s h i p l a p

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Do you think we can canonize Joanna Gaines for turning the whole world on to shiplap? I mean, really.  Because I think this woman’s creative genius makes her a saint in the decor world.  She took something that was typically considered substandard and made it the standard. Shiplap adds interest and texture to a room. It’s genius. And mama want.

Mama want it baaaaaad. 

A little history on shiplap: These horizontal boards were the base on which plaster was typically applied.  It was how walls were constructed before sheet rock was invented and turned a two step process into one. And so when Jo and Chip were flipping houses and trying to save on the budget, Jo decided along the way to just paint the shiplap white in the fixer uppers they were fixing where the shiplap had been exposed instead of covering it with expensive drywall.  And now? The whole world wants it.  Including me!

And so when it was finally decided that our mega mirror needed to go for good above our fireplace, I was waving the shiplap flag oh so high for the hubs.

If you’ve been following the blog you’ve been listening to me whine about this mirror for over a year. If you’re new to the blog, get out your sunglasses. This baby is big.

IMG_7359 (2)IMG_7351 (2)

You see that?  Yeah, how can you miss it. You know what’s hilarious? There are spotlights that aim right at this thing!  What I want to know is who ever turned those babies on? The FBI when they wanted to blind a suspect?  “Where were YOU on the night of . . . “.

I turned them on once. I saw spots for three days.

Shortly after moving in, I’d painted the honey oak facade white. (And all the trim on our main floor eventually ended up white as well.) But for those of you interested in seeing the original “before, before”, this is what the fireplace looked like when we bought our home in 2016.

Original FirePlace.jpg

Yes, this is what it looked like when we bought her.  Of course, I loved the soaring ceilings and all the light, and you can’t tell from this picture with nothing else to compare it to but this fireplace is HUGE. The mantel is almost 6 feet off the ground.  But the look is as out of style as Saved by the Bell. It was great in its day, but that day has passed.

It’s been a process but we’ve slowly brought this girl into the present day.

Here are a few more photos of the evolution of the fireplace. I want to showcase these because in one blog post it sure looks effortless to watch an evolution, but the truth is these projects take time. And we did this one in several phases. When all was said and done, this fireplace journey was over a year long from start to finish. So if you are staring at a project, just give yourself permission to take all the time you need to get it done.

Check out this (poor quality iPhone photo) false start. Matthew insisted he thought the fireplace would be great black. I didn’t disagree completely so thought I’d give it a whirl.

Hmmmm . . .  nope. The minute I finished it I hated it.

After Close Up

I lied to myself but knew I hated it. So a couple months later when Matthew was on a hunting trip . . . this happened.


Ok, yes. Much better.

And this is what we lived with for about the next year. Here are some photos I’ve shared over the past year on the blog of this space through the seasons:

fireplaceliving-after-similar-angle-2good-living-after-treeDining RoomGarlandGarland 2Living Birds EyeIMG_6852 (2)

I love this space and have photographed it a lot. And as you can see, I just made the mirror work. It’s what you do if you aren’t living in a custom build you designed, right? You just roll with it. And so we rolled.

Until last weekend. It was time.

And so the mirror was removed (do not even ASK how that happened, I am just thankful to report that not one drop of blood resulted – phew!).  And the magical shiplap went up.

Matthew in Action

If you are eagle eyed you may notice a very rich in character rustic beam leaning in the corner behind the chair next to the fireplace in some of my photos.  That – is our new mantel. We bought it a year ago. It is 150 years old and was reclaimed from a barn in Minnesota. Dakota Timber was having a sale last winter so we went to check it out and came home with our “some day future mantel”.  Of course, life was busy. Too busy to rip off our mantel so it just leaned in the corner for 12 months. Guests would sometimes inquire, “Um, what is that giant tree?” and we would enthusiastically tell them it was our someday mantel!

Home improvement projects are done in phases, I truly believe that. And patience pays off.  You don’t believe me? Well, check out the final result. I’d say it was worth the wait, wouldn’t you?

Sunny View (2).jpg

Sunny from Right 2 (2).jpg

Mantel from left

Let’s do a little time travel one last time, shall we? Remember, this is what we started with when we bought our home.

From this: Original FirePlace

To this!

Sunny View (2)

Ta da!

Now then, for all the gory details. Not only do projects often take time and even have some false starts and do overs (let’s not forget the two month period where the facade was just far too dark), this phase had a few change orders along the way as well.

See the photo of Matthew in action. Note the shiplap was not white? It was a distressed white.  Only once we got it in place did we realize it was not the look we really wanted.  The distressing fought with the reclaimed mantel, and we really wanted that beauty to stand out more. So I ended up chalk painting the shiplap white (which is its standard and classic look) and we both loved it a lot better.

We were also originally going to frame in the shiplap with reclaimed wood on the sides as well. (The “up” boards.)  But our  reclaimed board was too thick and we found out we couldn’t have it cut in half for four weeks. Ugh. So, Matthew went to Menard’s and bought cedar ones already in the right size. And those got chalk painted as well. Plan A turns to Plan B and Plan C and sometimes even Plan D! And that is ok.

Just liked we rolled with the mirror for a year. We rolled with these changes as well.

And in the end? We finally have the fireplace facade that reflects our style and personalities.

And of best of all, mama got her shiplap.

And mama like.

Peace, Joy and Blessings, 



To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. 


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