Shiplap Wall Panelling

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.
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
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.
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood and Co
Entry in the home of Louise Keats featuring V-groove sheeting. Photography & styling by Nicki Dobrzynski – Cottonwood & Co.

shiplap bathroom walls - modern farmhouse

Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
The Anchorage, Port Stephens features some classic horizontal beadboard. Photography: Nicki Dobrzynski – Cottonwood & Co
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Bedroom in the home of Louise Keats featuring V-groove sheeting. Photography by Nicki Dobrzynski – Cottonwood & Co.
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Home of Louise Keats. Photography & styling by Nicki Dobrzynski – Cottonwood & Co.
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
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Photography, design and styling by Nicki Dobrzynski – Cottonwood & Co.
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!
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Modern country bathroom by Cottonwood & Co

Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Transitional, country style bathroom by Cottonwood & Co
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
One of the beautiful bathrooms at Huka Lodge, New Zealand. Photography by Nicki Dobrzynski – Cottonwood & Co.
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Shiplap/VJ board in one of the bathrooms at Bendooley Estate Cottages. Photography & styling by Nicki Dobrzynski – Cottonwood & Co.
Cottonwood and Co - - shiplap walls
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
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.
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Modern, classic kitchen with shiplap and marble by Cottonwood & Co
Shiplap wall panelling - Cottonwood & Co
Cottonwood & Co pop up shop in Robertson, NSW.
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.
Nicki xo

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  1. Meesha Powell says:

    Just wondering which brand of VJ panels you use in NZ and if you apply the fiber cement directly onto the existing Gyprock wall?
    Love everything about vertical shiplap

  2. Hi Nicki,
    I’m redoing our laundry and am looking at doing shiplap on the walls. Our current walls are fibre cement not gyprock. Do you know if we can put shiplap straight over the top?

    1. Hi Kristy, sorry for the delayed reply. I missed your comment amongst spam! Oops. You’d have to speak to a builder about applying the shiplap but given it’s a wet area, I’d probably recommend using the fibre cement sheets (with the v groove or shiplap joint). You don’t always need to but fibre cement sheets (HardiGroove, CSR Vertical Edge etc) but you will potentially have less issues with water or moisture. Hope that helps. N xo

  3. Your home is beautiful, so much charm and character! Would you mind sharing what brand of the fibre cement shiplap you use, I love the look and width of the board.

    1. Hi Olivia, firstly sorry this comment went missed. Not sure how I missed it, but my apologies! So we’ve used a few types before (Hardigroove and CSR Cemintel which are both fibre cement so we use those in wet areas), but we recently used EasyCraft and I love that as it has a deeper v-joint. We’ve also JUST received some beautiful new V-groove sheets from Intrim Group which we’ll be lining our backyard barn with (walls and ceilings), so can’t wait to share those. They look beautiful. Hope that helps! Nicki 🙂

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