Shiplap walls complement a variety of decor styles, from farmhouse to modern to boho chic
Shiplap walls—whether you’ve been sucked into the blackhole known as a “Fixer Upper” marathon on HGTV or simply have admired a friend’s modern farmhouse kitchen, you’ve seen this trendy design. Traditionally a type of siding, the whitewashed wood paneling known as shiplap has become a wildly popular interior finish because of its tendency to zhuzh up boring walls while maintaining classically clean lines. Shiplap wall panels also go with every type of decor.
If you love the look of shiplap and want to know how to incorporate it into your own home, we can help. We rounded up our favorite shiplap wall ideas for all areas of the house, from accent walls in the bathroom to full walls and ceilings in the bedroom.
Shiplap Accent Wall Ideas
We love a shiplap accent wall because it can change the whole look of a room, but it does so subtly--unlike accent walls made of bright colors or wild wallpaper. A white shiplap half wall adds texture, dimension, and rustic charm while coexisting peacefully with any decor style.
1. Entryway Accent Wall
Adding one to your home’s entryway or mudroom feels especially homey and welcoming. Pair it with a rustic wooden bench for a modern farmhouse look.
2. Dining Room Accent Wall
Another natural pairing is a shiplap accent wall and a rustic dining or kitchen table. We love the vertical shiplap featured here as it helps elongate the room by drawing the eye upward.
3. Sitting Room Accent Wall
A shiplap wall is an easy way to add coziness to an otherwise formal sitting room. Of course, overstuffed armchairs help, too.
4. Staircase Accent Wall
By using shiplap on a staircase wall, you can add some visual interest to a part of the house that is often an afterthought. The best part? It effortlessly pairs with both upstairs and downstairs paint colors while creating a neutral barrier between the two.
5. Laundry Room Accent Wall
If you love the idea of a shiplap accent wall but don’t know where to put one, might we suggest the laundry room? It’s a fast way to add style to a typically drab room, especially when paired with brightly painted cabinets.
Shiplap Bathroom Wall Ideas
One of the best things about shiplap is how even just a little bit can transform a space. And that’s key when it comes to updating your bathroom, particularly if it’s a small half bath. Just a few boards placed behind a tiny vanity can add life to an otherwise boring space. What’s more, shiplap works well with a variety of bathroom themes, from upscale rustic to beachy casual.
6. Full-Bathroom Accent Wall
This design aesthetic combines modern touches—such as a white marble vanity countertop, gold mirrors, and contemporary sconces—with a shiplap accent wall to create a boho-glam bathroom look.
7. Half-Bathroom Accent Wall
This shiplap wood wall proves that shiplap can have a big impact on even the smallest half bathrooms. Bonus: the dark wood will hold up better than white shiplap, which can get a bit dingy-looking in a frequently trafficked area like a bathroom.
8. Full Shiplap Bathroom
This upscale modern farmhouse bathroom forgoes the shiplap accent wall in favor of dramatic full gray shiplap walls that wrap around the entire room.
Living Room Shiplap Wall Ideas
Revamping your living room can cost thousands of dollars. But simply adding shiplap to the walls can completely change the look of your family’s main living space without a huge price tag. The average cost of shiplap is only between $500 and $1,700 for a 200-square-foot room. Plus, it nicely complements existing decor styles, from mid-century modern to craftsman.
9. Coastal Living
Whether you’re dreaming of ocean views in the suburbs or decorating a literal beach house, add weathered shiplap walls to your living room setup for a nautical vibe. If full weathered walls are too literal of a nautical interpretation for you, keep your look from going overboard by using the weathered shiplap as an accent wall behind the couch or TV.
10. Craftsman Cottage
This vintage craftsman-style living room combines white shiplap walls with an original shiplap ceiling and hardwood floors. Modern recessed lights and a farmhouse-style chandelier pair together flawlessly for a unique decor look.
11. Rustic Living Room/Den
If you love shiplap for its rustic look, why not lean all the way in and do full wood shiplap walls for your living room or den? Combine it with contemporary furniture and plush velvet curtains for a fresh take on the farmhouse trend.
Shiplap Fireplace Wall
Another way to incorporate shiplap into your family’s main living area is to use it around your fireplace, a la a shiplap fireplace makeover. We also love this next idea:
12. Shiplap TV and Fireplace Wall
For anyone who is afraid that shiplap only fits the farmhouse aesthetic, we would point them to this modern shiplap TV wall/fireplace wall. It perfectly complements the rest of the room’s modern decor while making the fireplace the focal point of the room.
Shiplap Bedroom Wall Ideas
Shiplap has a way of making spaces feel cozy, inviting, and calming, which is why it’s an ideal addition to bedrooms. To recreate that luxurious hotel vibe, stick to white panels and a neutral color palette.
13. Boho Dreams
With its heavy reliance on mixed textures, boho decor pairs beautifully with shiplap walls, as seen in this boho bedroom. What’s more, using neutral colored panels gives you the freedom to go wild with brightly colored bedding and pillows or heavily patterned rugs.
14. Nautical Primary
This primary bedroom with gray shiplap walls and ceilings embraces a luxury nautical vibe, which is enhanced with gorgeous waterfront views.
15. Serene Blue
Want a little more pizzazz with your bedroom decor? You can always opt for painted shiplap walls, such as this serene gray-blue or perhaps a cheerful yellow or bold red. If you’re really daring, a black shiplap wall looks chic and modern.
Shiplap Ceiling Ideas
Instead of creating a shiplap accent wall, have you ever thought of creating a shiplap accent ceiling? Adding shiplap to your ceiling is fun and unexpected. You can also install your own shiplap ceiling, though you might want to leave up to the pros if you’re not comfortable standing on a ladder or have a high vaulted ceiling.
16. Living Room Cathedral Ceiling
Dramatic cathedral/vaulted ceilings can be imposing in a large living room. Shiplap panels help ground them while keeping things feeling light and open.
17. Bedroom Beam Ceiling
This modern farmhouse bedroom combines a white shiplap ceiling with painted white wood beams, white walls, and white trim for a peaceful vibe.
Shiplap Kitchen Wall Ideas
Shiplap looks gorgeous in a kitchen because of how well it goes with things like stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and natural light from a kitchen window. Try it with contemporary blue cabinets, a rustic farmhouse dining table, or modern marble or granite countertops—you can’t go wrong.
18. Vertical Shiplap Backsplash
We love this vertical shiplap backsplash paired with white cabinets and countertops because it’s one of the few times that shiplap is used as more of a supporting player than the star of the show.
19. Mixed Decor Kitchen
Even with its mix of farmhouse, craftsman, and nautical touches, this kitchen looks cohesive because of its shiplap walls and ceiling, as well as its neutral color palette.
How Do I Install a Shiplap Wall?
After you figure out where you want to do shiplap, you’ll need to decide if you want to install the shiplap yourself or hire a pro to do it for you. If you want to go with a pro, we suggest hiring a local carpenter. A local general contractor may be able to help you, too.
How to DIY a Shiplap Wall
To DIY shiplap, there are a few basic steps you need to follow:
1. Measure your space to determine how many planks of wood you’ll need. It’s a good idea to buy extra, about 10% more than you think you’ll need, to account for any mistakes.
2. Prepare the area by removing everything from your walls, from baseboards to nails to shoes, and repairing any holes or cracks in your drywall.
3. Paint the walls you’ll be applying shiplap to. Shiplap has gaps between its joints, allowing whatever color is underneath to shine through. Paint your walls either the same color as your shiplap boards or a contrasting color.
4. Paint or stain your shiplap boards.
5. When nailing shiplap boards to a wall, it’s best to attach them to your studs. Use a stud finder to find the studs in your wall, then mark your vertical studs with a chalk line. That way, you can easily see where to nail your boards.
6. Cut your shiplap to size using a miter saw.
7. Use a level and pencil to draw a straight horizontal line from one end of the wall to the other. This creates a guideline to ensure you apply your shiplap in a straight line.
8. Attach your first board. Place a nail through the top and bottom of your board where it crosses the vertical stud line.
9. Line up your next board. Before you attach it, place nickel spacers between the two boards. Attach the board. Keep adding nickel spacers as you work your way up the wall to ensure you have even spacing between your shiplap joints.
10. Reattach your baseboards and shoes. Your shiplap wall is done!