Headboard ideas – 16 statement headboards and interior designers' tips

These headboard ideas will transform your bedroom and create beautiful focal points. Interior design experts share their secrets

Headboard ideas with colorful scheme
(Image credit: Future / Jon Day)

These headboard ideas will help you transform a bland bedroom into a showstopper.

Using a wide range of decorative fabrics, opulent velvet trims and clever design details, interiors experts show us just why we should all be paying more attention to our headboards.

See below for headboard ideas that are creative, fun and flamboyant, and once you're done, head over to our dedicated bedroom ideas page for more inspiration.

1. Create a cocooning effect

Headboard ideas with oversized headboard

(Image credit: Future / Nato Welton)

A subtle nod to the cosseting feel of traditional half tester is a headboard that is winged at both sides. Take this a step further and,  when commissioning a bespoke design, think about extending it beyond the width of the bed to create a niche that is generous enough for a bedside table. In a large bedroom, this is a discreet way to up the comfort factor without disturbing the clean lines of a pared-back scheme. Upholster the headboard in a fabric that matches the wall color for a seamless finish. 

With neutral schemes, use texture and material to generate warmth and interest: here, a stitched bedspread in navy contrasts with an ebonised wood nightstand to help balance the effect.

2. Be brave with pattern pairings

Headboard ideas with bold color pairing

(Image credit: Future / Alecia Neo)

This children’s bedroom in Singapore-based interior designer Elizabeth Hay’s home is a masterclass in clashing patterns. Matching a bedside lamp to a key piece of furniture – in this case, the headboard – brings the scheme together and makes the animal theme feel more sophisticated. Hay used a print called Small Elephant by Les Indiennes for the lamp and headboard, and mixed up the scale of patterns in the rest of the room for a vibrant effect. The larger lamp, the bolder your pattern should be to make an impact. 

For a small interior design project such as this, consult a firm like Ensemblier, which specialises in bespoke headboard and can help create something similar. 

3. Cover the entire wall 

Headboard ideas with entire wall covering

(Image credit: Future / Michael Sinclair)

Take a leaf out of an updated 1970s suburban American design vibe – minus the shag pile – and consider covering the entire wall behind the bed with a series of low-rise, upholstered panels in a graphic fabric. It counters and softens the wood on the walls and floors.

4. Use a room's existing features

Headboard ideas

(Image credit: Future / Simon Brown)

Unused chimney breasts can be expensive to remove – or replace entirely – yet they often take up valuable space for a bed. One solution is to integrate the chimney breast into a design that covers the entire wall behind the bed. Niches can be used to create shelves, incorporate lighting and disguise radiators. These details are offset with luxurious materials, including an upholstered headboard, woven bedding and plush carpet.

5. Choose a complementary headboard

Headboard ideas with floral wallpaper and grand bed

(Image credit: Future / Simon Brown)

With patterned walls, choose a plain fabric that complements the colors in the wallpaper and experiment with the shape of the headboard instead. Here, the baroque-style silhouette of the Origo design by Oka adds a bit of a punch to the pretty country-house florals. 

6. Make your headboard work hard

Headboard ideas with built-in storage

(Image credit: Future / Chris Tubbs)

Get the most out of an integrated headboard by making it work as hard as possible. This low-slung design incorporates plenty of shelf space on top for displaying favorite objects and pictures, a bedside table and an adjustable task light for reading.

7. Introduce bold colors and patterns with upholstery

Headboard ideas

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

An intuitive creator with a love of beauty, interior architect and designer Natalia Miyar approaches design with an understanding of balance and proportion, so it comes as no surprise that she is best known for her use of color and pattern.

Make a break from safe neutrals and upholster the bed in a bright playful fabric that will make it the star attraction. 'The headboard itself can be scaled up or down to introduce a new  perspective, think of it as a frame within the room,' she says. For added impact, paint the wall behind in a bold co-ordinating shade.

8. Upholster with velvet

Headboard ideas

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

Natalia Miyar also recommends building contrasting layers of texture in the bedroom. Choose velvet for its silky smooth texture, luxurious sheen and soft finish. 

The designer regularly decorates with deep rich shades which sit perfectly against a decorative wall in a softer palette, creating contrasts of texture and pattern. 

In this space, a bold headboard has been beautifully matched with tonal accessories, lighting and beautiful fabrics to introduce news shades of color and interest into the room.  

9. Add detail with a stud design

Headboard ideas

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

Studs are a great way to add texture and detail to a headboard without going overboard. Creating a smart border around the edge of the headboard, metal studs further attract the eye towards the statement piece as well as introduce a metallic contrast to  the warm, rich textiles upholstery. Natalia suggests using metal elsewhere in your room – such as a on a statement mirror or lamp – for continuity and consistency. 

10. Scale-up your headboard

Headboard ideas

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

For a larger room, Natalia adds definition and interest with an oversized headboard.

'Proportion is so important; I like to use large-scale furniture as it makes a space seem bigger and more luxurious,’ she says. ‘The key is to choose carefully.'

With a very large headboard, it is important not to overcrowd the room. The designer suggests choosing slim metallic shelving, folding stools and small, neutral colored chairs to ensure the bed is the central focus.

11. Add pattern to a plain bedroom with a headboard

Bedroom - Scale in interior design

(Image credit: Future/Simon Bevan)

If you're building interest into a formerly plain scheme, mixing patterns is the best way to do so – and a focal headboard is an impactful first step. 

'Mixing patterns is one of the most enjoyable parts of a design scheme,' says textile designer Bethie Tricks. 'I tend to use the rule of three as a starting point – pulling together patterns that share a similar color or design element to ensure they echo each other subtly while adding variety and a sense of continuity.' 

12. Pick a headboard idea that's a pleasing contrast

Bed - vintage decor

(Image credit: Future)

A headboard needn't be the focal point of a bedroom – you might want instead to use it as a grounding element in a more adventurous scheme.

'Bedrooms are deeply personal spaces and should be decorated accordingly,' says Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball's color curator. 'If you are tempted to just have a feature wall of wallpaper, then it is best to use the wall behind the bed to ground the room.' 

See: Bedroom wallpaper ideas – add pattern, texture and character to your bedroom

13. Pick soothing shades for a headboard

decorating with stripes in the bedroom using wallpaper and an upholstered headboard

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee / Sally Denning)

You can use headboards to play with pattern, as in the bedroom above, where both horizontal and vertical stripes with equal weight have been used to create a neat visual trick to make the bedroom feel both wider and taller. However, when introducing bold patterns, it's important to consider color carefully.

'The bedroom is somewhere you want to relax, unwind and switch off from everday. Tranquil blue tones and calming neutrals are known for their relaxing and regenerative powers,' explains Zoffany designer Peter Gomez.

14. Match the headboard idea to the bed frame

Headboard ideas on a floral bed

(Image credit: Future)

A scheme that shows real attention to detail will always look more carefully curated and elegant. Here, the headboard fabric has been pulled right through to the bed frame to bring pattern into the room in an impactful way. 

'Using the biggest pattern on the floor in the form of a rug helps to anchor a space,' says textile designer Bethie Tricks. 'Apply another on one of the main pieces of furniture, such as a headboard or armchair, and finish with either a patterned wallpaper or curtain fabric. You can then pick out colors from these patterns to finish the scheme when choosing your bedding and other decorative accessories.'

15. Supersize a headboard for maximum impact

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Firmdale Hotels/Simon Brown)

The headboard you choose will set the tone of your bedroom and opting for an oversized statement style can help anchor the space. In the Terrace Suite at Kit Kemp's The Soho Hotel, the master bedroom features a hand-embroidered applique headboard created in collaboration with fashion designer Clio Peppiatt and inspired by the local Soho music scene.

For your own scheme, consider creating a headboard with your favorite fabric for a finish that feels personal. Go for a wall-mounted design that also sits on the floor for support and finish with studwork or a contrasting pipework for a luxurious hotel-style look.

16. Add color with a tiled headboard idea

Headboard ideas with tiles

(Image credit: Bert & May)

Entirely practical, tiles used for a headboard will stay looking like new for years, and are perfect for a contemporary bedroom. A tile pattern that mimics fabric will create an elegant look – and matte tiles in chalky colors will be subtler than any with a polished finish. This new Scandinavian-inspired Hexagon Split Shift collection is by Bert & May.

Can you put a headboard on a bed frame?

Yes, you can put a headboard on an existing bed frame. Although traditionally it is easier to attach a headboard to a bed frame of a similar size, it is also possible to fit an oversized headboard to the wall behind the bed. 

What is the reason for a headboard?

A headboard is an important element of a bedroom for numerous reasons. From a functional point of view, you need a headboard to cushion your head and back when you are sitting up in bed, and to protect your head from the wall. A headboard will also stop your pillows from slipping down behind the bed frame.

Headboards are vital for aesthetic reasons, too. They provide a focal point, can introduce color, pattern and texture, and can help to correct and improve a room's proportions and visual impact.