained in a variety of colors for additional design flexibility.
  • Horizontal, vertical and even diagonal installation allows even more room for creativity.
  • Shiplap is an affordable option for creating appealing designs that fit any budget. Shiplap planks can be made DIY from a wide variety of affordable materials like plywood.
  • And last but certainly not least, shiplap has gained a large fan following thanks to popular decorating shows like Fixer Upper.

Throughout the House

Shiplap looks fabulous in almost any room, from the foyer to the bedroom, living room and beyond. It adds visual interest to a number of architectural elements, such as:

  • Walls, including accent walls, pony walls, and wainscoting
  • Fireplace walls or surrounds
  • Staircases
  • Ceilings

As noted above, shiplap comes in a plethora of colors. Although white is considered traditional, gray and dark blue have grown in popularity. Quality staining shows off the outdoorsy feel of the wood. 

And those wanting to make a bold artistic statement might even paint the boards black or in alternating colors to create stripes! 

In the Kitchen

Raw materials like wood are big in today’s kitchens. Shiplap boards make the room look more spacious and provide a welcoming environment for cooking and entertaining. Consider using shiplap for:

  • Kitchen walls
  • Cabinet siding
  • Open shelving 
  • Kitchen islands, including seating areas and sides 
  • Backsplashes, as long as the wood is properly sealed to protect against moisture

For Bedrooms and Bathrooms

With its charming cottage feel, shiplap lends a relaxed atmosphere to master suites, guest rooms and full and half bathrooms. The versatility of shiplap:

  • Works with a range of calming decor themes from contemporary to boho
  • Exudes a soothing ambiance as an accent wall
  • Adds warmth and dimension to vaulted ceilings
  • Makes small bathrooms look just a tad more roomy
  • Vertical installation can make ceilings feel higher, which can appear to add space to smaller rooms.
  • Waterproofed shiplap materials can even be used in showers.

On the Exterior

Shiplap siding gives the home a rustic, naturalistic appearance from the outside. 

  • Shiplap boards can be made from a range of hardwoods, manufactured or faux wood products. Proper sealing helps the wood stand up to the elements. 
  • Boards can be stained or painted in a variety of colors.
  • Shiplap is an ideal choice for porch ceilings, especially when paired with a stunning lighting fixture. 


If shiplap is on the wish list for your next project, contact Mid-City Lumber in Columbia, Boonville, Jefferson City, and Sedalia, MO or the Mid-City Design Center in Osage Beach, MO. Each of our locations has the design expertise and quality materials to bring your client’s vision to life.