Jul 25, 2012

Need a headboard? Try these ideas.

Adding a headboard to a bed can create a terrific focal point, add storage, and add a finishing element to a room. Gaining storage is a plus for small bedrooms and adding architectural detail often completes a large one.  My advice on this project - some are DIY - use the best quality materials you can. Hire a pro if you cannot fabricate a high-quality product. Since you'll look at it daily, you want it to be the best it can.

1) Shelf headboard. This is a very quick idea that adds storage as well as architectural detail. This custom shelf is painted yellow for a cottage style room. Purchasing free-standing shelves from a big box store works well but be sure the shelves are affixed together; you can even add doors to the shelves.  Adding moldings creates a built-in look. 

2) Fabric headboard.  A very standard idea that has many variations. Soft, attractive, a place to add color and texture, this option is less expensive than a four poster or sleigh style bed. Make it a high quality fabric like Sunbrella or Ultra-Suede so it is durable, cleanable and safe.

3) Upholstered wall. Rather than defining the area just above the bed, use fabric and batting to pad the entire floor-to-ceiling space behind the bed for a great look.

4) Floating Shelves.  While not the best alternative for a child's room, floating shelves are a sleek way to add detail above a bed. Great for guest rooms when books, lighting, toiletries and other items are within reach for guests. This affords you the opportunity to change the decor and re-position the shelves as needed.

5) Recessed shelve haves. If you have a large niche - common in California tract homes, flanking the bed with recessed shelves looks nice and functions well. In a large room, you can create this on one wall and add depth to the space. The shelves are perfect for books, photo frames and collectibles; be sure to tuck in some lighting.

6) Panels.  Any type of panel, whether it's wood or fabric or a found object, can be hung as a headboard and add an artistic element. Ideas include mirror frames, Asian artifacts and even plywood painted or stained to complement the room decor.

7) Architectural salvage. Windows, shutters, doors, old mantles and other elements salvaged from prior use, make wonderful headboards. How about an old gate, a wrought iron fence, and even the mirror from an old bedroom set? For simplicity hang a wooden curtain rod above the bed and drape an old quilt or decorative fabric over it so it becomes the headboard.