Some of you may be familiar with the term “shiplap” or VJ cladding/lining, but I believe this enduring interior detail deserves far more attention than it currently receives. Shiplap wall panelling is one of my favourite interior architectural details and I use it in almost every project I do.
For those that aren’t familiar, shiplap wall panelling, or just “shiplap”, is essentially milled lengths of timber board with a rebated edge. That rebated edge joins tightly with the next board, giving a distinct shadow line effect (either vertically or horizontally), as well as a weather tight seal. I’ve spoken about it many times on the blog, both here and here.
Also referred to as “VJ panelling” or “v-groove”, it has a similar look to traditional tongue and groove lining or beadboard, which traditionally has a V joint, or, a rounded profile with two shadow lines instead. Although, traditional shiplap is characterised by a simple square edge U-channel, which gives it a slightly more contemporary look.
To say I’m obsessed with shiplap is quite the understatement! In our recent home renovation, we used vertical shiplap fibre cement sheets in almost every single room (only the hallway and two of bedrooms we didn’t touch).
In fact I use this sheeting on all my projects (mainly bathrooms and rooms that are lacking in architectural character), so I guess you could say it’s my trademark! ha. It takes a plain gyprock wall from drab to fab with relative ease and little cost. To see a lot more shiplap you can follow along on INSTAGRAM
What I particularly love about shiplap is that it creates subtle interest and texture; the ideal canvas for those who prefer a simplified and restrained look that still oozes character. The vertical shiplap (using v-groove cement fibre sheeting) in our bathrooms creates a much softer look and feel than wall tiles – which can sometimes look and feel a little cold. It’s also super interchangeable and flexible as it can be repainted to give it a freshen up, or when you want a different look. Something you can’t do with tiles!
I particularly adore this grey blue bathroom above by Mi Casa. It feels warm and inviting (despite the cooler colour scheme) but also looks smart, elegant and classically modern. From micasa.be
Of course if you’re not ready to do shiplap on every wall, using it as a feature can look quite striking. It’s the ideal material to cover over a brick fireplace, as a backsplash in the kitchen (this is where the cement fibre shiplap sheets are brilliant as they’re waterproof!) or as a feature wall in a closet, stairwell or entry foyer.
I just love the combination of shiplap and v-groove cabinetry. In our former kitchen below (pictured below) we used shiplap as a backsplash and it was unbelievably low maintenance. It’s also refreshing change from tiles and can easily be cleaned or re-painted.
It goes without saying that shiplap and v-groove cabinetry are a match made in heaven. The simple combination of horizontal and vertical shadow lines create a harmonious space that is essentially a modern take on traditional tongue and groove of yesteryear.
This monochromatic bathroom above escapes that cold feeling with the use of warm, light timber floors and crisp white shiplap walls. To me, shiplap walls make a room so much more interesting.
My tip when it comes to shiplap? If your ceilings are low, choose vertical shiplap as opposed to horizontal, as this will make your space feel taller. The vertical lines will help give the illusion that your ceilings are higher than they actually are! And if in doubt, go white.