Bedrooms

Above the bed decor ideas – 12 ways to decorate over a bed

Top ways to enhance the space over the bed – for a stylish and curated aesthetic

botamical art prints above bed in bedroom by Kitesgrove
(Image credit: Kitesgrove)

When it comes to above the bed decor ideas, there's a multitude of chic options to suit every taste, from adding a shelf to showcasing plants and art, to hanging an eclectic mix of mirrors or artwork.

The wall above a bed is so often overlooked, but it can be a canvas to elevate your bedroom scheme and create a strong focal point, drawing attention to a beautiful headboard, too.

These over the bed wall decor ideas are just some of our favorites – adding them to your wishlist of bedroom ideas can enrich your space.

Above bed decor ideas

Bedroom wall decor ideas are often centered around a feature wall, such as one with a chimney breast on it. However, using the wall over the bed to create a display can be hugely effective, especially in a space that has little architectural interest or, indeed, space.

'Above the bed decor ideas are traditional ways to bring a focal point to the bedroom, whether it be a statement wall color or wallpaper pattern, or a piece of art,' says Connor Prestwood, interior designer at home decor brand Dowsing & Reynolds

1. Make a statement with a mural

A bedroom color idea with wall mural and layers of tonal brown bedding and accessories

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

Wall mural ideas are an easy way to add drama to a space with little effort – and decorating with murals is a trend that's on the rise. 

'A marvellous mural has always been popular, but something extra striking and eye-catching is most definitely what we’re seeing more of in bedrooms,' says Lucy St George, of Rockett St George. 'Perfect for making a statement on the wall of your bed, bold metallics, florals or a marble effect will always add character to your sleeping space.'

2. Incorporate natural elements with botanical art

botanical art prints above bed in bedroom by Kitesgrove

(Image credit: Kitesgrove)

You simply can't go wrong with a pretty botanical print. Their popularity dates all the way back to Victorian times and the look is truly timeless, perfect for country vibes and elegant gallery wall ideas.

'Artwork is a go-to for us at Sims Hilditch when planning what will hang above a bed in a bedroom,' says Louise Wicksteed, Sims Hilditch Design Director. 

'Be sure to choose something that mirrors your chosen aesthetic. For instance, if your home is in the country and you have opted for lots of natural materials in your interior, you might select an antique print of the local wildlife or scenery.'

3. Bounce light around the room with multiple mirrors

An example of bedroom ceiling light ideas showing a black bed in front of decorative gold wall mirrors and below a large blue, pink and green ceiling light

(Image credit: Future / Richard Powers)

Why stick to one mirror when you can make the wall above the bed look arty – and bright – with multiple mirrors? This bedroom accent wall idea is a great idea for small or dark spaces.

Wayfair's Resident Style Advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill, says: 'A popular option is to place an eclectic mix of mirrors above the bed, creating an eye-catching display that bounces light around your room. 

'Opt for designs with metallic edges to add a little extra shimmer and place them at different heights along the wall to create a truly stunning visual piece.'

4. Use craft buys to create a unique display

An example of bohemian bedroom ideas showing a bedroom with a red wall and a floral headboard with ikat prints and basketwork plates

(Image credit: Future / Alecia Neo)

Conjure up a Kit Kemp vibe with intriguing finds displayed above the bed. These bohemian bedroom ideas are enduringly popular, adding color, texture and life to a space.

Nadia McCowan Hill comments: 'Arts and crafts have undergone a huge revival in the past year with crochet and knitwear becoming 2022’s must have items. 

'An easy way to incorporate this trend into your interiors is by hanging macrame designs above your bed, the natural materials add a grown-up boho vibe to the room and are a super-easy way to stay bang on trend.'

5. Put a shelf above the bed

bedroom with shelf behind bed

(Image credit: Leaf Envy)

'Consider taking the time to install a shelf along the wall behind your bed that will not only add to your style but maximize your storage space,' suggests Nadia McCowan Hill. 'Stick to a shelf in a natural hue and then really experiment with color, adding fun decor options, plants and prop up a few pieces of wall art along the space to finish off the look.'

Connor Prestwood agrees that this is a trend that's practical as well as stylish, adding:  'A big thing at the moment is shelving above the bed. The diversity and freedom to move and swap things around when you fancy a change is really appealing and can save money in the long run. 

'Instead of buying a new large piece of art or completely re-wallpapering a wall, you can simply refresh the ornaments, books and art and restyle your shelf to fit in with your current mood.'

6. Use printed wallpaper to inject pattern and color

retro brown wallpaper in the bedroom on the ceiling, Graham & Brown

(Image credit: Graham & Brown)

If you're lucky enough to have a recess or arch above your bed, fill the space with an on-trend bedroom wallpaper idea. If you don't, you can always create a panelled wall and fill a square with a beautiful pattern.

Tropical, exotic birds, bold florals, and country botanicals are all in fashion, as are curvaceous graphics.

7. Hang a tapestry to up the cozy factor

A bed with a pink throw in front of a green and pink floral wall hanging

(Image credit: Polly Wreford/Future PLC)

Biophilic room decor is known to be calming and restful, making it perfect for the bedroom – however, it's not practical to hang or display plants above a bed, so choosing fabrics or artwork with a botanical motif is a great alternative. 

A pretty length of fabric, a light rug or a tapestry in a traditional design are wonderful above bed decor ideas that can replace a headboard and make a room feel incredibly cocooning.

8. Turn to tribal art for an elegant global influence

tribal art above bed in bedroom by Kitesgrove

(Image credit: Kitesgrove)

Tribal influences are popping up in bedrooms everywhere, and tribal art above the bed is a stylish way to introduce it. 

Sam Hood, Chief Creative Officer at Amara.com, says: 'Decorating with tribal prints is perfect for creating a unique space and adding visual interest to a neutral décor. 

'For a curated but relaxed tribal feel, use a combination of different patterns (as Kitesgrove has done with the cushions above) and colors to push your interior design limits to the max. If this trend is too vivacious for your home style, add a mix of textures such as rattan, to liven up your home ambience.'

9. Add plates or hats to pretty up the space

Wall decor ideas with plates

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

A lovely trend that's been gaining pace is to display pretty hats or plates at different heights above your bed – or over a bedside table, as above. 

Interior designer Susie Atkinson says: 'In a more feminine room, I think it would be nice to put a collection of ceramics above the bed. For a masculine room, framed flags are very effective.'

Pair with stripes, a pop of color in the soft furnishings, and freshly picked flowers for a chic and contemporary country aesthetic.

10. Put upholstered panels above the bed for a hotel feel

Above the bed decor ideas with wall panelling behind the headboard

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

'If you are a fan of hotel-style bedrooms and luxurious spaces – aren't we all? – fixing upholstered panels to the wall behind and above the bed is a decor idea that oozes elegance,' says H&G's Editor in Chief Lucy Searle.

'In a low-ceilinged room, running panels like this right up to the ceiling can make it seem taller, and a taller run of panels will look more balanced in a tall room – or you can keep the panelled area long and low to exaggerate the both room types' width.'

11. Utilize statement wall lights and pendants

art deco wall light in modern bedroom by Original BTC

(Image credit: Original BTC)

If you're not into art, prints, wall hangings or bold wallpaper, a refined and chic way to add above bed decor is to make a feature of your lighting. 

Whether it's an Art Deco-inspired sconce or a vintage fluted glass pendant or an industrial-style piece, wall lights can be practical as well as pretty.

Connor Prestwood, of Dowsing & Reynolds, says: 'We’re seeing statement beds with big, cushioned, curved headboards that cocoon you and make you feel safe while you sleep. This, paired with a couple of decorative side lights for your night time reading and relaxation rituals, is the perfect combination.'

And if you really want to make a statement with your above bed decor, choose a statement pendant, like the fantastic piece by Jonathan Adler above.

12. Choose a high-octane headboard

Colorful bedroom with pattern and ornate headboard

(Image credit: Simon Brown)

From bold floral or botanical printed fabric à la Kit Kemp to cocooning, fluted pieces, statement headboard ideas are an ultra-chic way to style the space above the bed.

Elliot James, of Elliot James interiors, says: 'Headboards are having a moment, the bigger the better. We love headboards that run the full width of the room behind the bed and the use of a contrasting wallpaper or paint above helps the headboard to really stand out. 

'Lighting around or inbuilt into headboards is also really trending at the moment, and our personal favourite is a backlit headboard that provides a striking and somewhat dramatic effect. 

'Full height headboards are also extremely popular, and using panelled stitching helps to give the bed grandeur and presence.'

And Martin Waller, of Andrew Martin, says statement headboards are essentially a form of artwork, adding: 'With the rise of the boutique hotel and its trending look in residential design, the headboard has become a brilliant focal point in bedroom decor. 

'Look to the Firmdale Hotels for inspiration on using brave color and pattern and have fun coordinating your headboard with a wallpaper or throw. Don’t be afraid to choose a more outlandish style as this only adds more character. See it as art above your bed.'

How do I decorate above my bed?

There are many ways to decorate above a bed. A favorite way is to hang a piece of art that you love – long, landscape-shaped pictures are ideal, or you can create this shape witha gallery wall. You can also decorate above a bed with mirrors, framed fabrics, tapestries and panels of fabrics. Or, you can choose more architectural over the bed ideas – from wainscoting to shelving. If you are looking for a simple above the bed decor idea, use a different color paint or wallpaper to that of the other three walls.

Should you decorate above a bed?

You should decorate above a bed if you have a low-profile or no headboard. A large sculptural headboard will mean that you do not to decorate over the bed, but if the wall is empty, hanging something with color, pattern and texture can really embellish the decor in a bedroom. 

Ruth Doherty

Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.