15 Shiplap Rooms We Love
What is Shiplap?
Shiplap paneling is often wider than beadboard and hung horizontally across interior walls. The rough-sawn boards tend to range in width and fit together via rabbets, or grooves, that run the length of the boards and overlap to form a tight, weatherproof seal (as opposed to beadboard, which fits together with intermittent tongues and grooves). Shiplap was originally used in barns and other outbuildings, but like beadboard, found its way into the spotlight for its durability in seasonal homes.
We’ve rounded up a host of living quarters—bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and dens—that beautifully display the trending material. Whether a shiplap new-timer or a shiplap lover looking for a fresh update, these spaces are sure to inspire.
Soothing Cottage Bedroom
"My inspirations were blue skies, sand, and sea," says designer Meg O’Kane of the master bedroom in her Jersey Shore beach cottage. The palette—varying shades of blue from turquoise to cerulean combined with light neutrals (and even pink!)—gives the room a sense of place. Shiplap walls washed in an ocean-happy hue, rather than the more traditionally used white, further that feeling of being at the beach and looking out to the horizon, where sea and sky meet.
Easygoing Cottage Living Room
Traditional beach cottage interiors call for light, bright materials: Think painted, textured shiplap walls, cypress ceilings with exposed rafters, and cerused white oak floors chosen to mask the sand tracked in from the beach. "The idea was to make things as livable and practical as possible," says Mary Haynes, one of the two designers behind this comfortable, family-friendly Jersey Shore retreat. "You don't want to constantly worry about upkeep when you're at your beach house."
Old-Meets-New Dining Room
The simplicity of white painted shiplap walls provides an ideal canvas for mixing more traditional pieces with bright colors and funky patterns. In this casual Jersey Shore dining room, classic nautical accents, like porthole-inspired sconces, a statement-making chandelier that's reminiscent of a ship's wheel, and a framed seascape, mingle stylishly with a set of heirloom dining chairs reupholstered in a bold, coral trellis pattern for a beach house look that feels unexpectedly fresh and unique.
Collected Beach House Living Room
In this Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, living room, designer Jenny Keenan layered old and new for a look that’s both “livable and timeless.” Crisp white shiplap walls are a clean backdrop for the room’s mix of collected items: a vintage dhurrie atop a sea grass rug, a pair of Hans Wegner chairs, and a vibrant surf painting by Isca Greenfield-Sanders. The marble fireplace surround "has an elegant feel to it," says Keenan, "but it's not polished, so it pairs well with the beachy shiplap walls."
Timeless White Kitchen
White painted shiplap delivers casual warmth to spaces, especially when used in conjunction with more formal materials or modern pieces. In this Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, beach house kitchen, for instance, designer Cortney Bishop used painted shiplap and an oak island to loosen up the formality of the Carrara marble wall and countertops. Distressed pulls on the cabinets and drawers also contribute to the relaxed vibe that the shiplap and oak island bring to the room.
Neutral Master Bedroom
Shiplap painted a soft gray adds warmth and architectural interest to this Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, master bedroom. The painted shiplap gives the space a cozy and intimate feel, without making the room appear dark or cramped; and it enhances the rustic vibe brought in by the driftwood-finish ceiling and driftwood-inspired lamp. The neutral shiplap, which changes from a light gray to a lilac depending on the lighting, also provides a versatile backdrop for the room’s collection of complementary patterns.
Ocean-View Cottage Living Room
The first step to making this tiny cottage in Hobe Sound, Florida, feel more open and better suited to its surroundings was infusing it with a lighter, brighter palette. Every surface, from the floors to the shiplap-paneled walls, is painted white. All that white makes the ocean, which is visible from three sides of the open living space, look even bluer. Navy elements—ikat and striped fabrics, a painted console, trim on the natural-fiber woven rugs—amplify the watery shades and add depth to the airy scheme. "I love blue and white, especially at the beach," says homeowner and designer Kirsten Norman. "It's fresh and crisp."
New Nautical Bunk Room
"I wanted to do nautical, but in a different way," says designer Bailey McCarthy of the bunk room in our 2015 Cinnamon Shore Showhouse. Shiplap walls painted Decorators White by Benjamin Moore give the built-in bunks the look and feel of a boat's cabin. To keep the nautical vibe fresh, McCarthy opted for a periwinkle sailboat print with navy accents, and paired it with polka-dot bedding. Polished-nickel bedside sconces add shine to the wood-paneled nook.
Informal Living Room
Floor-to-ceiling shiplap walls make this high-ceilinged living room the ultimate of informal beach house spaces. Designer Bailey McCarthy anchored two neutral sofas to serve as urbane foundations for weaving color and pattern into the all-white surroundings. A burl-wood coffee table, a leather armchair, and a gray-wash watercolor painting of the local landscape (Port Aransas by artist Caitlin McGauley) balance the bright hues with natural materials and muted tones.
Stop the Shiplap Midway
Located in a private corner of Delft Haven—a storybook 1930s vacation colony in Provincetown's historic West End—this 850-square-foot charmer brims with character: Horizontal shiplap wainscot wraps the walls in the living room, exposed ceiling beams appear throughout, and an old brick fireplace lends patina to the small dining room. Designers Herbert Acevedo and Kevin Miller of Provincetown’s Shor Home extended the living room's existing horizontal shiplap wainscoting throughout the house and painted that woodwork and the ceilings Decorators White by Benjamin Moore.
Rustic Dining Room
Here, shiplap paneling was the result of a compromise between homeowners: the wife’s hankering for modern, clean design and the husband’s love of rustic touches. The combination of shiplap walls and wooden floors creates a wide, open feeling in the dining room, and adds warmth and interest. Designers Elizabeth Munger Stiver and Amy Munger gave the space a seafaring feel with a framed nautical chart of Galveston Island and a beaded-glass chandelier that ties in color with a touch of turquoise.
Beachy White Living Room
"We skipped anything too formal," Elizabeth Munger Stiver says of this Galveston Bay, Texas, living room that called for a complete redesign. She and design partner Amy Munger strategically brought in pine flooring, statement-making shiplap walls, and well-curated furniture to add warmth to the home’s existing lackluster feel—dated tile, dingy walls, and cobbled-together furnishings. The result is a calming living space that is both elegant and practical.
While no gutting took place during the renovation of this cottage kitchen, the L-shape space did get a much-needed face-lift. A fresh coat of paint, shiplap paneling on the walls and island, new concrete countertops, and a sparkling white backsplash brought fresh, new life to the once-drab kitchen. Glass-front doors on the upper cabinets and open shelving display colorful glasses and dinnerware that bring a dose of color to the mostly white, shiplap-bordered room and make it guest-ready.
Green Guest House
“We wanted a special spot for our friends, where they could feel ensconced at their own private resort,” says homeowner Mike Smith about his Panama City Beach property overlooking Saint Andrews Bay. The result: A hardworking, charismatic guesthouse, designed to be a comfortable and inviting retreat just off the pool party beaten path. In this living area beneath the overhead sleeping loft, they added warmth with pattern and texture. Painted shiplap paneling and rustic ceiling beams contribute architectural interest and give the rough-and-tough structure a more romantic aesthetic.