How To Make The Most Of a Shiplap Accent Wall

In case you haven’t heard, shiplap is the latest trend in interior design. We’ve already talked about this when we covered a few tips on how to add shiplap walls to a room and now we’re back with even more great ideas. Before we get into details, let’s quickly remember what shiplap actually means. Well, as it turns out, it’s a kind of wooden board with grooves at the top and bottom which ensure a tight seal and allow the pieces to fit together snuggly. Such boards are often used when building sheds and barns and lately, they’ve become quite popular in modern interior decor where they’re used to create shiplap accent walls.

30 Ways to Use Shiplap in Interior Design

1. Include Shiplap in Beach House Design

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As it turns out, shiplap accent walls are exactly what we want to talk to you about today so let’s start with this absolutely charming beach home designed by studio Geoff Chick & Associates. Shiplap is usually displayed horizontally but can also be installed vertically and you see here both options looking just great. Vertical shiplap is a useful way to make the room look bigger by drawing the eye upwards. 

2. Combine Shiplap with a Textured Staircase

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Shiplap can be used to spruce up a wall such as this one. What’s particularly interesting in this case is the color which combined with the texture and the pattern turn this staircase wall into a beautiful focal point which suits this beach house in the most wonderful way. Shiplap in muted jewel tones is a great option for making bright white trim stand out. Check out thisoldhouse if you want to find out more about the house.

3. Install a Shiplap Fireplace Surround

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A shiplap accent wall can take many different forms and there are plenty of cool ways to customize the concept. An interesting idea comes from Bria Hammel Interiors. the studio which designed this charming shiplap fireplace surround. Using shiplap on only a portion of the wall can help act as a visual divider and also add more texture to the room. Texture can help make a room look more layered and put together when it’s arranged in neutral colors. 

4. Use Shiplap in Transitional Areas

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Shiplap gives walls a finished look and is a great option is you want to bring a farmhouse vibe into your home. You can make the most of this look by extending it throughout the house. You could install shiplap on all the walls although that could be a bit too much so you could limit yourself to just the transition areas. Horizontal shiplap is a good way to guide people through design to show them where the pathways in the home are. Check out this design by Urban Grace Interiors if you need inspiration.

5. Paint One Shiplap Wall a Different Shade

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Even if all the walls in a room are covered in shiplap one of them can still stand out and become an accent wall. One option is to paint it using a color that contrasts with the rest of the walls. This accent wall helps break up the matchy matchy look of an all-shiplap room, and it can also give you a way to bring more color into your design palette. This bedroom can be a good source of inspiration in this case.

7. Cozy Up to a Shiplap Bed Nook with Light Sconces

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In the bedroom, you can create an awesome shiplap accent wall behind the bed. This one decorated by Dawson Design Group has a built-in nook and light sconces but the design possibilities are infinite. The saturated rich tone of the shiplap’s color is offset by calming neutrals and wood accents. You can even pick a cool color because, as you can see, the shiplap ensures a warm and cozy look.

8. Try Shiplap in a Beach-Inspired Living Room

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Shiplap is not just for farmhouse-inspired decors. This is in fact a very versatile design feature which can look awesome in any type of space or decor. Check out this beach-style living room by Mawr Design for instance. It features a gorgeous shiplap accent wall that truly brings the space together in a wonderful way. The dark slate blue coloring of the shiplap brings to mind the color of the ocean on a stormy day. 

9. Use Unfinished Wood Shiplap as a Natural Accent

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As you know by now, there are many ways to customize and interpret this whole shiplap accent wall trend. For example, instead of painting the boards white or some other color you can stain the wood and allow it to have a more natural appearance. This helps draw out the texture of the wood and creates little imperfections that give it a rustic appearance. Wooden accent walls fit in well with a rustic or craftsman aesthetic. Natural wood creates an accent wall that gives the space a lovely warm and welcoming look.

10. Bring Shiplap to a Rustic Mountain Design

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You can also shiplap to extend a focal point and to create a more cohesive interior design. In this rustic mountain retreat designed by LivingStone the bunk beds blend into the shiplap wall while at the same time contrasting with it. When used in a mountain setting, shiplap can help to emulate the interior look of an old-fashioned log cabin without having to go through the trouble to build one. 

11. Choose Shiplap with a Reclaimed Look

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The shiplap accent wall created by AMW Design Studio is super charming and we love everything about it. From what it seems, the boards have the look of reclaimed wood and this gives the decor a lot of character. What sets reclaimed wood apart from other natural wood looks is that different planks of wood may have completely different shades and tones, giving the shiplap accent wall an eclectic and charming appearance.

12. Go Minimalist with Plain White Shiplap

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Shiplap can also be a nice alternative to wallpaper, especially if you want to add texture and pattern to the wall. It’s simpler and some would also say it’s also more practical and easier to install.

Some shiplap accent walls can be installed for less than a hundred dollars, making them a perfect DIY project that will not only have a serious impact on your design, but it will also add texture to the space and make the installation of decorations super easy. Check out this minimalist decor created by Chelsea Lauren Interiors as an example.

13. Pair Shiplap with Mood Lighting

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Shiplap makes a great centerpiece in the room all on its own, but adding lighting to your shiplap can help take it to the next level. This shiplap project from The Stonybrook House combines shiplap with Christmas string lights installed above the crown molding to create a glowing halo above the upper edge of the shiplap wall. This lighting creates a soft romantic glow and helps set the shiplap apart as the focal point. If you want to get really fancy, you can even install smart lighting over your shiplap so you can change the colors of your mood lighting (and the color of your shiplap) whenever you feel like it.

14. Use White Shiplap to Frame Dark Walls

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Bright white is a popular color when it comes to shiplap installation because this highly reflective surface makes it easier to see the texture of the shiplap on the wall. This shiplap tutorial from Making Manzanita is a perfect example of how to use vertical white shiplap to contrast a darker wall color. In this case, the white shiplap is set against the dark jungle green wall paint. This contrasting color palette gives the shiplap a very dramatic look.

15. Choose Shiplap to Complement Loft Ceilings

Choose Shiplap to Complement Loft CeilingsView in gallery

Shiplap isn’t just for outfitting accent walls in beach and farm houses. Shiplap is a great accent wall material to pair with a loft conversion. The vertical shiplap helps amplify the size of the soft space and make the room look taller, but the extra-wide panels in the shiplap help soften the look significantly. In a space this large, you can afford to go with darker colors, or you can stick with traditional light-colored shiplap like this loft conversion in Metrie for a brighter look.

16. Create a Dark Vertical Shiplap Accent Wall

Create a Dark Vertical Shiplap Accent Wall

When using shiplap as a room accent, you can’t do much better than just using it as a traditional accent wall. While an accent wall can be any wall in a room that is designed to act as a design element when many people think of accent walls they think of one dark or brightly colored wall against a room full of neutral shades. This dark teal vertical shiplap accent wall at Plank and Pillow is a great way to make this tiny alcove office nook visually distinct from the rest of the room.

17. Keep Shiplap Light for Farmhouse Charm

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If you’re adding a shiplap accent wall to a rustic or farmhouse design, it’s a good idea to keep your shiplap light in color. White or off-white shiplap is often associated with farmhouse design and can look even more authentic if it’s paired with a couple of vintage wall lamps or an antique water carafe. Check out this shiplap accent wall at The Duvall Homestead to see an example of farmhouse shiplap in action.

18. Go with Pastel Pink Shiplap for a Softer Look

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Dark shiplap and light shiplap aren’t your only options if you’re putting up a shiplap accent wall. Try using a muted pastel color for your shiplap like this pastel pink shiplap from The House of Hood to bring in a soft, romantic vibe. Pale pink shiplap pairs well with white in spaces like bathrooms and nurseries. If pink isn’t your color, you could replace pastel pink with pastel tangerine, coral, or peach for a similar look.

19. Use Rich Color to Set Your Shiplap Apart

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Pastels aren’t the only option when it comes to installing a shiplap accent wall. You can always choose a deep, rich color like this forest green shiplap accent wall from Meg Del Design to add serious drama to your interior design. A rich-colored shiplap wall can overpower a room if you’re not careful, so try to balance out this look with some more muted neutral tones in the rest of the room’s color palette. You might also try including an accent color that is opposite on the wheel from your shiplap color – for example, pairing crimson accents with forest green shiplap. This helps provide the most visual contrast.

20. Feature Shiplap in a Stairwell 

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Stairwells are sometimes a difficult area of the house to decorate, but adding accent shiplap to this transitional space can provide visual interest and style without distracting from other rooms that are in the viewer’s line of sight. Pairing a shiplap stairwell with oversized beach-inspired artwork, like this shiplap stairwell from Bob Vila, can help lead you to the perfect beach house getaway. 

21. Use a Herringbone Shiplap Design for a Unique Focal Point

Use a Herringbone Shiplap Design for a Unique Focal PointView in gallery

Vertical and horizontal shiplap are both popular variations on this accent wall theme, but if you really want a unique look, try installing shiplap in a herringbone design. This diagonal design helps draw the eye to the center of the room. In the case of this shiplap accent wall at Beach Life Bliss, the herringbone design helps make the bed the focal point of the bedroom. Another interesting aspect of this shiplap is its unique sea foam green color. While not as common as other shiplap shades like white or dark charcoal gray, pale-but-colorful shades of shiplap are great for beach houses and can help create a soft, cheerful aesthetic that makes you feel like sinking your toes in the sand.

DIY Shiplap Projects

22. Put up DIY Shiplap in the Bedroom

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The best place for a shiplap accent wall is probably the bedroom simply because shiplap walls add a warm and cozy touch to the space around them and that’s what bedrooms are all about. You can redo all the walls in the room if you want to and there’s a great tutorial on drivenbydecor that can help you along. Just look how much better the walls look now!

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You don’t need much to do a shiplap wall. If you want to also save a bit of money in the process you should use plywood sheets which you can cut with a saw. You can also use a nail gun to attach them all to the wall and once they’re in place the customization process can begin. Use paint to add the finishing touches and to really make your new wall stand out and look amazing. Check out this video tutorial from Jenna Sue if you want more details.

23. Add DIY Textured Shiplap for a Whole New Look

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Every once in a while a change of color is needed for the walls of a room in order to change the ambiance but it can also be nice to add a bit of texture to the new design as well. A CIY shiplap accent wall is an easy way to do so. As mentioned before, you can use plywood to reduce the cost of the project and apart from that you only need nails and spacers to install the planks onto the wall. Once a coat of paint is added, the whole look changes. Check out hoosierhomemade if you want to find out more about this.

24. Choose Underlayment for Easy DIY Shiplap Construction

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This lovely shiplap wall was made using 1/4’’ underlayment in 4×8’ sheets. In order to cut these to size you’ll need a circular saw but you can make the project a lot easier and more convenient by having the sheets cut at the store. Once you have them, sand them down a bit and get on with the project. We found this detailed tutorial on maisondepax about installing shiplap at home that we think you’re going to find quite informative.

25. Keep Things Affordable with a Thrifty DIY Shiplap Wall

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The cost of creating a shiplap accent wall varies based on several factors, such as the size and shape of the wall, the materials involved, the tools available as well as any distinct design details that you want to include. If you’re keeping things simple then this should be very inexpensive, so much so that it would a shame not to at least give it a try. Check out this beautiful wall made for less than $30. You can find out more about it on makingjoyandprettythings.

26. Choose a Direction During DIY Shiplap Installation

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When installing a shiplap wall you can either start from the top or the bottom. If you start from the bottom you’re going to have to modify the board at the very top so it fits and sits flush with the ceiling. First of all, prep all the materials and the wall itself. Then start to nail the board onto the wall starting from the edge. You might need to align two or more boards depending on how long the wall is. You’ll need a spacer in between the boards. When all the boards are in place, paint the wall. That’s all! You can find more info on farmhouseonboone if needed.

27. Go Formal with DIY Dining Room Shiplap

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Shiplap walls are really great especially if you want to add a farmhouse-inspired vibe to a space or to make feel cozy without cluttering it. Of course, a shiplap accent wall can also fit quite nicely in a more setting. A beautiful example is this living room featured on shegaveitago. Check out the tutorial to see how its décor changed and how this wall design was made from scratch.

28. Don’t Forget the Trim for a Finished Shiplap Look

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As you might have seen, installing shiplap on walls is easy and straightforward. This however can get a bit more complicated if you’re dealing with corners and if you want the planks to cover more than just a single wall. It might be the case that you need to add baseboards and trims to your walls. To make the corners look nice and smooth you can use wood filler once the boards are in place. Check out sarahdaisyco for more useful tips.

29. Divide the Wall with Partial Shiplap for Visual Interest

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Another interesting idea is to only cover up part of the wall with boards. It would be more of a shiplap wall treatment than anything else. You can do this for a hallway for example as a way to add a bit more texture to it but to still be able to keep the upper part of the walls nice and simple. The installation process in this case is very similar to what we mentioned so far and you can find a tutorial for it on creeklinehouse.

30. Account for Windows and Doors in DIY Shiplap Projects

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When you’re planning your new DIY shiplap wall project, make sure to take into consideration any important elements such as windows or doors that could alter your measurements. You need to take this into account when you’re cutting all the boards and planning the layout. Also, if you’re only covering up the bottom section of the wall, you’ll need to add a trim at the top. You can find all the information needed on ashadeofteal.

As you can see, a shiplap accent wall can completely transform the appeal of your space. Shiplap may not be a familiar concept to everyone, but this wall style has taken the decorating world by storm over the past few years. Whether you’re going for a sun-faded farmhouse look or you want to channel more nautical vibes, shiplap is a great material to add texture and visual interest with an accent wall.