Above the bed decor ideas – 8 ways to fill negative space for a better-accessorized bedroom

With these above bed decor ideas, create an eye-catching accent wall and a personality-filled room

A white toned bedroom with wall decor above the bed
(Image credit: Ecru Studio)

If you are struggling for above the bed decor ideas, then you've come to the right place. This wall can be a particularly tricky one to dress in your home, as you'll need to factor in how your decor works with your headboard and wall treatments. 

If you choose the wrong idea, it can make your bedroom feel cluttered, while if you leave it empty, this blank space can make your design feel unfinished. The wall over your bed is often the focal point of the bedroom, so it pays to spend time carefully considering your options. 

From wallpaper and paint effects to selecting the right piece of artwork, we've got the best bedroom wall decor ideas for the space above your bed to offer inspiration to get this spot just right. 

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi is a homes writer and editor with several years of experience. Her articles, backed by expert insights, offer suggestions aimed at helping readers make the best home design choices. For this article, she spoke to top interior designers and brands for their advice on decorating the negative space above the bed.

8 above bed decor ideas to give your space a boost in style

First up, consider whether you need to put anything above your bed at all. There's the idea of negative space in interior design, which basically means a space that is left empty on purpose. This helps to avoid a room looking too cluttered, adding a visual pause that allows other elements to claim their space and stand out. 

Over a bed, you might be happy to have negative space in a couple of instances. If you have a high statement headboard, for example, that sits over halfway up the wall, a little negative space may serve to highlight it. If you have lighting or wall decor on either side of the headboard, this may also be a good reason to keep the wall directly over the headboard clear, too. 

Once you've decided if you do, or don't, need to decorate this space, here are the options you have to play with. 

1. Experiment with paint techniques

A bedroom with a rust toned wall and motifs painted on it

(Image credit: Natalie Tredgett Interior Design)

A simple paint job with a flat color is old news. Try interesting bedroom paint ideas to give your design a unique look. As in this design by Natalie Tredgett, perhaps commission an expert to paint a wall mural. Alternatively, if you have the skills (or simply bring in a stencil if need be), consider painting your own motifs behind the bed.

This scheme offers the perfect color inspiration for a calm and comfortable bedroom, too. 'Warm colors make things cozy,' says Natalie Tredgett, founder of Natalie Tredgett Interior Design. ' 'Layering a lot of them works very well when it comes to behind the bed. Browns with yellows, oranges, and purples, and reds with pinks come to mind. Here I used Edward Bulmers Garter Blue, Brick, Laylock and Rodger’ ' 

'Use natural fibers also brings warmth such as wood, rattan, grasscloth, wool, and linen,' she adds. 'It evokes nature, which soothes, reduces stress, and welcomes in the warmth.'

Even a two-tone wall or a clashing wall and ceiling combo can look great. 

2. Add a patterned wallpaper to uplift the entire room

A bedroom with a bright patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: Borastapeter)

To make a feature of your behind-the-bed wall, if you're going for a strong, bold wallpaper, why not keep it just to this wall. This bedroom wallpaper idea is enough to make a statement in your space.

Of course, if you're in a rental, wallpapering a space may not be practical or agreeable to the landlord. But you can recreate this look with decals. They look like wallcoverings, yet can be peeled out without leaving marks. 

3. Hang a mirror to make a small space look bigger

A bedroom with pink wall paint and two long mirrors on either side

(Image credit: Quirk Studio)

We all know how mirrors make a space look larger, more open, and add dimension. By suspending two in this small bedroom, the space has been transformed, while also adding a practical element for getting dressed in front of. 

'The room belongs to a young girl who wanted a cozy space with a vanity,' say Disha Bhavsar and Shivani Ajmera, co-founders of Quirk Studio. 'Making functionality a design feature by opting for a non-conventional dressing unit, mirrors are suspended behind the bedside. The pair adds to the overall symmetry and fulfills dual functions with the side tables.'

4. Use an accent lighting piece on the wall 

A bedroom with a long accent lighting piece behind it

(Image credit: White Cube)

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary and a place where you can find peace at the end of a long workday. Within your bedroom lighting ideas, consider a fixture above your bed that works as an accent piece and also creates a mood in the room. 

A soft, diffused lighting fixture works particularly well for a bedroom. This can be used for when you do not need to do any focused tasks; but simple before-bed rituals such as meditation, skincare routine, listening to music, and more. 

'In this bedroom, the light is designed in two ways – technical lighting, and one for relaxing the mood,' says Daria Solovieva, founder of White Cube. 'The latter is quite discreet, like the one suspended above the bed in the form of a long horizontal tube. It subtly illuminates the bedside table, and provides a soft glow to the sleeping zone.'

5. Or suspended above the headboard

a long lighting piece suspended above the bed

(Image credit: Home and Wood)

Make your pretty bedroom come to life with the right light fixture. Pendants are high on style and have a bit of an edgy appeal, especially because of their placement. These don't have to be hung by a wall or centrally aligned above the bed. To give your room a unique look, choose an unconventional placement, like in this image, where the light is hung beside the bed.

A unique design like this also doubles as a decorative, giving the room an artsy touch. 

Another location that can be enhanced by hanging a pendant fixture is above the foot of the bed. The ceiling height will guide you on how long you should hang the fixture; high enough so that there is no risk of hitting your head when sitting on the bed, as well as when getting in and out of bed.

6. Consider panelling for a modern look

A bedroom with panelling behind the bed

(Image credit: Maestri Studio)

Bedroom wall panels are a versatile wall treatment for behind the bed that can be adapted to any scheme. For a modern look, why not try the on-trend slat wall idea seen in this bedroom created by Maestri Studio. 

'To create this look, we applied individual strips of stained white oak to the wall,' says Eddie Maestri, founder of Maestri Studio. 'We chose to do paneling to bring texture and warmth into the space.'

These not only give a rich texture to the room, but the striped patterns also have the ability to dramatically change the visual scale of the room (horizontal panels can make a room seem wide; vertical ones can make it seem tall).

7. Add art prints behind the bed

A bed with art frames behind it

(Image credit: Interior Fox. Photo credit Veronica Rodriguez)

'A leaning gallery wall is an ideal choice if you like to regularly rearrange your art and photographs,' say Jen & Mar, co-founders, of Interior Fox. 'Displaying your prints on a shelf against a wall or above a bed allows you to experiment with spacing and frame size, plus you don’t have to put nails in the wall and commit to one layout.'  

'For a uniformed finish choose the same frames throughout, or, for a more eclectic look try mixing frame styles,' say Jen & Mar. 'To add contrast, consider mixing light oak with contemporary black frames. A leaning gallery wall achieves a relaxed look rather than a traditional gallery wall, which is more formal in its appearance.'

8. Highlight your bed with exposed brick

A white bedroom with a brick wall

(Image credit: Quirk Studio. Photo credit Kuber Shah)

An interior brick wall can certainly draw a lot of attention, and add a charming touch to a space. When it comes to bedroom accent wall ideas, a brick wall behind the bed can make a lasting impact. 

Of course, brick has a rustic, raw appeal to it and can work perfectly for those who love a grunge look. But if you're looking for a cleaner, more sleek vibe, consider painting the wall in white, so it blends with the rest of the room and offers an earthy touch without sticking out.

'The master bedroom radiates a sense of comfort and relaxation with its familiar, homely yet luxurious aesthetic,' say Disha and Shivani. 'A minimal grey bed offsets the white interiors of the room, flanked by the simplistic bedside lights, which add a refined sense of luxury to the space. The aesthetic quality of the space is reinforced by the white-brick back wall, which adds to the congenial feel of the space.'

How big should decor be above a bed?

A pink toned bedroom with a wall hanging

(Image credit: Dulux)

Generally, as a rule of thumb, the bedroom wall art hanging above your bed should not be more than 60-80% of the width of the bed. For example, since a queen-size bed is roughly 60 inches wide, an artwork of 36-48 inches wide (including the frame) should be perfect. 

What can I put above my bed without a headboard?

If you don't have a headboard, there are several other ways you can decorate the area behind the bed. Consider painting a mural, adding wallpaper, or pasting decals on the wall. You could also add a macrame wall hanging, or a large tapestry behind the bed.

If you're interested in paint ideas, you could create a color-blocked accent wall, or even frame the bedhead with a painted circle. Also, a gallery wall with personalized pictures could make the room seem cozy and inviting.

Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.