What one blogger learned while adding nickel gap shiplap to her home. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated June 13, 2018
Stacy Allen Kitchen Renovation
"Flooring can get really expensive," Stacy warned, as I admired the gorgeous tile floor in her kitchen. "We love the look of marble, so instead, we got a marble look in a ceramic tile," she explained. The finished look is every bit as luxurious as real marble, but it's much more affordable—and it won't stain as easily (which is a big plus in a home with kids and pets!). Want to see more of Stacy's stunning home? Follow along on Instagram and check out what she's writing on her blog
| Credit: Katie Holdefehr

Open a decor magazine, scroll through Pinterest, or log onto Instagram, and chances are good you'll come across a beautiful room with walls decked out in shiplap. Thanks to Fixer Upper and Joanna Gaines's iconic style, the white wood wall planks have been trending for a while now, with everyone from professional designers to home bloggers trying out the look. If you've been curious about installing shiplap in your own home, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start nailing wood planks to your kitchen walls.

When we toured the beautiful home of photogragher Stacy K. Allen, the blogger behind Mountainside Home, and spotted the gorgeous DIY shiplap throughout, we had to ask her for her top tricks. Here are three things to think about before you install shiplap in your home.

Consider alternate materials.

When Stacy and her husband Jarrod decided to add shiplap to her kitchen's dining nook, they chose to use pine boards for a more substantial, authentic look. But after spotting how great DIY shiplap looked in the home of a friend who used inexpensive plywood, Stacy was convinced. "Some people just use plywood. Which is awesome, and I really kind of like the look a little bit better, because with the pine boards, the knots kind of come through," Stacy explains. The knots give the walls a rustic, natural look, but plywood provides a more seamless, minimalist effect. "I think if we were to do it again, we might go the plywood route, just because it’s straighter and there’s not as many imperfections."

Then, once you decide on a material, shop around for the best deal. Stacy recommends visiting your local lumber company, which is often cheaper than buying from a big hardware store.

Try just a touch of shiplap.

If covering all four walls of a room in shiplap feels a little bit overwhelming, try introducing just a touch of the material on one standout feature. In her beautiful kitchen, Stacy installed shiplap to the dining nook, as well as to the oven hood. Start small with one accent wall, a headboard, or even a fireplace before committing to covering the entire room. It will give you a chance to test your DIY skills—and lets you live with the look before you make a move.

It's called "nickel gap" for a reason.

Sometimes known as nickel gap shiplap, the process of installing shiplap really does require stocking up on spare change. "We had the kids go to the coin jar and get nickels, and then you put nickels in there when you’re installing," says Stacy. The coins placed in between the boards ensures that the spacing is even, and that the boards will all line up. Once you nail in one board and install the board above it, you take the nickels out and repeat the process. "We’ve done it so many times, it’s really a lot easier than you would think," Stacy reassures us.

Also, just because it's shiplap doesn't mean it has to be painted white! In Stacy's son Jude's room (above), the wood planking is painted a cool shade of black. Want more home decorating ideas and DIY inspiration? Follow Stacy on Instagram to see what she's working on next.