Headboard Designs To Decorate Your Bedroom

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You spend around a third of your life in bed, so it's important to make your sleeping area as comfortable and attractive as possible. Your bed, with its accompanying headboard and footboard, is usually the first thing people see when walking into your bedroom. Make your bed a decorative statement by choosing a headboard and footboard that reflect your taste, add function or design to your bed, and suit your bedroom and lifestyle.

There are countless options that will provide the best accent to your bedroom. Wrought iron gives a romantic, feminine feel. Heavy, ornate wood is a good choice for a traditional or global-inspired bedroom. A cottage or nautical-themed bedroom makes the perfect setting for shutters used as a headboard. There is no reason to limit yourself to a plain, boring, and unadorned headboard for fear of making a decorating mistake. Whether you are purchasing an entirely new bedroom set, or just sprucing up what you already own, you can find the perfect piece to set off your bed, and complement your bedroom.Asking yourself a few basic questions will lead you to the best choice for your headboard and footboard.

1. How Big Is Your Bedroom?

You want to keep your furnishings in scale with your bedroom size. A very small room will be overwhelmed with a large headboard. You might not want to use a traditional headboard at all, but hang a group of framed photos, paintings or architectural finds on the wall over your bed instead. Another nice look is to hang a mirror, or a trompe l'oeil "window" framed with shutters.

Smaller rooms will do best with a flat footboard that is attached directly to the bed frame, a small bench or trunk at the foot of the bed, or no footboard at all.

A large bedroom can take a large headboard. Choose a tall, padded headboard, an grand wooden or metal four-poster, or a built-in headboard that stretches to the ceiling. You can be unconventional, and forgo a headboard altogether in favor of heading your bed with a folding screen, tall shutters or an old door. Even a mantelpiece or fireplace surround can be used as a unique and eye-catching headboard.

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2. Where Are The Windows?

If your bed is placed between two windows, a larger, taller headboard will provide balance and fill the space to provide a solid presence for your bed. You can go with a tall, padded or upholstered headboard, a wooden headboard with some decorative carving, or use a quilt or tapestry hanging to provide harmony and a focal point above your bed.

Use a trunk, bench or solid footboard to give equal weight to the foot of the bed, and symmetry between the bed and windows.

3. What's Your Decorating Style?

  • A country bedroom looks welcoming with headboard choices such as a wooden, carved frame, a four-poster, wicker, or rustic touches such as picket fence, old doors, or shutters used as headboards. Wrought iron is another great choice.
  • If your taste runs more towards a contemporary look, sleek metal, leather upholstery or minimalist designs in dark colors and smooth lines will suit your style. A headboard and footboard that are wider than the bed give modern flair.
  • Canopies, sleigh beds, padded headboards with florals or feminine colors, and delicate wooden frames in light colors are all excellent choices for a feminine feel. A padded velvet bench makes a pretty footboard, and sets a delicate tone.
  • Your Asian-style bedroom will be best suited with a low, simple headboard and footboard in black, a framed-paper screen in place of a headboard, or a bed topper with Asian-themed inlays or carving.

4. How Do You Use Your Bed?

If you like to sit up in bed to read, watch TV, or use a laptop, an upholstered or padded headboard will provide a comfortable backrest. Padded and upholstered headboards are very stylish, and can be found with just about any color, pattern or fabric you might desire.

  • Choose a bold, colorful pattern for a contemporary room, or a muted earth tone or pastel if your taste runs more to the traditional.
  • A headboard with an unusual shape will provide extra interest. There are curved, carved, and angular padded headboards available, all of which make your bed a striking focal point.
  • Extra details such as buttons, piping, and edging are the finishing touch to the stylish, current look of upholstered headboards.

5. Do You Need Extra Storage In Your Room?

Look for a headboard and footboard that have built-in drawers, shelves, and storage cubbies. A platform bed allows you to have drawers under the bed, as well as at the head and foot. If your room size allows, think of using shelving units at the head of the bed, stretching out to either side. You can get the look yourself using bookshelves and prebuilt cabinets, or if your budget allows, have custom units designed and installed.

Your bed needs to suit your room, your taste and your lifestyle. There are headboard and footboard choices to fit every decorating scheme, even choosing to use something not normally thought of as bed frame furniture. Your headboard is one of the last things you see before closing your eyes at night, so be sure to choose something that makes you feel good, and sends you off to sleep with a smile.

Last Updated: August 17, 2011
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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