One of my favorite new design shows on TV right now is the HGTV series, Fixer Upper, hosted by the adorable married couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines. They are hilarious to watch, have impeccable taste and are also Christians…bonus! I have loved, loved, loved watching every single episode over the last 2 seasons. The basic concept of the show is that Chip & Joanna help a client looking to buy and fix up a home. They search for the most dilapidated home they can find for sale in the Waco, TX area, buy it cheap for the client, then fix it up into an AMAZING work of art home that they will live in. Instant sweat equity provided by contractor, Chip and an incredibly stylish home that’s fully decorated by Joanna, herself. If you want to check it out, here is a link to the show’s website.
As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, I love changing up my home’s style. I find that as time goes on, my decorating tastes evolve and what I may have loved 5 years ago, I now feel differently about. Six years ago, we built our very “cookie-cutter” traditional 2-story home that doesn’t necessarily have a ton of the character that older homes often do. My husband and I both really enjoy that “older home charm”, but back then we realized we were entering into a very chaotic season of our lives when we were knee-deep in diapers, bottles and chasing after little ones. We didn’t feel we had the time or the resources it would take to invest in restoring and renovating an older home. Which is ultimately why we chose new construction.
It is still a very real dream of ours to someday find an older home to lovingly restore and bring back to life…but that’s down the road and we’ll continue to pray for God to show us when that timing might be right for our family. So, for now, we continue to find ways to incorporate elements into our new construction home which will make it seem a little more charming than the standard “builder-grade” homes tend to so often feel.
Season 3 of Fixer Upper just started a few weeks ago, and leading up to its season premier, I may have binge watched an entire season of the show on HGTV one afternoon – #dontjudge #designtherapy – and been left with some big inspirations for the new look I was envisioning for my home. If you watch the show, there is one reoccurring design element that Joanna tends to incorporate in almost every home she does. Shiplap. (it’s actually really fun saying it if you use a southern accent. Go ahead, try it. I will wait….)
What the blazes is shiplap you say? It’s basically a rough-sawn pine paneling that was often used in barns and older homes, used as a form of insulation. Today it’s purpose is mainly for aesthetics to create the look of an older, more vintage style. Yes, please. Cue the heavenly angels singing, “aahhhh!” Enter in my shiplap inspiration.
You can buy authentic shiplap boards to create a truly vintage look, but my budget was not allowing for that option. And even the brand new tongue and groove shiplap panels at Home Depot were still out of my price range at roughly $10/board. Luckily, my brain likes to think outside the box. And my husband and I came up with a solution that allowed us to budget in for this awesome project.
After measuring the square footage of our back living room wall, we went to Home Depot and purchased five 4′ x 8′ 1/4″ sheets of plywood underlayment at just under $12/sheet.
We then asked for the sheets to be cut down into 8″ boards. You could also do 6″ boards if you wanted. It was just a small $3 fee to have them do this step for us.
Shiplap panels bought, we headed back home to start the hanging process on our back living room wall. This wall has been asking for a re-fresh lately and I could hear it calling, “I want shiplap” loud and clear!
We first spent some time finding the studs and marking the wall up, so we knew where to place nails for the boards. Speaking of studs, here is my handsome and talented brother, helping us tackle this DIY project.
After marking the wall, we got started hanging our 8″ boards horizontally across the wall in rows. I needed my talented sister-in-law’s designer perspective for the exact pattern we wanted to create that staggered, yet authentic look. As well as the help of one very adorable little construction worker who showed up on the job site ready for action!
Once we had a pattern established with staggering shorter and longer pieces, the process went rather quickly. We used a nail gun with finish nails to create a nice clean look.
My husband felt it was necessary to leave a significant marking on the wall underneath the shiplap to monument the occasion of the Packers recent heartbreaking playoff loss. *sniff, sniff* I think it was just his way of gloating since he’s a Vikings fan anyway. #minnesotabornandbred
We had to cut in around the outlets and even though the width was 1/4″, it did still somewhat stick out a bit and wasn’t entirely flush with the wall, but I guess I can live with this slight imperfection.
Here they are laying the last of the shiplap. The final board had to be cut down from 8″ to about 6″ to fit the space. From start to finish the wall took us about 3 hours to complete. And by “we” I mean, my brother and my husband on the manual labor, with my sister-in-law and myself advising. We worked good together as a team!
I am loving the way the shiplap wall turned out! Beforehand I was pretty certain I was going to be painting the wall a creamy, off-white color, but I am not really certain about that anymore. I really like the look of the natural wood grain. If anything, I may decide to do a light paint wash over it, and then go back over it with a palm sander to give it that distressed look. I may just have to live with it for a few weeks before deciding for certain what route to go. It does need a light sanding over the entire wall regardless to prevent splinters for anyone who would feel the need to rub their hands over the surface of the wall.
And that’s it for my easy, affordable DIY Shiplap Wall! Do you like watching Fixer Upper as much as I do? What wall in your home will you turn into a shiplap wall?