Headboards might be low on your list of revamp priorities, but the best ones can anchor and even inspire a whole scheme
Houzz Contributor. I am an editor, journalist, web and copywriter. I was Editor of… More
Redesigning your bedroom? Don’t even think about starting it until you’ve checked out these handsome headboards. Find out which shape and size will work in your space, then steal their style or be inspired to create your own design with these expert tricks and techniques.
This stylish headboard has a freeform look thanks to hexagon-shaped tiles, which give the appearance of having been scattered across the wall. Cement tiles like these are nice and chunky, so are a good choice for a headboard, as it’ll feel substantial. In this case, the tiles are reclaimed and have a lovely worn surface with bags of character, but some handmade encaustic tiles will give a similar effect.
In keeping with this relaxed mood, colours are soft and a rustic side table bolsters the informal feel.
As well as looking great and creating a unique headboard design, tiles will protect painted – and much leaned against – walls from damage and dirt. (If your headboard is painted, incidentally, go for an eggshell finish that you can wipe down.)
Choose curves for interest
In a boxy room with little architectural interest, adding a shapely headboard can break up the straight lines. Enhance the curves by padding and upholstering it, so it’s not only visually interesting, but inviting, too.
Browse headboards in the Houzz Shop
Define your scheme
Headboard upholstery fabric can also be the starting point and inspiration for your scheme. Plain or patterned fabric? For shapely headboards, as in the previous photo, plain fabrics let the curves do the talking. For angular, rectangular ones, as here, a pattern can add interest.
Choose small prints for a more traditional bedroom; larger motifs suit a more modern space.
Contrast natural materials
Going for a hip, laid-back boutique hotel look? Opt for a length of bashed, antiqued metal and simply screw it to the wall. This material works best against softer, warmer ones, so think grainy wood panelling for the walls, texture-rich linen for curtains and cushions, and strokable throws in velvet or faux fur to ramp up the comfort levels.
Repurpose a screen
A headboard needn’t actually be a headboard; using something that’s the right width and height, such as a screen, will add a characterful feel to the room. Hunt down one online or in a junk shop and upcycle it, or find an MDF blank you can upholster, wallpaper or paint.
Customise your headboard
Putting a headboard in a teen’s bedroom? Why not create one using wallpaper with a blackboard design? Choose from brainy-looking equations, as here, or any number of fun doodles or slogans.
Alternatively, you could try using blackboard paint and let them scribble themselves. Whether they create arty sketches, work out maths problems or use it as a calendar, it will be an ever-changing backdrop that works perfectly with a contemporary scheme. Just make sure they keep their chalky artwork away from the bed itself to avoid dusty pillows!
Coordinate a twin room
If you’re redesigning a guest or shared bedroom, choosing matching headboards – and coordinating covers and cushions – will make the room look smart and well-thought-out.
Hanging coordinating pictures and matching lamps above the beds will provide further pleasing symmetry for a neat finish.
These reclaimed wood headboards are useful as well as good-looking, being deep enough to use as shelves – especially handy when space is too tight for bedside tables.
How to fit a bedside shelf into even the tiniest room
Create modern Scandi style
Like a pared-back scheme that’s packed with tons of natural texture? Choose a deep-grained wood for your headboard. It could be a beautiful, irregularly shaped offcut, like this, or more angular tongue-and-groove or parquet flooring, fixed to a piece of MDF cut to size.
Make it the focus by picking a wood that contrasts in finish and colour to the other woods in the room.
Add a vintage feel
Vintage bamboo or wicker headboards abound online – and can be given a very quick and easy update with spray paint. Give yours a dust and rub down with a damp cloth, allow to dry, then spray with a couple of coats of gloss paint.
Choose a pastel shade for a vintage feel – or a bold colour for a more contemporary appeal.
How tall to make your headboard? In a small room or one with a low ceiling, aim for a headboard that doubles the height of the bed and won’t overwhelm the space. In a high-ceilinged bedroom, you can afford to go much taller, with a floor-to-ceiling, padded headboard like this making the bed the room’s focal point, and the finish luxurious, hotel style.
What’s your headboard like? Would you swap it for any of these? Tell us in the Comments below.