The traditional bedroom has changed very little over the years. The typical design includes a bed with a headboard, nightstands, and a dresser, but many young adults are flexing their creativity and skipping the traditional headboard in favor of something much trendier.
“Once you buy a headboard, you’re locked into a certain look and style,” says Sandy Spain, an artist and designer in Nashville, Tennessee. “There’s nothing else you can do with a standard headboard; it has one use only. You’re better off spending your money on a nice piece that can be used in more than one room, so you can use it when you feel like redecorating.”
One option is to create a unique headboard that suits your taste and style. A DIY headboard allows you to customize the look and feel of your bedroom while expressing your personality. “There are so many different things you can do,” Spain says. “You don’t have to be locked in with a certain look. I’ve seen people use quilts, rugs, paintings, and so many other things to create a really interesting and unique look. Really, the only limit is your imagination.”
The Art of the Headboard
Priscilla Gorman, an art teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio, who specializes in upcycled art and found objects, says the perfect headboard is easy to make. “The beautiful thing about it is how you can personalize it so that it’s something you truly love, and it speaks to you. That affects how you feel about the room and how you sleep,” she says. “It’s more important than people realize.”
Distressed wood panels painted in colors that complement your room and canvas art frames covered in fabric are two interesting alternatives to a standard headboard. Spain recommends covering art frames with black-and-white cloth prints with modern designs, then attaching them to one another to create a large-scale design that covers the wall. “There’s a variety of things you can do,” she says.
Gorman agrees that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. “As long as you like the way it looks and feels in your room, that’s really all that matters,” she says.
Heads Up for Something New
If you’re ready to try a new look for your bedroom, consider one of the following options in place of a standard headboard:
- Paintings or Photographs: Substitute paintings or photos for a headboard to personalize your room, particularly if it’s a photo you’ve taken or a piece of art you’ve made. “It’s a great idea for kids’ rooms too,” Gorman says. “Taking a child’s art and blowing it up and mounting it on plywood is a great reminder to the child how creative he or she is. So, it looks good, and it’s also a wonderful way to boost their self-esteem.”
- Reclaimed Wood: Weathered wood from a barn door or other reclaimed wood can make a dramatic, rustic statement in the bedroom. These types of headboards can be mounted on the wall or constructed as free-standing headboards. You can refinish and stain the pieces or allow the natural imperfections to become part of the design.
- Window Frames: Antique window frames (with the glass removed) are a unique way to make a design statement, and they add a nice touch to a vintage-themed room. The frames are easy to make and can be refinished or sealed to keep the look of peeling paint.
- Quilts: Gorman has an antique quilt — one of the first quilts sold by Sears, Roebuck & Company — that serves as a vibrant, one-of-a-kind headboard. “It’s still very bright, and if you look at it closely you can see that it was made by hand,” she says. “Those types of things make such a distinctive and comforting headboard.” For this style, mount the quilt over a padded wooden frame and attach it to the wall, or mount a curtain rod on the wall above the bed and hang the quilt.
- Rugs: Decorative rugs sometimes seem too pretty to walk on, so why not turn them into a design statement above the bed? A rug adds color, texture, and other interesting elements to your space. Muted colors soften the room, while a sisal rug adds natural elements.
- Shelves: Why not use the space above your bed to display your treasures? Decorative shelves can take the place of a headboard, although Spain recommends installing them high enough to ensure you won’t hit your head when you sit up. It’s also a good idea to secure items to the shelves to keep them from falling. Alternatively, mount a weathered wooden ladder on the wall, and use it as decorative shelving.
- Mosaics: Add depth and drama to the room by attaching mosaic tiles to wood and mounting it to the wall. Spain says combining elements, such as mounting a painting on the wood and then surrounding it with mosaic tiles, adds depth and interest to the design.
- Pillows: How about replacing a traditional headboard with rows of pillows? Gorman recommends starting with a row of firm pillows placed against the wall at the head of the bed. Next, add a row of medium-firm pillows, and then complete it with a row of pillows for sleeping. “This is great because it’s easy to change the colors and mood of your room any time,” she says.
Whether you want to stick with a traditional option or invest in alternative pieces to create your own unique bedroom, you can find a full range of quality options at CORT Clearance Centers. With prices as low as 70 percent off retail, CORT satisfies both your budget and your style needs.