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One of the most difficult decisions to make when refinishing a room is how much of a current trend to inspire your choices. Jumping in with two feet can be fun and certainly create a wow factor. However, trends can also quickly become outdated and if you’ve invested a lot of time and money into a particular one you will also have to spend a lot of time and money to change it.

Luckily, this isn’t an all or nothing situation. So whether your current obsession is mid-century modern or shabby chic you can satisfy your style preference without making a top to bottom change in a few months or years.

To start, keep bigger items like the wall color, flooring, and furniture neutral in both style and color. What I mean by this is to choose furniture that is inspired by or similar, but simpler, to a more trendy piece. And neutral doesn’t have to mean beige. Blacks, grays, blues, browns, whites, and creams with just a hint of the desired hue are perfect multitaskers that transcend both trends and time.

For example, if you want pink for a blush-toned creme or for green a sage infused blue. If you’re craving color black and white create the perfect canvas for colorful accessories to really pop and make a statement. Navy and charcoal are neutral but underutilized colors that allow you to give a little push style boundaries.

Bring in those pops of color with accents. Wall art, decor, throw pillows, curtains and bedding are perfect ways to do just that. Incorporate your favorite new colors and patterns throughout the room for a consistent look and not as if you haphazardly placed pieces as an afterthought.

The best part of using these details to infuse your trend of choice is that they enable you to go as bold or subtle as you like. Curtains or a comforter in a bright color or a bold print capture the eye immediately. Throw pillows and wall art, on the other hand, make for a room filled with personality.

It’s always fun to incorporate trends when we are decorating. It gives the room your unique brand of personality and brings the space to life. Cleverly choosing your larger items to remain understated to allow your trendy pieces take the spotlight is the perfect way to join in while also staying flexible if you tire of it or want to change things up down the road.

You’ll also be making a more budget-friendly project by choosing neutral tones for your investment pieces. They will be able to carry over decades to come while transcending, for the most part, the many trends it is sure to outlive.     


If you’ve spent any time watching home shows over the last few seasons, you’ll have heard the term “shiplap” to describe a wall feature. But what is shiplap, and why is it a coveted wallcovering?

Historic shiplap

By definition, “shiplap” is lumber planking milled with a rabbeted joint along the length of the top and bottom horizontal-edges designed to fit together or "lap" for strength and stability. So, each board rests on the one below it, with a forward overlapping notch. Originally, shiplap’s overlapping design created a weather-tight surface along the grooves. Technically called “rabbeted,” these recesses or grooves milled along the edge of a piece of a plank of wood create the laps. When viewed as a cross-section, a rabbeted joint is two-sided so that the second plank overlapping the first joins both a parallel and a perpendicular face.

So, was it used on ships? The easy answer is “yes” with the caveat that the boards also had pitch or glue to make them completely watertight. In its true architectural form, shiplap is an exterior siding material used to make a building weather-proof. As the wood weather or ages, the original tight joint forms a slight gap, giving aged shiplap its distinctive look.

Modern shiplap

On television and modern interior design applications, however, wood treatments identified as shiplap sometimes originated as wood planking—planks of wood with slight gaps between them used to “sheet” walls for other coverings. In the days before drywall, such sheeting commonly added to the wall's stability in preparation for lath and plaster or wallpaper. These planks may or may not have rabbeted joints, but yet, colloquially designers refer to them as shiplap.

When such original planking comes from a remodel or renovation, its historical and design value includes nail holes and even slight pest damage (provided the worm, carpenter ant, or termite is long gone). The most common look is a white paint mimicking whitewash, but other colors create perfectly acceptable looks as well.

Shiplap versus tongue-and-groove: Unlike shiplap where each plank sets atop the other, tongue and groove joints interlock, making them useful for vertical as well as horizontal applications. Examples of tongue-and-groove include original beadboard and knotty-pine paneling applications as well. These choices offer a similar look and may fit your country or farmhouse-style too. Modern beadboard comes in full four-by-eight sheets making installation simpler than shiplap or tongue-and-groove.

Check out your local DIY retailer for more accessible alternatives to give you that coveted historic look.




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