My husband and I welcomed a sweet baby girl to our family less than two months ago. We are quickly learning that, unlike most of our scheduled, routine lives, the baby has no schedule. She has needs throughout the day and no set time for when she will need what.

For us, that has meant trading excursions out for staying at home. My friend, Jason, described life at home with a newborn, “You’ll watch a lot of TV.” While we try to limit our TV watching, I must say that he was right.


One of our favorite shows, “Fixer Upper,” never disappoints. On this show, the two hosts help people purchase a house that needs work and fix it up to what results in a stunning masterpiece in the end. The hosts have their trademark sense of style, and that includes using plenty of shiplap in all of their projects.

Just what is shiplap, and how can you make it work for your own home?

Shiplap is paneling that consists of wooden boards with grooves cut into their edges. When put together, this results in a tight, overlapping fit between the boards. The look is similar to, but different from the more commonly known tongue-and-groove paneling, which tends to cost more.



When used indoors, such as installed horizontally on walls, shiplap evokes a rustic feel. The rustic look is particularly on trend lately, so it is no wonder that shiplap is increasing in use as well. But the paneling should not be limited to rustic decor. Shiplap, when used correctly, can add a timeless appeal to any look. Plus, it is relatively easy to incorporate, no matter what kind of space you have.

If you have a small space, shiplap can make it feel larger. Keep the finish a light color to help achieve this. You can stain it a natural hue, or paint it ivory or other light finish.

Use it as an accent. You do not need to cover all of your walls with shiplap to use it in your home. Although it looks great all over, you can try it on one side as an accent wall. You can even paint it a different color to really set it off. Another option is to create a backsplash with the paneling. Just make sure to seal it well.


Make it modern. One of the best ways to make a space look modern is to include sleek lines and mixed materials. Consider mixing shiplap with materials like concrete or marble to achieve this look.

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