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Image / Living / Interiors

An interior designer shares her tips on finding the perfect headboard


By Megan Burns
07th Sep 2023

Rowen & Wren

An interior designer shares her tips on finding the perfect headboard

A headboard is a real focal point in a bedroom. Interior designer Deirdre O'Connell shares her tips on how to get it right.

As the evenings close in, having a gorgeous bedroom sanctuary for rest and relaxation is simply self-care! If you’re considering a refresh to your bedroom style, start with a new or recovered headboard, for its comfort and its beautiful look. 

A staple in all bedrooms, headboards complete the look of a bed, creating a layered centrepiece to the focal point in the room. Though in the past headboards had the practical role of protecting our heads from the cold from the walls, nowadays it’s an aesthetic choice.

The style and finish of a headboard is one of the most important elements of creating a bedroom style. Whether you’re after a cool, contemporary, Scandi look, some timeless, classic luxury, an elegant country house feeling, or a laid-back layered American aesthetic, your decision on the headboard shape, material and depth tells a tall part of your bedroom design story.

Matri

A contemporary bedroom look is bright and fresh. Headboards with simple, solid lines in block colour fabrics or a wood finish suit the minimal northern European aesthetic. Natural materials with tight weaves like linen and cotton (with a polyester blend, for added durability) come in varieties of plains and patterns, though for longevity I tend to stick to plain materials, adding pattern with a loose scatter cushion or throw. 

Tall, deep and structured upholstered headboards add luxury and opulence to a bedroom. Heavy padding, tufting, or piped detailing add to the elegant look of these headboards, especially when created in a rich cotton velvet or silk wool blend material. The crisp, satiny sheen finish of these fabrics gives a beautiful look of luxe.

For a classic, country house look, the headboard shape and the fabric choice are key. The list of shapes is endless, whether you prefer a camelback, scooped, bevelled, cut-away or serpentine cut! Pair your choice with a “scheme-happy” mixed floral or small patterned fabric in a soft, pastel colourway.

Taking cues from many American designers, that laid-back west coast bedroom look is popular in bigger bedrooms, using either upholstered headboards or those with a wooden or metal trim. When the casual fabrics and soft finishes are matched with the rest of the room aesthetic, it’s pure slumber heaven!

For all these styles and any other besides, dressing the walls around the bed, and of course the bed itself, in the same style are valuable opportunities to enhance the look. 

Farrow & Ball

Whether you know, or don’t know, the style or look you’re after, start with online research. Look at the types and styles of headboards in photographs of bedrooms you love. Really hone in on something you adore, otherwise rule it out.

Once you’re an idea, research what’s on offer. The choices are the high street or a custom made headboards, or of course to repurpose or reuse an existing headboard. 

Headboards are widely available in high street shops in a range of shapes, styles and finishes. For something special or unique, and to give you the full gamut of choices to suit your design preferences, custom made headboards are excellent. 

Bedrooms are by far my favourite room to design, as it’s all about personality and comfort. Giving some thought to the style of bedroom you want will go a long way in choosing the perfect headboard. 

Deirdre O’Connell is an interior designer specialising in creating charming and individual homes. Visit dtale.design  or follow on Instagram @dtale_interior_design