We’ve all heard of shiplap, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 9 years. That’s when Joanna and Chip Gaines of Fixer Upper came on the scene to the masses. Shortly thereafter it seemed everyone was decorating in Joanna’s farmhouse style. Soon after that newly built black and white modern farmhouses started popping up everywhere. And shiplap became a household word.
THIS is Modern Farmhouse.
I’ll admit I was a little skeptical.
I grew up in New England where classic homes with gorgeous millwork abound so I had seen these boards installed both horizontally and vertically many, many times…especially in beach homes. We called it planks or panels or beadboard (which actually has a small bead between the boards). And none of the homes I laid eyes on looked like the photos above.
Scott Sidler of The Craftsman Blog has a great explanation: “Shiplap is a 1x board that has a special rabbet or notch cut on the edges of the board in an alternating fashion. These rabbets allow the boards, when installed horizontally, to self-space themselves and keep water from getting behind them because they fit so perfectly.”
That would be pretty important for a boat, right?
Older homes used clapboard for exterior siding so when a homeowner wanted to enclose a porch they often left the clapboard in place and it became a wall on the interior. This has always been very common in coastal areas - think beach cottage. These boards overlap so they’re not exactly planks, but it’s the same idea.
Today many rooms are designed intentionally to look like the exterior was enclosed.
Here’s a gorgeous example by ID Audrey Sterk. We can’t tell if it’s a recently enclosed porch or part of the original home, but when it looks this good it doesn’t matter!
Another example is shown in the next 2 photos - the owners’ suite in the Southern Living 2019 Idea House. ID Heather Chadduck designed the walls with planks and bracing which reinforces the idea the room was once a porch.
It’s a new build, folks. The home is in Amelia Island, FL and boasts the Amelia River as its back yard.
I couldn’t get enough of this house – visited it 4 times and each time noticed something new. I saw Heather the last day of the home tours gathering a few of her personal items since the house had sold and the new owners were anxious to move in (fully furnished ❤️).
So…are you beginning to notice a theme here?
Planks installed horizontally or vertically will always be classic in coastal/lake homes. So to say “shiplap is out” is a non sequitur.
Planks are fitted with tongue and groove and that's usually what you see. What the Gaines find behind the sheetrock is called sheathing - just plain squared ends boards nailed next to each other.
We live in a craftsman bungalow in a beach town in Florida. The home was void of any architectural character so during a full renovation we added tons of charm through millwork - craftsman style moulding. We have a large island which we wrapped with horizontal planks - just plain old squared off planks and we placed them with a 1/4" gap. It adds dimension and design and relates to the fireplace wall across the room.
©2022 D. Miko Designs, LLC
Island Color: Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay
Now that we’ve cleared up that matter let’s get on to the drool-worthy photos.
When it’s done right in the correct setting I could install planks everyday ☺️