Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn; courtesy of

Three ways to make your bed unique

Peter O. Whiteley and Ann Bertelsen,  – October 11, 2007

As a key feature in a bedroom, the headboard helps set the decorative tone.

If you think of a headboard as a picture frame ― it can even be a real picture frame if you wish ― you’ll get a sense of how easy it is to change a bedroom’s look.

The three examples described here demonstrate the range of possibilities.


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

Next: canvas screen 


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

Next: changeable center panel 


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

More creative headboards in these Idea Houses:

Fabulous barn style by Monterey Bay

Menlo Park Idea House

Keep Reading: