Shiplap, a defining characteristic of the modern farmhouse aesthetic, loved by Joanna Gaines, is currently being hotly debated in interiors circles. Increasingly, designers are telling us they are avoiding with this traditional wood paneling precisely because it is overly popular.
However, shiplap's latest champion, Carrie Underwood, may just cause even the harshest of critics to reconsider. The country music star, who rose to fame after American Idol in 2005 and resides in a beautiful estate in CM capital, Nashville (naturally), has shiplap at the heart of her home.
The singer has adorned her kitchen walls in bright white shiplap and decorative wooden beams – both of which bring a distinct contemporary-country feel-good appeal to the property.
So, should we feel inspired by her space – or is shiplap going out of style for good? We asked the experts.
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Shiplap walls aren't new – they have adorned American homes for centuries, insulating, and keeping rooms warm and dry – but their contemporary popularity started in 2013 when Magnolia designer Joanna Gaines broadcast their benefits on Fixer Upper.
Today, shiplap is chosen for its rustic style more than its practicality, and it's this coveted natural beauty that the experts at Idaho-based manufacturer CDA Wood say will ensure it never falls out of style permanently.
Rustic warmth aside, shiplap, along with all wood panels, they say, can further elevate our spaces by 'drawing the eye up', making the ceiling look higher, as the shiplap in Carrie Underwood's kitchen (above) so aptly demonstrates.
'Drawing the eye up, wood-paneled ceilings bring instant warmth, texture, and interest to any space, integrating biophilic design to underutilized areas,' they say.
To emphasize the beauty of the shiplap further, they recommend following Carrie's lead and incorporating decorative wooden beams to further improve the space, as in the kitchen above.
'Exposed decorative beams are another great way to create architectural elements and add dimension to a space, especially in a new build,' they say. 'They can give the illusion of higher ceilings, and bring a sense of scale, structure, and character.'
And, unsurprisingly, when it comes to styling this wall paneling, Carrie has come out on top again.
The singer's country kitchen has a natural base, most significantly seen through these wooden features. However, she keeps the space contemporary with modern furniture and accessories – including sleek marble countertops and stylish kitchen light fixtures.
'Rustic design elements paired with modern furnishings and art help create a design-forward space, showcasing the perfect balance of old and new,' the team at CDA Wood adds.
'When accented by strategically placed lighting fixtures, exposed beams can have an even greater dramatic effect.'
Still not convinced? Dallas-based interior designer Amy Lawrence is a shiplap skeptic; however, she says that there is a way to ensure this feature continues to impress in your kitchen.
'If you decide to keep shiplap, try it in a more modern application like black versus white,' she says.
Sure, this isn't quite what Carrie has done, but it does prove that there are options to ensure this debated wall decor stays in vogue for seasons ahead.
And, with Carrie as a fan, we're tempted to say this feature won't go anywhere too fast.
For yet more inspiration from Carrie, we're also looking to her book, available below.
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Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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