Over the last few years shiplap has been making waves as one of the most popular materials to incorporate in home decor. From walls and ceilings to wainscoting and focal points above the fireplace, you’ve probably seen these wide wooden panels all over the house.
Previously used as exterior siding in the building of barns, sheds, homes and, of course, ships, these statement-making slats are now getting awfully comfortable indoors.
Beloved for its versatility and perceived rustic charm, this trend got a big boost in popularity from HGTV’s fixer-upper duo Chip and Joanna Gaines. The couple, known for their farmhouse flair, has fully embraced shiplap and used this paneling from kitchen to bathroom and beyond.
But for anyone who grew up on a steady diet of Brady Bunch and Hawaiian Punch in heavily-paneled basements and family rooms, the thought of seeing more wood on a wall is a blast from the past they’d probably prefer to keep in the rearview. In fact, some may see this trend as better referred to as “shiplapse”—an unfortunate relapse into the days of avocado kitchens and linoleum floors, or just a total lapse in decor judgment.
For example, some homeowners are attempting to craft this countrified look into even the most modern dwelling, causing a George Costanza-like “worlds are colliding” vibe that just doesn’t work.
Additionally, while Chip and Joanna might not have mentioned it, the area between those panels is a prime spot for dust to collect. And does anyone need any extra housework?
If you feel like you’ve looked at enough paneling to last you a lifetime, you’d probably be just as happy to see this design feature go back out to sea.
But if you’re feeling nostalgia (or even a bit nautical) and ready to revisit the past by including shiplap in your home, you’re not alone. Plenty of homeowners are getting on board with this woodwork that many note makes for a simpler-than-you’d-think DIY project.
If you’re excited to bring it into your home, just be careful not to overdo it—especially if you’re hoping to sell your place in the next few years just in case buyers lose their love for the style entirely. Prying off those boards is no picnic, and will likely create some repair work underneath the slats!
Trends come and go. For many, shiplap—and paneling in general—has overstayed its welcome. That said, it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
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