Shiplap: Trend or Timeless?

If you’ve been keeping up with current home trends or following along with your favorite home improvement shows, you’re sure to have spotted shiplap more than a few times. But what exactly is shiplap…and why is this design trend so popular right now?


Shiplap Hallway Entryway by Nandina Home and Design

What is Shiplap?

Shiplap: Horizontal wooden planks with opposing rabbet joints (grooves) that overlap one another. The overlap is what creates that visible line and slight shadow—perfect for adding casual style and creating visual interest.

Shiplap was originally used as an outdoor covering for buildings such as sheds, barns, and cabins due to its inexpensive cost and ease of installation. Shiplap was also commonly used to provide a hard interior wall surface before the days of sheetrock, and was typically covered up with wallpaper…never visible! The current trend of using exposed shiplap is essentially taking something old and putting a modern, deconstructed spin on it.

Types of Wood Paneling that are commonly mistaken for Shiplap:


Wooden boards that are easily nailed to the wall.

Tongue and Groove (T & G):

Typically used on floors & outdoors, these wooden boards fit snug together. Very similar to shiplap and provides a comparable look once installed.


A type of T & G, but with smaller vertical boards that are usually connected on a panel.

Reclaimed Wood:

Typically used to create a statement wall of reclaimed wood paneling for added interest.


Is Shiplap a Trend or is it Timeless?

The verdict: TREND!  While yes, we love shiplap for its aesthetics and style, the current popularityis sure to fade over the next decade. However, as with any trend, it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether this is something you would like in your home or not. Just because something is “trendy” doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it for many, many years.


When utilizing shiplap in your home, don’t be afraid to step out of the box! We love to incorporate shiplap on ceilings for added texture and interest.

Shiplap is typically thought of as a more rustic style design element, but you can really make this trend fit any style home. White, crisp shiplap fits into a modern home nicely, whereas a natural finish pairs seamlessly with eclectic living.

Let us know in the comments if you have shiplap in your home and if you think this is just a trend, or a timeless design element!

*Credits: Photography by Heather Sargent // Design by Sue Shannon


  1. Posted by mary caturia

    Ship lap if done in the right home.. farmhouse, cottage, beach cotrage, etc., Is tmeless and classic it has been around for centuries.

    Posted May 3, 2018 at 10:05 am | Reply
  2. Posted by Susan Victor

    Mary, great point! Some design elements (like ship lap) have historical perspective. Although it is very popular and on trend now – and used in all types of houses, it is timeless if used as it has been for hundreds of years, i.e. in a farmhouse or cottage. Thanks for the valuable comment!

    Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:13 am | Reply

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *