Ask the expert: Shiplap paneling

Roswell-area designer Anisa Darnell explains why she enjoys using the material
Shiplap paneling
Kitchen by Julie Holloway of Milk and Honey Home and Anisa Darnell of Truth & Co.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Sure, you could choose beadboard, board-and-batten, even tongue-and-groove paneling. But with its slightly raw, overlapping boards, shiplap siding gives rooms a cheerful, almost seaside ambience—perhaps because its rabbet joints were derived from boat-building techniques.

“We love adding shiplap because it adds so much character and depth. It makes a room feel so much more cozy,” says Roswell-area designer Anisa Darnell, who has been using the material—generally installed horizontally and painted white—for about five years. Her favorite is spruce boards, complete with knots and imperfections, which enhance a cottagey interior. However, she’s also used the fiberboard version, which is sleeker and more uniform, in spaces that have a slightly modern flavor.

Occasionally you can get the look by painting old paneling white. But if the grooves are asymmetrical, Darnell warns, it’s still going to look dated. See more of Darnell’s work at

This article originally appeared in our Spring 2016 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.