As a real estate photographer, I am privy to a variety of home decor styles. Some of them inspire me. Some of them horrify me.

With the popularity of HGTV and Pinterest, home decor is constantly changing and the trends sweep across the nation with greater influence than ever before.

That is the reason for this new blog series:
Timeless or Trendy?

The first style to deliberate? Shiplap.

Shiplap creates interest in a simple corner.

The spunky, fun, brilliant couple, Chip and Joanna Gains made shiplap famous. (They are so stinkin’ cute, right?) They put it everywhere and now EVERYONE wants to use shiplap on EVERYTHING. And I can’t blame them!

Shiplap looks right at home here on the coast with the Cape Cod style homes. Faux shiplap is an easy look to achieve. One can simple rip plywood, nail it up, paint it, and BAM. Instant shiplap (nobody bothers to clarify that it’s faux). And with that ease, comes excess. It. Is. EVERYwhere.

Photo of work by local interior designer, Simrin Nichole Interiors. Shiplap used to punch up small spaces, like the powder room.

Photo credit: Simrin Nichole Interiors

Here in Eastern North Carolina, there’s an abundance of spec homes. Shiplap is a wonderful DIY way to customize these bland buildings and give them character. Of that, I am a big fan. Inexpensive, on trend, and fairly easy to DIY: will it last the test of time?

I vote: No. It’s too trendy, not timeless.

There will come a day when the young ones of this generation will admire real shiplap (as in, the original or restored horizontal pieces of wood that created wall structures, back in the day) and mock our faux shiplap designs as pathetic wannabes. But, they’ll probably mock everything we do, right?

Photo Cred: Shanty to Chic, the brilliant women who build. Using shiplap as an accent in the dining room.

I am a firm believer in designing for yourself. Do you love shiplap? Do you dream of visiting Magnolia Market? Are you a wannabe Jo Jo? Then go for it. But just know that if you plan to sell your home in five years or more, shiplap will likely be a faded trend.

Don’t let me crush your dreams! Not everyone keeps up with the trends. Some people will prefer passing trends even long after the movement has passed.

Simple, clean, white shiplap.

Just be careful about not going overboard with shiplapping (can shiplap be a verb?!), and make a mental note that if you plan to sell your home in 5-10 years, you may have to change it out. That could be a bigger chore than the install was, as removing the nails is likely to tear up the wall a bit. But if you love it and don’t mind the work, jump on the trend!

Do you think shiplap is timeless or a trend? Vote on Facebook and I’ll update this blog when the tally is totaled!

  • I think I’m the only human who doesn’t know who Chip and Joanna are and I’ve never heard of shiplap before. How is it any different than wood paneling? Or is it? Are they just recycling the 70s? If so I guess it’s timeless, as long as you wait around another 50 years. 😀