The Playful Wall Feature Jenn Todryk Recommends To Dress Up A Children's Playroom

Children's spaces in the home can often be some of the trickiest rooms to outfit. Too often, the things that make a playroom fully functional like toys, books, and large play pieces like kitchens and dollhouses are fun for little ones but not very pretty to look at. In addition, not enough storage or visual interest can make it look like the least finished room in the home. HGTV's Jenn Todryk, known for her simple but beautiful transformations on the series "No Demo Reno," revealed how she maximized the style impact in a family's playroom by using shiplap on the walls in Season 3, Episode 3. The result was a dose of architectural interest and a cohesive look that pulled together the well-designed playroom space.

Shiplap, which involves a sequence of easily interlocking tongue and groove boards, has long been popular in coastal and modern farmhouse decor in various rooms throughout the home, granting instant texture and dimension to otherwise boring white walls. The material is perfect for a playroom or nursery for many reasons, including its simplicity and durability.

Benefits of shiplap in children's spaces

By using a simple white shiplap on the walls and ceiling of the playroom, Jenn Todryk was able to instantly unify and add dimension to the space without having to add a lot of color and artwork to the walls. While those elements can add a whimsical feel, when paired with all the stuff that comes with a playroom setup, they can easily become visually overwhelming. Shiplap also sets a great blank canvas that can grow as the children grow, offering a chance to change out artwork and accessories without major painting or wallpapering projects. Todryk said in the "No Demo Reno" episode, "With the shiplap being on the walls, it gives you freedom to not feel like you need to decorate the walls too much. You have a lot of interest in here."

The shiplap also complimented other aspects of the room, such as the pitched ceilings, deep shelves, and cubbies for storage, as well as the adorable window reading nook created by Todryk. Using the shiplap throughout a room can make a wide open space that could feel outsized and sterile, tremendously cozy and intimate. Shiplap is also easier to clean than other types of wood paneling or painted walls, which is very handy for removing small handprints or wayward finger paint.

Getting the look

Shiplap is an affordable and easily installed way to get a wood-paneled look in a playroom, averaging about $2.50 to $7 per square foot. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and wood varieties as well as several finishes, like weathered wood, that will accommodate your design aesthetic. It is widely available from retailers like Home Depot, which sells a six-pack of planks for $160, and Lowe's, offering $20 planks. They can also come in larger sheets that lock together for faster installation. Home improvement stores may even offer professional installation if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself, or you can contact a local handyman to do the job.

You can, as Jenn Todryk did, go for an all-over shiplap look for the feel of a cozy cottage. Or, use it along the lower half of a wall combined with other wall coverings like paint or wallpaper. It makes a perfect addition for box molding to make your plain wall stand out paired with a wainscotted look on the lower half of the wall for an elegant and old-world feel. If white feels too light, shiplap can also be found in a natural wood finish ($100 for a six-pack from Home Depot) or other very on-trend shades like gray, navy, and black (between $150 and $160 for a six-pack from Home Depot).