Family Room Gets Rustic Renovation


Faux shiplap fireplace with mantel and candle on accent table
Faux shiplap is an affordable way to update a fireplace surround and give a room a rustic renovation.

When your house has the right size, shape and location, but not the right character for your family, it’s time for a rustic renovation.

At the edge of a cotton field is a subdivision where Trent and Crystal Gatlin live with their three daughters, Madeline, Reese and Hayden.

We’re helping Crystal and Trent add some rustic charm to their family room.

Here are some of the projects we will tackle:

Update the Fireplace


Our fireplace upgrades include installing a split brick surround and adding a new maple mantel and corbels.

We cover up the framing on the fireplace and install the split brick surround. We use construction adhesive to secure the bricks in a running bond pattern. The staggered layout is useful for homes with uneven surfaces — because the tiles are not placed in a straight line, imperfections are difficult to spot.

We install split brick around the fireplace and apply a German Schmear finish for an old-world look.
The technique is sort of like whitewashing with latex paint, but you spread wet mortar (and remove some before it dries).


  1. My husband would like to know if you can provide the information for the ship lap you purchased at Home Depot for this project, please. Thank you

    • Hi, Sherry!
      We used luan, or lauan, plywood for the faux shiplap in this project.
      It cost just $50 and was an affordable alternative to the real thing!
      We highly recommend it to ‘get the look’ on a budget.
      Good luck with your project!

  2. I was thrilled to see you with an alternative to “real” shiplap. It is much thinner, less costly and has the same look.

    Thank you again!


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