Before & After: Living Room Walls Go from Faux Finish Stucco to Stylish Shiplap

published Apr 3, 2016
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Project by: Adam Bechtold of Adam Bechtold Interiors
Location: Great Falls, Virginia

Though the room above could certainly fit the tastes of plenty of people, to the young couple who bought this 1970s colonial-style house (their first home), it didn’t fit their style (and felt rather dated to them). So they enlisted the help of Adam Bechtold to take this room from traditional style to something more cozy and nature-filled. The room now has the relaxed and modern feel they wanted for entertaining guests. Find the inspiration and resources in this post.

(Image credit: Adam Bechtold)

From the designer Adam:

I have been working with this young, newlywed couple for the past year. They purchased their first home together last spring in suburban Washington, DC. They wanted to instantly update it to feel natural, modern and relaxed. It is a mid-70s colonial that had been added onto here and there over the past few decades.

It was in good shape but definitely needed some updating. We updated every room in the house but their living room was most important to them. It’s the first room you see when you enter through the front door and they wanted it to make a good first impression. They love to entertain and relax with guests in this room.

(Image credit: Adam Bechtold)

They both love nature and the outdoors so we decided to make this room feel natural. We did that with light, neutral colors and incorporating objects from the outdoors like botanicals, coral, and other oddities from nature along with natural materials like linen, stone, plaster and wood. The walls originally had a faux stucco finish on them. I knew this would be hard to paint over and conceal so we decided to add shiplap paneling and then painted in Farrow & Ball’s Elephant’s Breath.

(Image credit: Adam Bechtold)

The first thing you notice as you enter the room are the antique 1890 botanicals on the wall. They hang above a bluestone console table that holds a massive purple barnacle specimen and a 1960s Italian plaster clam shell. The seating area is centered around a modern glass waterfall table that doesn’t distract you from the rest of the room. We have a comfortable white linen sofa and a pair of mid-century teak chairs recovered in a fern fabric by Lauren Liess. In between them sits a petrified wood cocktail table. A black and white Moroccan shag rug anchors the space.

(Image credit: Adam Bechtold)

In one corner the drinks are served off a white lacquered butler’s tray stand while a turtle shell hangs above. In the opposite corner stands a massive curiosity cabinet filled to the brim with shells, geodes, coral, shark jaws and an impressive fossilized alligator skull. The curio cabinet and its contents make for lots of intrigue and conversation during cocktail parties!

In the end, this living room turned out just as we had hoped. It is a sophisticated yet relaxed space filled with beautiful objects from the land and sea. It is officially no longer called the living room and has now been dubbed the “shiplap room.”

Source List

  • Botanicals – Twig House
  • Barnacle and Clam Shell – Brimfield
  • 17th Century Italian Vellum Book – Foxfire Antiques
  • Bluestone Parsons Console Table – RH
  • Waterfall Coffee Table – Wisteria
  • Book – Tom Ford
  • French Plaster Death Mask – Twig House
  • Mid Century Teak Chairs – Twig House
  • Filigree Chevron Fabric on Chairs – Lauren Liess
  • Petrified Stone Cocktail Table – Terrain
  • Stone & Iron Cocktail Table – Twig House
  • White Linen Sofa – Crate & Barrel
  • Pillows – Studio McGee
  • Antique English Mirror – The Outpost
  • Moroccan Shag Rug – West Elm
  • Butler’s Tray – West Elm
  • Curiosity Cabinet – RH
  • Paint – Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath

Thanks, Adam Bechtold!

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