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Shiplap rocketed into the design world a few years ago and exploded into many shows, magazines, and homes across the country. While there are some great features to this design trend, it can be overdone or done wrong, either one causing issues as you plan your renovation. Our designer, Jennifer, has some tips and tricks for you while Gerard Construction is walking you through your build, or as you are thinking about your next redesign for your home.

History of Shiplap

If you think shiplap got the name from something to do with boats and ships, you would be right. Shiplap was first used in the hulls of ships, possibly as far back as Viking times. The overlapping and interlocking boards would create tight seals, allowing ships to sail through the water. This technique was then used in homebuilding as the tight seal that kept water out also helped insulate buildings from cold or hot air and the elements in general. More commonly found in the South, especially throughout Texas, it was never meant to be seen. This layer of insulation was covered, until enthusiastic designers began to pull down sheetrock, exposing the shiplap wood.

How to Do It Right

By clinging to the authenticity of shiplap, your home can beautifully use this design element. If you have an older home that Gerard is helping you remodel and we find original shiplap, we will happily help you expose and restore this wooden element to be a focal point of your design. If you would like to add this into your new build or renovation, remember that shiplap is supposed to be a little rough or, as Jennifer says, “wonky and uneven.” There should be gaps, knots, and nails. So she cautions against using anything that is prefabricated or sold in large sheets to mimic this look. Instead, consider finding rough-hewn planks, scrap wood, or even pallet wood and create a focal point or wall for this look. Some great options are a small powder room, the wall surrounding your fireplace, or the wall behind your master bedroom headboard. If you absolutely love this look, understand that design trends may need a Gerard Construction update in a few years to keep your home feeling fresh.

What to Consider Instead

If you are hesitating, but still want a great feature wall or look for your home, there are other ways to achieve a statement without shiplap. It is easiest to change paint, so consider choosing a few bold colors throughout your home. There are a number of great colors, textures, and designs available on wallpaper and this can serve as a focal point as well. If you love the wooden look without the desire to use shiplap, consider a large built in on one wall or floating shelves made from wood to bring interest into your space.

Whether you choose to stick with shiplap or decide to go in a different direction, our team at Gerard Construction can help you pick a great look for your new or existing home. We love taking people’s dreams and building them into reality. Contact us today or begin looking through our gallery for ideas of what we can achieve.

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