Shiplap is so hot right now.
This trend is positively dominating the interior design world, with homeowners covering every available surface from living room walls to kitchens, hallways, bathrooms, and even showers. It’s all thanks to Joanna Gaines, host of the hit series Fixer Upper and unapologetic shiplap enthusiast. You’d be hard-pressed to find an episode of the show that doesn’t at least mention the word shiplap. There are even shiplap t-shirts (yes, seriously).
But the bigger the trend, the harder the fall, which is what anyone with shiny gold fixtures and chevron print wallpaper will tell you. And then there’s the one terrible side effect of shiplap that no one ever told you about (page 3) until now.
What is shiplap, anyway?
Before Joanna Gaines came on the scene, shiplap was a relatively unknown design feature. Now it’s inescapable.
Shiplap is wooden boards which are used for building barns, sheds, or other rustic buildings. The traditional version usually has grooves cut into the top and bottom (called rabbets) which allow the pieces to fit together tightly.
In design, shiplap can be installed as a decorative accent in just about any room on the walls or ceiling.
Next: Here’s why lots of people shy away from shiplap.
It’s not cheap
Did your home not come with shiplap walls hidden beneath the drywall? You’re not alone. That’s why so many home improvement retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot have started selling it to homeowners who are eager to copy that Fixer Upper look.
But your new design obsession comes with a drawback — it’s expensive. You’ll spend hundreds or even thousands more dollars outfitting your home with shiplap than you would painting everything.
Next: This is by far the biggest drawback to adding shiplap.
Shiplap attracts dust
One major drawback of shiplap besides price? It’s hard to clean.
Practically no one wants to add extra dusting to their cleaning schedule, but if you put shiplap in your home, that might be exactly what you’re doing. The small gaps between each piece of shiplap are prone to collect dust, so you’ll have to spend a fair amount of time literally dusting your walls. Yikes.
Next: This is why it’s not great for everyone.
It doesn’t match every design style
Just because you like the look of shiplap, it doesn’t mean you should go ahead and blanket your ultra-modern home with it. Shiplap has a distinctive look that fits well with farmhouse or shabby chic décor styles. And while it’s not necessarily taboo to mix styles, there are certain instances where shiplap will just look out of place.
Next: It could end up costing you money.
Shiplap can hurt resale value
OK, so you love shiplap. But a future homebuyer may not be so amenable to it.
It certainly seems like everyone in the whole world is in love with Joanna Gaines and her distinctive design style. But there are plenty of people who like a different aesthetic. Instead of seeing charming shiplap walls while checking out your house, they’ll be seeing all the dollar signs and lengthy renovations they’ll need to do to rip it all out. They may even offer less money for your house because of it.
Next: Here’s the reason you should install shiplap anyway.
Not everything about shiplap is negative
Of course, there are plenty of things to love about shiplap. It looks crisp and clean, plus it adds visual interest and architectural detail to your space. It’s a great way to add a ton of character to your room with minimal effort.
While there’s a possibility that shiplap will look dated in 10 years, it’s equally likely that it could become like clawfoot tubs and fireplaces — two classic home décor trends that have withstood the test of time.
Next: Here’s the bottom line on shiplap.
Good design means doing what makes you happy
So how should you decide whether shiplap is the right choice for you? You just need to follow your heart.
Great design isn’t about copying hot trends or intentionally avoiding them — rather, it’s about staying true to yourself and choosing items that make you happy to live in your home. If you love the look of shiplap and you don’t mind some extra dusting on occasion, then shiplap might be the right option.
Do what you love and your home will reflect your unique perspective!
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!