Choosing A Headboard To Match Your Style


While the bed frame plays a part in your bed’s style – the headboard is the star of the show. There are as many headboards to choose from as there are mattresses on the planet, it seems like, so choosing the right one for your bedroom can get confusing pretty quickly.

Have you identified your design style? This is one of the simplest ways to narrow your bed design options. If you’re a modernist, you’ll typically be attracted to a different set of headboards than if you’re a traditionalist.

Not quite sure where you fall on the “Design Style o’ Meter?” Read, What’s Your Interior Design Style, and you’ll be pointed in the right direction. Once you’ve determined what you like – and what you aren’t as fond of – it will be easier to do online searches for bed frame images.

  1. Start searching images. Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred style, start using Google images, Houzz or other online interior design platforms to view images of beds with those keywords attached to them. Print out, bookmark or use an online design idea book to save images you like. This will help you to continue whittling the choices.
  2. Think about your bedroom. Often, the size of your bedroom dictates the type of bed frame that will work. If you have a large bedroom, the world is your oyster. However, medium- to smaller-sized bedrooms will want to think about proportion. For example, you may be a traditionalist who loves four-poster beds, but that bed will take over a small room. Then again, this might be something to work with, creating a magical bedroom where the bed is the focus – furnished with comfortable accent pillows, chiffon drapes, etc. – truly a boudoir effect.
  3. How tall are your ceilings? This is Part 2 to Number 2. Using the four-poster example again…a tall headboard will make a low ceiling feel even lower. If you have ceilings that are the standard 8-feet, an interior designer would say to choose a lower-profile headboard. If you are drawn to taller headboards, use other tricks to add height – like mounting window curtains closer to the ceiling so floor-length drapes give the illusion of height.
  4. Think about wear and tear. I once had a lovely wooden headboard with a large rattan insert. It was gorgeous…until about the 10th time my elbow punched the back while readjusting my reading position. It formed an unmistakable hole that was difficult to hide, even with the pillows set just right. That was an expensive repair, but it was necessary to preserve the look of the headboard. Think about how you use your bed. If you only sleep there – a higher-maintenance material will be fine. If you read or work in bed, propped up on pillows, consider that when choosing the headboard’s materials. For example, upholstered headboards are lovely, and comfortable – but you might need to invest in a steam cleaner to remove oils from hair and hair products that will build up over time.
  5. Comfort level. Continuing with the comfort theme, wrought iron beds are a versatile option, but they aren’t all that comfortable when you want to read or work on your laptop. So that way the headboard will feel when it comes in contact with your head, a hand or an errant arm is definitely a consideration, even if it isn’t a driving force while making your selection.
  6. Is it a feature? Do you want your headboard to be a feature in the room, adding texture, color or depth? Or would you prefer the bedrame to fade into the background, blending with surrounding colors and features? Some headboards are barely there while others scream, “look at me!”

The bed is typically the largest furnishing in your bedroom so it’s important to choose the right headboard for the job. Having a difficult time deciding? Bring your ideas to me at Kristina Wolf Design and I can help you choose the best option for your bedroom’s interior design.

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Kristina Wolf Design, Inc., Interior Decorators & Designers, Berkeley, CA