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Adding Shiplap to the Family Room

Today we are continuing our series From Flat to That.  If you missed it, my goal this fall and winter is to add a lot of texture to these walls here in our new home.  With our home being all white, it helps to add a lot of interest by adding texture.  I wanted to add things like bead board, shiplap, wallpaper, etc.  I already shared the bead board in our kitchen and the shiplap on the kitchen fireplace in the series.  We continued this series by adding shiplap to the family room this past week.  And, I love how it turned out.

What is shiplap?

First off, let me start by saying that I always have a hard time calling boards added to a wall shiplap… when it really isn’t.  

Shiplap is a type of wooden board used commonly as exterior siding in the construction of residences, barns, sheds, and outbuildings.

Description taken from Wikipedia.

Shiplap are boards made with a tongue and grove so that they almost snap together.  

Shiplap is an old concept that I believe was really popular in the south. People who didn’t have original shiplap behind their walls started creating the look by adding boards leaving a larger gap. I’m only explaining this to share why I have such a hard time calling it that.  But, for the ease of this post, it will be called that today.  Ha!

Adding Shiplap to the Family Room

I first had to figure out if we wanted vertical shiplap or horizontal shiplap in the family room. And also what size we wanted these boards. It seems to me that vertical shiplap has more of a modern feel and horizontal is more farmhouse style.  I have no clue what type of style I am because it’s so many added together so I can’t name it.  But, I knew that I wanted the fireplace to stand out.  So I decided to do vertical on the fireplace bump-out and horizontal on the rest of the walls.  

We looked at lots of different ways to add shiplap to the walls here in the family room. We could buy actual shiplap boards with have the tongue and groove.  Or we could make the boards ourselves which is what we did.  We used 1/4″, 4’x8′ sanded plywood panels. (Make sure it’s sanded.)  You can buy it anywhere but we grabbed ours from Lowes since we have one close.  I believe it comes in different types of woods, but we bought the maple…. simply because they had it in stock and it had less wood grain and knot holes.

We decided that we both liked the look of the 6″ strips in bigger rooms and the smaller boards in smaller rooms.  So we cut all of the paneling in 6″ strips.  After we marked all of the studs on the walls, we started adding the shiplap horizontally with a small nailer.  In order to keep the gap completely even throughout our entire wall, we used nickels between each board. The horizontal wall needed to be glued since the studs run vertically.  So we glued and used the small nails to attach that, as well.  And, then I gave it all a coat of our wall paint color which is Pure White from Sherwin Williams.

My Thoughts on our Shiplap Wall

I LOVE how this wall here in the family room turned out.  The vertical boards on the fireplace wall made it stand out which is exactly what I wanted to accomplish.  The horizontal shiplap gave me the texture that I wanted and added so much interest.  Originally, we wanted to add these boards to the entire room.  But we needed a break from this project.  Ha.  It took us a few days and we were in the midst of putting up all of our Christmas decor.  We may add more but for now, we are enjoying this wall here in the family room.

What’s next in the series From Flat to That???

I ordered some really pretty wallpaper for the dining room which comes tomorrow.  My goal is to make that room to feel romantic, so I bought a floral wallpaper in browns and white. I am hoping to start that project this weekend.  Also, I want to add some boards to the walls in our bathroom to give them texture as well.  We have some leftover boards from the family room project, so I may start planning that as well.

Also.. the laundry room is done.  I will be sharing that soon.  We added bead board wallpaper and trim all around the top.  Stay tuned.

Danelle Harvey

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Danelle Harvey

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