Archives for July 2016

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

It’s no secret, I love shiplap walls. I have for a very, very long time. I decided it might be helpful to write a post specifically about this shiplap and my previous experiences with this type of wall. I will offer the answers to questions many of you had.

I am so happy with our wall. It has made quite an impact already on our home! It isn’t the first time we’ve used paneled walls, as I mentioned, so I can tell you more about it from our experience in our past homes, too.

I’m not a DIY’er so this isn’t an actual step-by-step tutorial or comprehensive guide, but I can answer some FAQ and offer tips about what we’ve used and where. You’ll also find some photos of our walls and the material we selected for each project.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

Let’s talk about shiplap walls!

You might think Joanna Gaines invented horizontal shiplap from the fanfare it gets thanks to HGTV’s popular show Fixer Upper. As talented as she is, she didn’t invent shiplap. It was originally a material under old plaster walls and used as siding on barns and buildings and has been used decoratively for years.

It can be an effective architectural feature in homes of any age and style, so it’s really a versatile look for the farmhouse fans to those designing more modern spaces. It can work just about anywhere! For those of you who aren’t sure about white walls, you can of course paint it any color you want.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

Our beach house walls were shiplap, but a beautiful unpainted natural wood. This shiplap was installed by my parents, maybe in 2007 or before.

While shiplap is actually a specific type of material, I feel like everyone calls any type of planked walls shiplap these days. We’ll use that term in this post since it’s so popular. But don’t let the popularity of it scare you off. Planked wood walls predate Fixer Upper and I don’t think it will likely go away after Fixer Upper airs its last show. If it worries you, keep it classic by using quality wood and installation methods, or just use it on a wall or two and you can change it down the road if you feel the need.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

Where and when can you use planked molding?

We installed vertical tongue and groove planking on the backs of our open shelves and the sides of cabinets in our 1930s Tudor. We selected a style that matched some original woodwork. The remodel was pre-blogging so maybe 11 years ago? Excuse my early blogging photo, above, but at least you can see a snippet of it! In the 1920’s house we owned before that (in the 1990s) we had planks put on the ceiling of a bathroom. Our 1920’s living room in the house before that had original planked walls and ceilings!

Planked wood felt right in all eras and all the various ways we’ve used it.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

We installed the same pine tongue and groove planks horizontally both in the back of open cabinets and on the walls in our brand new Craftsman style house in 2012.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

What wood to use for planked or shiplap walls

The planks in our previous house were thick and long pine boards bought from a lumberyard. You can see the actual pine tongue and groove boards we used, above. Do you see the two little notches on each board in the middle of the plank? If you install them with the two notches facing out, they have a “beadboard” groove and if you install them backwards from that they have a “V” notch in them rather than the beaded look. I like the “v” notch with tongue & groove.

The planks were installed both horizontally and some vertically throughout the main floor of that house. I really loved the chunkiness and the character of the real wood and the craftsmanship of the tongue and groove boards. But, that’s not that material we chose in our next house! I’ll tell you about what we used and why next.

Let’s get back to talking about our new shiplap wall in our current 1950s dining room! Here we went with a different material, look and installation than we have used before.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

MDF baseboard molding for shiplap walls

We used a 5 inch (1/2 inch thick) MDF (medium density fiberboard) baseboard molding as our plank material. It’s more affordable than wood, but really perfect for this type of installation. There might be even cheaper options, but this is already cut, primed, takes paint easily, and you can choose the right width for your job. It is also apparently easy to work with (or so I’ve heard, says me, the happy non-DIY’er).

I’m not sure if that is the EXACT board the contractor chose (above), but it’s pretty close. That’s the picture we sent to the contractor from Home Depot.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

Plank Walls with Staggered Board Installation

Rather than using one long board the length of the wall, we used a more staggered random length design. It just felt more original and less modern to me for some reason in this house.

The boards were nailed (nail gun) and glued very close together (I don’t believe the contractor used spacers at all) so the grooves between are less pronounced (nice for not accumulating dust, I suppose!). With a small room, a smaller groove feels more subtle overall in the space, so I like the effect.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ
I also like that the wall feels in line with the vibe of an older house. I was really happy that the paint seeped between a few of the board grooves because that’s just how old house paneling and trim looks. It’s never perfect! Character makes it feel even more authentic to the age of the house, but it doesn’t feel too rustic or out of place.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ
How to Finish the Edges of Shiplap Boards

How did we finish the edge of shiplap at the end of the wall?

I took a few pics so you could see what we used.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

It’s not super easy to see, but there’s a small end cap corner piece that finishes it off and the caulking and paint makes it look really nice.

I really love when shiplap actually wraps around the corner, as ours did in our old kitchen (see the photo of the old kitchen shiplap above for the corner piece that connected the two shiplap walls). But for now our shiplap just ends with that one wall. It really looks fine that way in the room though because you don’t focus in on it, especially if your wall color next to it is the same color like ours is.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ
On the other side the planks just run right to the other wall. Caulking makes it feel like they just disappear into the wall, rather than as if they were applied on top of a wall.

What if you don’t have crown molding or you have baseboards?

Shiplap walls laid horizontally work even when there isn’t crown molding to finish it. The top board is installed right up against our ceiling and caulked (it was installed the same way in my old kitchen). If you installed the boards vertically you’ll likely need a finishing trim of some sort at the ceiling.

Also, you might have noticed that our contractor removed the baseboard trim and reinstalled it over the planking. I think that looks really nice. We just left the baseboards in place in our old house so the planks overlapped a bit, which was fine too.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ
I switched the side my lamp was on in between photos to test it out, so pardon the mid-post switch haha! I was playing around with having just one lamp so I could put my mug rack on one side and couldn’t decide which side I liked best. So, ignore me and my indecisiveness! :)

A few more random thoughts on installing shiplap

Planked walls give “weight” and architectural texture to a room. The planks can even fool the eye into thinking the wall is taller or wider or both. Ironically, the planks make our wall feel taller, somehow, even though the planks are horizontal!

One thing I really like about the more subtle look of less space in between planks and the random lengths on the wall is that it doesn’t seem to scream LOOK AT THIS NEW PLANKED WALL WE JUST ADDED. Rather it is just there quietly looking good in the background.

We only planked just the one wall (so far, anyway) in our dining room. We may plank the entire room at some point, or we may not. That’s another budget friendly thing about planks, you can do one wall at a time if you want or need to. But even if you only want one wall, that’s cool, too.

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

We definitely will do more planked shiplap walls (or ceilings) in our house! I love it.

Hope that helps answer some of your questions! I know it was long and a lot to read, you might want to pin it and save it to refer to again! If I missed anything you wanted to know, feel free to ask away in the comments. 

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

Shiplap Walls: What To Use & FAQ

My Kitchen Remodel also has planked walls!

You can see all the details on the walls here, and all kitchen sources here.


Navy & White Swirls Lamp

Glass Cabinet (ours is taupe)

White & Rattan Mirror

Mug Rack

Stool (inspired by these)

Mugs (many sources, a few are here and here)

Plant Basket

And as always, you can find more sources in my shop!

7 Things You’ll Want for Your First Place

7 Things You'll Want for Your First Place

Sponsored by Ross Dress for Less

Moving into your very first home is one of those milestones you never forget. Each and every part of the experience is new and exciting! But understandably, an empty shell of a house or apartment can be a little overwhelming. When you are starting from scratch but still want your new place to feel like home, how do you know where to begin?

I love finding deals and decorating my home on a budget. I learned to be more savvy about where to shop and what to buy to make an impact for less when I moved into my first home. I recommend you pull your first place together with items that will inspire your style and even help you to feel more organized and at home right away. I took a little shopping trip to my local Ross store to see what I could find and came home with the perfect (and so affordable!) pieces to inspire a new place. I couldn’t believe how many amazing things I was able to bring home for under $100!

Here are seven things you’ll want for your first home:

7 Things You'll Want for Your First Place

A Ceramic Pot for a Plant

A new place always feels more inviting and homey when you bring some natural elements. Pick up a pretty ceramic planter like this one for your first houseplant. You don’t even have to actually plant the plant in the pot if you don’t want to, just leave it in its original plastic container and set it right inside the ceramic one. Your beautiful new planter will bring a pop of color and style to bookshelves, look great as a centerpiece for a dining table or coffee table, or even work on a mantel or entry table.

7 Things You'll Want for Your First Place

A Stylish Sheet Set 

When you move into your first place, you’ll probably be excited to say goodbye to your dorm room bed set and get something more grown up and stylish. A pretty set of sheets in your favorite color or pattern will make your bedroom feel comfortable at night and pulled together during the day, even when you forget to make the bed.

Pillows with Personality

Accent pillows will bring your style to even hand-me-down furniture. Decorative pillows can be set on a bed or to help jazz up a boring chair or outdated sofa.

7 Things You'll Want for Your First Place

Statement Area Rugs

Rugs are miracle workers in a first home. If you don’t like your carpet or flooring, rugs can give any room an entirely different look and feel. If you have hard flooring, rugs can soften the space and give it a cozier vibe. Put a small rug by your bed, in a bathroom, in front of the sink or to create style in a living room or dining room with a larger rug.

7 Things You'll Want for Your First Place

Handy Home Organizers

Start off the move to your new place feeling more in control of your stuff. Basic items like a nice set of new clothes hangers can inspire you to actually hang up your clothes to keep your room tidy. Wire or cloth baskets can help you organize just about anything from socks to cosmetics to kitchen items to help you keep every room streamlined and feeling clutter-free.

Fresh New Towels

What’s more fun than fresh new towels for your first bathroom? Start with an accent color that will make the most of the space. White is always fresh and spa-like, but if your bathroom is lacking in personality or feels really dated, a punch of a bolder color with new towels and accessories throughout the room can bring the style up a notch or two.

7 Things You'll Want for Your First Place

Tabletop Picture Frames

Nothing makes your first place feel more like home than frames with inspirational items inside. Besides treasured photos, you can use new frames for art (search online for free art you can print!) and quotes to inspire you. You could even frame your own “rules” for your new place. Frames are a great first purchase because they are versatile and can be updated on a whim as your style grows and changes. Look for a variety of metal or wood frames that you can mix and match.

What else would be inspiring to have in your very first place?

Ross stores receive new product 3-6 times a week and no two stores carry the same assortment, so I recommend you visit often and even check out  multiple stores because you’ll find something new and exciting at each. We always find stuff we love there and the prices are awesome. Ross delivers a “No frills, big thrills” shopping experience so you save a TON of money on the latest trends and classic pieces for your home.

You can find a Ross store near you at, as well as check out the latest styles on Facebook and Instagram.