I love decorating bedrooms. Even though the design is somewhat constrained by needing to have some specific pieces of furniture, the ability to help someone create a retreat, a special place just for them, is rewarding. Unlike the public spaces of a home that are decorated for daily activities and guests, bedrooms are the private part of the home and can be whatever we want.
A Bedroom’s Most Important Feature
The bed is the focal point of a bedroom. It’s the largest piece of furniture and the most frequently used. It sets the style of the room and the bedding introduces and reinforces the color scheme. Headboards, footboards, 4 poster beds or bunk beds each lend their own stamp to a room.
But, what if all you have is a frame, mattress and box springs. No headboard. How do you make the bed become the focal point it should be? How about trying one of these ideas?
DIY Headboard Ideas
This headboard would be easy to replicate. Use a freestanding bookcase tucked in behind the bed or find a charming old curio shelf, recylce it by painting it a coordinating color and attach to the wall with a few molly bolts. Great for kids or a guest room.
This very sleek look could be accomplished by wrapping an appropriate sized piece of 1/4″ plywood with some quilt batting then wrap it with linen, burlap or the textured fabric of your choice. The trim could be nailheads placed close together or a gimp or braid trim glued or stitched in place. I like the placement of the art above the bed that reinforces the restful, horizontal lines.
This room is obviously small – the bed and nightstands barely fit so I’m imagining there’s not really room for a headboard. Clever Martha created one with a pretty piece of fabric hung from a curtain rod. If you sew, all the better: add a contrasting border or some pretty trim. If you don’t, how about looking for a pretty patterned curtain panel?
Another version of the same idea but the drapery hardware contributes more of a statement. For maximum drama, take the fabric panel all the way to the ceiling. Or maybe try a soft gather for some volume.
This clever use of fabric adds pattern and reinforces the angle of the ceiling by using a couple of rods. You could also use bamboo poles, painted dowels, or long branches for a really natural “think outside the box” solution.
There are lots of things I like about this faux headboard. I like the way the patterned pieces aren’t even with the solids. I like how it climbs the ceiling for a touch of the unexpected. I like how it blends into the wall…..except where it doesn’t.
While I’m sure it wasn’t showcased as a DIY project (it was in Architectural Digest after all), how could you create a similar look? You might use painted canvas panels or stretched fabric. It could be painted wood with the patterned pieces created by decoupage (try family photos or themed photos) or covered with fabric. You could further personalize those patterned sections with a contrasting painted edge or gluing on decorative items that reinforce your scheme: shells, sewing trim, tulle, or even oversize washers from the hardware store. Whatever floats your boat.
Paint Always Works
Sometimes the best solution is also the easiest. My guest room has one of those ‘naked’ beds with pretty new bedding but no headboard. I had the room but not the inclination to buy one. So I freehanded some branches roughly approximating the look on the bedding. It cost me a $5 can of sample color paint and a couple hours time.
A more sophisticated look would be to use a single oversized stencil to make a graphic statement. I actually bought this stencil (from Cutting Edge Stencils, ETSY) though I haven’t used it yet. My plan is to use it in my entry way for a strong wallpaper type damask look. I’ll be sure to share results when I actually finish the project.
No Headboard, No Problem
When is a good time to forego a traditional headboard? Small rooms with no room for the extra foot or more a headboard can take up, no room in the budget, don’t want to get locked into a particular style by buying an expensive piece of furniture, you are an apartment dweller and move fairly often – all good reasons to try one of these more flexible headboard solutions.
How have you solved the ‘no headboard’ problem? Share your creative solutions with us by leaving a comment below the ads – just click on the word “Comment” and you’ll get a text box. We love hearing from you.