Is Shiplap Still In Style?

If you love a farmhouse vibe, you might be wondering if you should take the leap and add shiplap to your home, or if shiplap and farmhouse is going out of style and you should choose a different wall detail instead. It’s a valid question, because shiplap has been everywhere over the last 10 years, and eventually, even the biggest home decor trends start to feel a bit … done.

A white shiplap wall in an AI room design I created.

So, my answer is, shiplap is starting to go out of style and feel a little cliché, but only in certain applications.

Like a lot of the details in the farmhouse decorating craze, shiplap has roots as an authentic architectural element, and it was around for centuries before it was thrust into the spotlight on HGTV. Shiplap was a building technique that added an extra layer of insulation and structure between the interior and exterior walls of a house. It was usually covered up by plaster or, later, sheetrock. Eventually, homeowners (and Joanna Gaines) discovered the charm of exposing shiplap walls, and a trend was born.

In that way, shiplap is like subway tile or unlacquered brass cabinet hardware: it’s been trendier than usual over the last decade, but at it’s core, it’s a classic material, and it will never really be “out of style.” i.e. If your home was originally built with shiplap walls, exposing them will never be out of style.

Even if you add in shiplap paneling to a wall where there was none, you’re still adding architectural detail, which, in my mind, is always better than no architectural detail.

All that said, though, I think we’ve passed peak shiplap craze, but especially in a few instances, which are:

All-white shiplap.

All white shiplap in a farmhouse-style room with a 2010s aesthetic. Image made in AI.

All white painted shiplap was pretty much installed in every new construction home built between 2013-2021. Take a quick gander on Redfin for proof. Pair this with the amount of times we all saw it on Instagram and on HGTV, and it’s no wonder it’s starting to seem a little less cutting edge and trendy than it might have ten years ago.

What still does feel original and modern, though, is painted shiplap, especially in moody shades of green, dark blue, or deep gray.

Shiplap accent walls.

Image via Home Depot

It’s not necessarily shiplap accent walls that are going out of style, but accent walls in general. After showing up as a quick way to revamp a room about 10 years ago, the design powers that be have realized the look a little unfinished.

Plus, the maximalist aesthetic is replacing minimalism and midcentury styles, and when more is more, an accent wall doesn’t quite cut it. If you don’t want your shiplap wall to look like low-budget farmhouse decor, go for floor-to-ceiling, all four walls shiplap. It’ll make a much bigger impact and feel more current.

If you wan to update a shiplap accent wall, take a cue from the bathroom above: Paint the accent wall, and the rest of the walls in the room, a single shade.

How to do shiplap in 2024

To recap, there are still instances where shiplap can look stylish and unexpected, and really add to a room. They are:

Colored shiplap

Image via Pinterest, original source unknown.

The easiest way to update shiplap walls is to paint them in a color that feels of the moment. Very pale shades of taupe or beige can be just enough contrast to make the look feel more authentic and unique. Prefer dark hues? Try colors like deep sage green, steely dark blue (I like Benjamin Moore Hale Navy), or almost-black charcoal.

Vertical Shiplap

Sometimes, to make a trend relevant again, all you need to do is turn it on its side. If you love shiplap, why not try a wall-paneling look instead? It feels more classic and suits the English Country design style that’s happening right now.

Original shiplap

Image made in AI

If you live in a historic home with original shiplap, it’ll never be out of style! In this case, it’s an architectural detail worth celebrating.

Allover shiplap

Instead of an accent wall, take the shiplap all the way around the room.

An AI image I created of an allover shiplap look

3/4 wall shiplap

Another way to use shiplap so it looks fresh? Install vertical shiplap 3/4 of the way up the wall, then paint it in a color that’s not white, and add a coordinating wallpaper to the top 1/4 of the wall.

Is shiplap timeless or trendy?

Because shiplap is an authentic building material, it will never truly be out of style so long as it’s part of the original architecture of a home. It also won’t feel out of style in certain home, like a coastal beach house, where the clapboard look has been synonymous with the style for centuries.

At the same time, it’s definitely a trendy look when it’s added to new construction in order to give it some character, or when it’s done as an accent wall in a master bedroom, for example. My bet is, in five years, these looks will feel dated and you’ll probably want to swap them out for something else.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *