Board and batten is ready for its moment of fame indoors—and these ideas can help you bring it home.

By Lauren Phillips
March 18, 2019
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Courtesy of Ashton Woods

You may not have heard of board and batten, but it could be the answer to those dull, lackluster walls in your home that even creative paint colors can’t fix. Sometimes, the solution to a difficult spot in your home is a little woodworking and a little texture. You may—fondly or not—recall the shiplap craze of a few years ago: It’s a little too soon to be certain, but board and batten might just be the next shiplap.

Shiplap, used indoors or out, introduces texture to rooms. It offers a rustic, relaxed alternative to smooth, unadorned walls; it can be painted nearly any color and used on a ceiling, as an accent wall (if you believe they’re still in style), or as an all-wall covering. And anything shiplap can do, board and batten can do, too. (Better is subjective.)

A board and batten wall indoors, in a bedroom

Courtesy of Ashton Woods

Like shiplap and other siding styles—think beadboard and tongue-and-groove—board and batten is a relatively simple wood construction that can be added to any preexisting wall (good news for remodelers and renovators). And, according to Jay Kallos, senior vice president of architecture at homebuilder Ashton Woods, it’s a trend you can have fun with.

“I have seen it on ceilings, I’ve seen it as wainscoting, and I’ve seen entire walls out of it,” Kallos says. He and his team at Ashton Woods will even use it as walling for unfinished basements, where it can be left as-is, painted, or replaced when the basement is spruced up.

You could just try painting interior doors to give your home a little oomph, but board and batten is a way to give a room—or a whole house—an upgrade that feels a little more custom. No one will ever know that it was a DIY project, an a relatively simple one at that, and you can sand it down, remove it, repaint it, add to it, and more as trends change. If you’re feeling creative, a board and batten wall can even stray from the standard vertical orientation.

A board and batten interior project can be paired with a board and batten exterior, or it can stand alone as a rustic—or not so rustic—look. (A monochromatic color scheme can make even this originally rustic wall feel elegant.)

Take a look at these board and batten ideas for a little inspiration, and think about it—you could have this shiplap replacement before anyone else. It just takes some wood and a little construction know-how.

Courtesy of Ashton Woods

1

This board and batten wall serves as an accent, both in color—navy is a no-fail option for even neutral spaces—and texture. The room is neutral and relaxed, but giving a single wall a little character helps the space feel more interesting without ruining that restorative atmosphere.

Courtesy of Ashton Woods

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Board and batten’s roots might make it a surprising pick for a formal dining room, but it also helps bring this typically stiff space to life. A white paint color helps the texture pop, and a smooth, milled finish allows it to keep a bit of the sophisticated edge you’d want in an entertaining space. Trim at the top and bottom of the paneling—and a dark wood floor—further adds to the elegant feel. This application veers toward typical wall paneling, but the look can be easily replicated with a more relaxed board and batten use.

Courtesy of Ashton Woods

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Wainscoting is incredibly versatile, and adding a little board and batten texture to it further distinguishes this home’s design from others. Using board and batten on a high-traffic space, like an entryway and staircase, can also minimize the appearance of scuffs, scratches, and more, especially when the installation uses more raw, unmilled wood (or a composite similar to wood) than that pictured here.