Shiplap and x-patterns have been used as interior design elements for hundreds of years, but where did they come from?
Shiplap refers to boards that are cut with rabbets on the horizontal sides so that they interlock. This is thought to be from shipbuilding, as the joints would be sealed with pitch to create a ship’s hull. This style of wood later became popular on home exteriors. Before the advent of sheetrock, shiplap was also used to form interior walls. The shiplap was then covered by cheesecloth or muslin, which was used as a base for wallpaper.
X-patterns come from utilitarian use as a means of reinforcing barn and stall doors that were constantly opening and closing. The image below is from Page 243, Plate No. 90, Miscellaneous Details – Doors, Woodward’s National Architect published in 1869. If you look closely you can see “Section on P R” which shows a shiplap variation as part of the Stick Door.
How can you use these elements in your project? Shiplap and x-patterns, when used together, are commonly thought of Farmhouse Design elements – but they have many more applications.
Here is an example of how shiplap and x-patterns add interest to a shaker-inspired kitchen. On the center island, as well as the vent hood. The x-pattern anchors both sides of the island and picks up the color of the flooring material, glass-front cabinets and open shelving.
Refined Take On An X-Pattern
Here is an example of Medallion Cabinetry’s Wakefield Raised Panel and Wellington Raised Panel maple Divinity Classic. It pays homage to the simplicity of the x-pattern and gives it a classic update.
Shiplap doesn’t have to be a particular width. Here is a tropical interpretation where the width of the shiplap is reminiscent of louvered shutters found in Caribbean plantation houses. This example shows Bahamas Oak Cottage, with a White Dry Brush finish and Brookhill Raised Panel Maple finished in Castle Rock Sheer. Note the x-pattern reference in the wine storage area.
This Transitional-style two-tone kitchen contains both traditional and modern elements. The Ellison Flat Panel Maple White Icing finish with Pewter Highlights pays homage to shaker designs and the updated mullions on the island are a nice foil for the modern statement chairs. The island is nicely anchored by a sleek x-pattern.
These are just a few examples of how we can help you integrate shiplap and x-patterns into traditional and transitional kitchen designs. Contact us – we would like to help you with your upcoming project.