24 ideas for headboards

Ready to give your bed a fresh new look? Sink into our slide show of headboard designs

fabric headboard

Thomas J. Story

DIY headboards and design ideas

Headboard quick-change

Update your upholstered headboard with a pretty new fabric.

1. Have enough fabric to generously cover the front of your headboard and the back side about 5 inches in. Wrap the fabric over the top edge of headboard and secure with a staple in the center, about three inches in from the edge.

2. On the opposite edge, pull fabric taut and staple to secure. Repeat on remaining two sides, then staple all around the edges, pulling cloth tight. Stop 3 inches from corners.

3. Fold the fabric at one corner into a neat finish by tucking the excess underneath and smoothing the top down. Secure with three or four staples, keeping the folds flat and even. Repeat for each corner.

This striped headboard fabric is available at Beach House Style.

Shelves and cubbies headboard

Thomas J. Story

Shelves and cubbies headboard

Take a leaf from the Murphy bed book: Frame your bed with custom cubbies, forming in the process a headboard in reverse. This mix of open and closed storage lets you display what you want while stashing the rest. Painting the headboard zone in a neutral color keeps the whole thing from being overwhelming.

Half-wall headboard

Thomas J. Story

Half-wall headboard

This “bedroom” is separated from the rest of the house only by a half-wall that also acts as a headboard. A rectangular recess on the wall’s bed side is a handy place for books and a carafe. This design is particularly good for loft dwellers and those who don’t need much privacy.

Storage-savvy headboard

Storage-savvy headboard

This bed's backrest slides up to reveal storage. On the headboard, you push in on a hinged panel to access a similar space.

Idea house headboard

Thomas J. Story

Artful headboard

Headboards don’t need to be heavy or complicated. This one is made of several different fabrics in similar color combinations, pieced together to form a striking composition. Like a large piece of art hanging over the bed, it acts as the room’s primary focal point.


Photo by Thomas J. Story

Customized headboard

Using clip art we found online, we came up with the graphic for this custom headboard, then printed it on maple plywood. Side tables by Serena & Lily.

storage headboard

Headboard with storage

Made of Australian lacewood, this custom headboard includes a niche for storing treasures.

Take a photo tour of this house

creative headboard

Thomas J. Story

Glam headboard

Although interior designer Sheri Sheridan originally wanted a pricey tufted headboard, she instead bought four-packs of miniature Sorli mirror tiles from Ikea ($4.99) to create a glamorous high-end look.

Get 11 more decorating tips from Sheri Sheridan

mantle headboard

E. Spencer Toy

Mantle headboard

This mantle headboard was made with foam architectural trim from Fypon. It’s an affordable and lightweight alternative to wood.

Take a photo tour of this house

Postcard headboard

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn; courtesy of MyHomeIdeas.com

Postcard headboard

A collection of postcards mimics a headboard in this modern/country master bedroom.

Twin headboards

Photo by Paul Whicheloe, courtesy of MyHomeIdeas.com

Twin headboard

An upholstered headboard unites two twin beds, as a sophisticated version of bunk beds.

Red bed

Thomas J. Story

Salvaged door headboard

Originally a pocket door, this headboard got a dreamy update with bright white paint, decorative molding, and delicate sconces that cast a soft light.

Headboards: Twin valences

Photo by Megan Thompson; courtesy of MyHomeIdeas.com

Twin valence headboards

A small guest room gets a dramatic treatment with paisley headboards topped by homemade valences.

The pattern in the plywood valences was created with drill bits in varying sizes.

Mirror headboard

Photo by Roger Davies; courtesy of MyHomeIdeas.com

Light-reflecting headboard

A mirrored screen acts as a glamorous headboard.

album headboard

E. Spencer Toy

Teen's headboard

For kids' changing tastes, inexpensive style is the way to go. The album headboard is made of plywood, plexiglass, and vintage album covers found at a recycled books store. 

The plexiglass face on the album headboard can easily be removed to change the album art or insert photos or fabric.

Take a photo tour of this house

Footboard headboard

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Footboard becomes a headboard

This headboard, belonging to L.A. designer Kelly LaPlant, is a cast-off footboard from a tall client who preferred to stretch out while sleeping.

"I call this double reuse," she says, since it was already from an antique bed frame.

headboard wallpaper

Sarah Gaffney

Wallpaper headboard

Rolls of bold, unframed wallpaper work as a headboard behind this upholstered bed at Reclaim, a home store in Menlo Park, Ca.

More about it in our Home by Sunset blog

wall headboard

Thomas J. Story

Wall as headboard

A room divider covered in a gingko-patterned wall paper does double duty as a headboard. The master closet hides behind the wall.

upholstered headboard

Thomas J. Story

Upholstered headboard

Against a deep chocolate accent wall, this upholstered headboard is wrapped in a shimmery woven silk that's soft to the touch. Pale blue bedding contrasts with the room's rich browns.

See more of this house

summer retreat headboard

Thomas J. Story

Summery headboard

The key to decorating a small bedroom: Keep it simple and streamlined, with light colors and low-key accessories. Here, a piece of white fabric serves as a headboard.

See more of this summer retreat

Master bedroom

Photos: Thomas J. Story; styling: Miranda Jones; 

Celebrate a favorite textile

For the look of a fresh new headboard, simply drape a quilt or other favorite fabric over the head rail of a four-poster bed.

Here, an Anatolian textile brings a pop of color and texture to a custom bed design from Brindisiamo in Sonoma, CA.

See more of this renovated house

Simple headboard 2

Thomas J. Story

Canvas screen headboard

Start with several prefabricated frames ― available from art stores ― sized to fit the width of the bed. Cover with canvas and hinge together to make a screen.

Or hinge together several prefabricated artist's canvases. Then paint them to match the decor of the room. Here, we used acrylic paint to create a plaid pattern that complements the floral designs on the bed linens.

Design: Francoise Kirkman, Palo Alto; painting by Therese Heynderick

Simple headboard 3

Ken Gutmaker   

Changeable center panel headboard

Build a simple frame for a plywood panel sized to fit the bed. Then, before attaching the frame, cover the panel with fabric, wood, or other materials.

Lengths of ½-inch quarter-round molding can line the inside of the frame to act as a stop for the panel, which is held in place from behind with metal straps or lengths of ¼-inch plywood. Different panels can be inserted to change the style.

Here, the plywood is painted to match the color of the walls and then faced with pieces of bamboo.

Design: Peter O. Whiteley

Picture frame headboard

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn; courtesy of MyHomeIdeas.com

Picture frame headboard

Create a headboard picture frame by using decorative molding from a home improvement store. Screw the molding to a fabric-covered wood panel sized to fit the bed.

Or adapt a prefabricated picture frame by screwing it to a fabric-covered plywood panel. Match the frame and the fabric to the bed linens.

Design: Jan Kavale Interior Design

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