Achieving The Ultimate Farmhouse Look With White Board and Batten and Cedar Shakes


As board and batten siding gains popularity in modern design, it’s easy to think that it’s yet another design trend that will be gone as quickly as it began. However, board and batten siding has actually been used as home siding since early American settlers built sawmills and began to move away from log cabins in favor of wood framed homes. They needed siding to protect their homes from the elements, a practice that was already in place in Europe.

While there are many other siding options available today, board and batten siding has retained its appeal as a simple yet aesthetically distinct siding option, and paired with cedar shakes, it brings an element of nostalgia to modern home design.

What Is Board And Batten Siding?

To create board and batten siding, wide boards are attached to the exterior of the home and thin strips of wood, called battens, are used to cover the seams between the boards. Boards are typically about one foot wide and the battens are ½-inch wide.

Board and batten siding was historically popular because of its simplicity, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Large trees can be cut into slabs, some of which are used as the boards while others can be cut into the battens. After it’s attached to the home, barn, or shed, the siding can be stained or painted any color to both add aesthetic value, and seal it to protect it from the elements. If left to weather naturally, board and batten siding will take on a soft gray appearance over time.

Where Is Board And Batten Siding Used?

Traditionally, board and batten siding was used for barns and sheds and often for siding on houses ranging from Victorian to Craftsman styles. Today, board and batten has experienced a resurgence, not out of necessity, but out of its ability to support different design styles and achieve a simple look.

Board and batten siding is popular on ranch, farmhouse, and barndominium style homes. It’s able to achieve a simple yet polished look and can be painted or stained any color. Along with board and batten siding, cedar shakes are a popular choice for these styles of homes.

The rise in popularity of the farmhouse chic style along with a growing interest in barndominiums — either barns converted into homes or homes designed to look like a barn — has given new life to board and batten siding, especially white board and batten with cedar shakes.

White Board And Batten With Cedar Shakes

In the early days of home construction, cedar shakes were a preferred roofing material due to the availability of cedar. Cedar trees could be split into shakes that could then be nailed to the roof and act as protection for the home. Like board and batten siding, cedar shakes could be stained to protect them from the elements and support a certain design style, but they could also be left to weather on their own to a soft silvery gray.

Today’s home designs lend themselves well to white board and batten with cedar shakes. The clean and fresh aesthetic of white board and batten siding perfectly complements the rich tones of natural cedar shakes.

Composite Cedar Shakes: A Better Alternative

Natural cedar shakes come with a host of problems. When they weather, they tend to crack, warp, cup, and split. With regular maintenance, cedar shakes can still fall prey to the elements, and with treatment, they have a low fire resistance and are prohibited in some building codes.

With today’s innovative materials and manufacturing techniques, it’s possible to design a home that uses white board and batten with cedar shakes to achieve a clean aesthetic on farmhouse style homes and barndominiums.

Brava offers realistic Cedar Shakes that capture the look of authentic cedar through our use of molds cast from hand-split Western Red Cedar shakes. Our state-of-the-art compression molding technology makes our product the strongest shake available.

Brava’s composite Cedar Shakes can provide many benefits for home with white board and batten:

  • Natural look and feel

  • Superior strength and durability

  • A range of beautiful colors that mimic natural weathering

  • Every shake is unique with no repeating patterns

  • Class A and C fire ratings

  • 50-year transferable warranty

  • No maintenance

  • Closed-cell materials that prevent water absorption

  • Sustainable and manufactured with a blend of high-grade, high-spec pre-consumer recycled plastic materials, natural minerals, and binders

  • Recyclable at the end of their (long) life

Contact the experts at Brava today to discover the perfect cedar shakes to complement white board and batten siding.