Let a pretty headboard set the style for your bedroom, and you'll be on your way to decorating success. A fabric-covered headboard can help you make decisions about color, theme, and other furnishings in the space. In this bedroom, a blue-and-white toile headboard inspired the wall color. The patterns on the bedding are more graphic, allowing the delicate toile pattern to flourish even more. Using the same fabric on the bed skirt creates visual continuity and establishes the dominance of the pattern within the bedroom's design.
A beautiful shape, a gorgeous material, and unique details are a sure-to-win formula for a headboard. This one in a nubby chocolate brown fabric gracefully stair-steps symmetrically and is accented by cording. If you're investing in a headboard, choose one in a pretty neutral that has both a great shape and extra details. It will withstand changes in your decor and will pair well with new throw pillows or a new wall color.
In an ethereal or calming room, choose a headboard with minimal visual weight to maintain the Zen. The geometric lattice construction of this headboard grounds the airy grays and whites in the bedroom without being visually disruptive. A similar pattern, turned on a diagonal, splashes across throw pillows on the bed for a unified look.
If an all-over pattern is too busy for your tastes, consider a pattern-blocking approach. Look for a headboard that only has pattern in select spots. This headboard features wide stripes of solid blue fabric alternating with stripes of a pretty ikat pattern. If you're DIY-ing a headboard, sew together strips of solid and patterned fabrics to get the same effect.
Keep proportion and room size in mind when choosing a headboard. A room with tall ceilings can handle a tall headboard, and a tall headboard -- such as this yellow-and-red block-print upholstered headboard -- can add scale to a small double bed. However, a too-tall headboard can dwarf the rest of the room.
A solid-color headboard can be just as dynamic as a patterned one, especially when paired with a pretty wallpaper. Consider wallpapering the wall behind your bed to turn the bed into a focal point, which will make a showstopping headboard the star of the room. If your headboard has a wood finish, match the stain to the other wood elements in your room, such as nightstands or chairs.
Functional and Practical
If you want the function of a headboard, but want a more subdued look, keep the shape of the headboard simple. A headboard the same color as the wall will also help the feature to blend in.
Nailhead trim is a popular detail on headboards and is usually applied just around the edges. This headboard uses the trim to both outline the piece's trim and to fashion a quatrefoil design in the center. Re-create the look by sketching a design on an upholstered headboard and adding the nailheads yourself.
Get the best of both worlds with a wood headboard that sports an ample upholstered panel. This headboard has traditional posts on both sides, along with fluted trim around the linen upholstered panel, which contributes a casual vibe to a beachside cottage bedroom.
Overscale black-and-white patterns pack a punch on their own, but when set against an electric-hue wall, the combination is wow-worthy. In this bedroom, a large-scale hybrid damask-paisley print is paired with a vibrant blue wall. Not sure you can commit to a room done entirely in such a standout color? Use the hue on just the wall behind your bed, and paint the other walls a lighter version of the same color.
Both the scale and finish of a headboard can be sources for drama. Here, a black lacquer finish on the headboard frame adds glossy sophistication, while the soaring posts draw the eye up toward the ceiling and the unique purple-and-white crown molding treatment.
Headboard Pattern Play
Complete your pattern mix with an upholstered headboard. Evaluate the other patterns in your bedroom and determine what scale of pattern might be missing. In this romantic cottage bedroom, the mix needed more medium-scale prints. The comforter and wallpaper are large-scale and the bed skirt and bed pillows bear small-scale prints. A green-and-white checkered print on the headboard bridges the gap between large and small.
A headboard doesn't have to be a boring slab of solid wood. Think outside the box and use the headboard as a way to add interest to the room. Here, a white headboard provides the perfect contrast to turquoise walls, and the background makes the geometric design pop.
If you have a headboard you love, but the wall color just doesn't do it justice, try adding some paint. Here, a purple rectangule painted on the wall behind the bed frames the creamy tufted headboard, making it stand out.
Use a solid-color headboard to offset bright patterned bedding. This natural wood headboard provides the perfect background for a palette of pretty pillows and linens, while the woven styling adds to the boho-chic look of this room. The light wood complements the colors and feel of the bedding and lamp.
Pick a Print
With a plain bedspread and neutral wall color, the headboard can be a perfect place to add a print. Pick fabric that blends in with the wall tone and bedspread for an elegant look. Or for a bolder statement, try a bright contrasting color. The large print in the fabric here breaks up a serene, monochromatic gray palette.
Upgrade a dull daybed to the status of a beautiful focal point with a fabric-covered headboard. The printed fabric matches the pillows, creating the perfect retreat for an afternoon daydream. This simple addition kicks the style up a notch in any room.
For a clean, crisp look, white is a good option. This headboard picks up on the bedspread color and frames the bed, but its main purpose is to let the green accents stand out.
Mix and Match
Use your headboard as an opportunity to tie your bedroom's color palette together. The pattern on this upholstered headboard incorporates hues used on the furniture, linens, and pillows, picking up the green stripe on the shams, the blue on the throw pillows, and the creamy white on the duvet and nightstand.
A headboard with stripes is an easy way to create a focal point in a room. The crisp, directional lines create movement, drawing attention to the bed. The stripes on this headboard complement the other prints and solids on the rug and bedding.
Patchwork quilts are a staple style in the world of bed linens. Try something new and bring the look to your headboard. Create this look by using squares of florist's foam, plywood, quilt batting, and fabric.
This bedroom brings together the best of old and new. This standout headboard is fashioned from distressed white tin ceiling tiles. The antique look is contrasted by bright green and pink that act as accent colors throughout the room, creating a charmingly eclectic look.
For a fast and simple change of scenery, swath your headboard with a striking tapestry, tablecloth, flat bedsheet, or any type of fabric. It's an easy way to update a look or try out bolder colors and patterns without committing to a permanent change.