Here’s How You Use Shiplap Without Going Totally Country

4 min read

Shiplap has become a popular interior design trend in recent years, thanks to its rustic charm and versatility. Originally used as a practical building material, shiplap has found its way into homes as a stylish and unique way to add character to any space. However, many people associate shiplap with a country or farmhouse style, which may not be everyone’s aesthetic preference. Fortunately, there are several creative ways to use shiplap without going totally country. In this article, we will explore different design ideas and techniques to incorporate shiplap into your home in a modern and sophisticated way.

The Basics of Shiplap

Before we delve into the ways to use shiplap, let’s first understand what it is. Shiplap is a type of wooden board that is characterized by its overlapping joint. The boards are typically installed horizontally, with the top edge of each board fitting into the groove of the board below it. This creates a tight and seamless appearance that adds texture and visual interest to walls, ceilings, and even furniture.

Traditionally, shiplap was used as a weatherproofing material for barns, sheds, and other outdoor structures. Its design allowed it to prevent water from seeping through the gaps, making it a practical choice for exterior use. However, shiplap’s aesthetic appeal led to its use as an interior design element, and it has since become a popular choice among homeowners and designers alike.

1. Create a Modern Accent Wall

One of the most popular ways to incorporate shiplap into a modern interior is to create an accent wall. This can transform the entire look and feel of a room, adding depth and texture without overwhelming the space. To achieve a contemporary look, consider using shiplap in a dark or painted finish instead of the traditional natural wood color. This will give the wall a sleek and sophisticated appearance.

For example, in a living room with a minimalist design, a black shiplap accent wall can serve as a striking focal point. Pair it with clean-lined furniture and a few pops of color to create a balanced and modern aesthetic. Alternatively, if you prefer a softer look, opt for a light gray or white shiplap wall to add a touch of elegance to a bedroom or dining area.

2. Combine Shiplap with Other Materials

Another way to use shiplap without going totally country is to combine it with other materials. This can create a unique and visually appealing contrast that adds interest to any space. For instance, consider pairing shiplap with sleek and modern materials such as glass, metal, or concrete. This combination of textures will give your room a contemporary and industrial look.

For example, in a kitchen, you can install shiplap on the backsplash area and pair it with stainless steel appliances and a concrete countertop. This combination of rustic and modern elements will create a stylish and eclectic space. Similarly, in a bathroom, you can use shiplap on the lower half of the walls and combine it with sleek subway tiles on the upper half. This will give your bathroom a spa-like atmosphere with a modern twist.

3. Use Shiplap as a Ceiling Treatment

While shiplap is commonly used as a wall treatment, it can also be applied to ceilings to create a unique and eye-catching look. This technique is especially effective in spaces with high ceilings, as it draws the eye upward and adds architectural interest to the room. To achieve a modern and sophisticated look, consider painting the shiplap in a dark or contrasting color.

For example, in a dining room with high ceilings, a black shiplap ceiling can create a dramatic effect. Pair it with a statement chandelier and sleek furniture to create a luxurious and contemporary space. In a bedroom, a white shiplap ceiling can add a touch of elegance and create a cozy atmosphere. Combine it with soft lighting and plush textiles to create a serene and inviting retreat.

4. Create a Shiplap Headboard

If you’re looking to add shiplap to your bedroom in a subtle and non-country way, consider creating a shiplap headboard. This can serve as a focal point and add a touch of texture and warmth to your sleeping space. To keep it modern and sophisticated, opt for a headboard with clean lines and a minimalist design.

For instance, a gray shiplap headboard with a simple rectangular shape can complement a contemporary bedroom with neutral tones and minimalist décor. Add a few accent pillows and a cozy throw blanket to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Alternatively, if you prefer a more eclectic look, consider using shiplap on the entire wall behind the bed to create a statement headboard.

5. Incorporate Shiplap in Unexpected Places

To truly embrace the modern and non-country aesthetic, consider incorporating shiplap in unexpected places throughout your home. This can add an element of surprise and create a cohesive look that ties different areas together. For example, consider using shiplap on the sides of kitchen islands or on the front of built-in bookshelves.

In a kitchen, white shiplap on the sides of a dark-colored island can create a striking contrast and add visual interest. Pair it with sleek and modern bar stools to create a contemporary and functional space. In a living room, shiplap on the front of bookshelves can add texture and create a cohesive look when paired with other shiplap elements in the room.


Shiplap is a versatile and stylish design element that can be used in modern interiors without going totally country. By following the tips and techniques mentioned in this article, you can incorporate shiplap into your home in a way that suits your personal style and aesthetic preferences. Whether you choose to create an accent wall, combine shiplap with other materials, use it as a ceiling treatment, create a shiplap headboard, or incorporate it in unexpected places, shiplap can add texture, depth, and visual interest to any space. Embrace the possibilities and unleash your creativity to create a modern and sophisticated look with shiplap.


  • 1. Is shiplap only suitable for a country or farmhouse style?

    No, shiplap can be used in various design styles, including modern and contemporary. By combining shiplap with other materials and using it in unexpected places, you can create a non-country look.

  • 2. Can I paint shiplap to match my existing decor?

    Absolutely! Shiplap can be easily painted to match your existing decor. Consider using a color that complements the overall color scheme of the room.

  • 3. How can I make a shiplap accent wall stand out?

    To make a shiplap accent wall stand out, consider using a contrasting color or a dark finish. This will create a bold and eye-catching focal point in the room.

  • 4. Can shiplap be used in small spaces?

    Yes, shiplap can be used in small spaces to add texture and visual interest. Opt for lighter colors and consider using shiplap on a single wall to avoid overwhelming the space.

  • 5. Is shiplap a durable material?

    Shiplap is made of solid wood, making it a durable material. With proper maintenance, shiplap can last for many years without losing its charm.


Shiplap is a versatile design element that can be used in modern interiors without appearing too country. By creating a modern accent wall, combining shiplap with other materials, using it as a ceiling treatment, creating a shiplap headboard, or incorporating it in unexpected places, you can achieve a contemporary and sophisticated look. Remember to consider the overall style and color scheme of your space to ensure that shiplap blends seamlessly with your existing decor. Embrace the possibilities and let shiplap add texture, depth, and visual interest to your home.

Related video of Here’s How You Use Shiplap Without Going Totally Country

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

House Magz We would like to show you notifications for the latest news and updates.
Allow Notifications