This Abstract Headboard Style has Become a New Favorite With Interior Designers

Designers are having fun with abstract headboard designs, they're a surefire way to make your bedroom so much more interesting

A pale pink bedroom with abstract headboard
(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: 1818 Collective)

Headboard design has evolved substantially since the days of traditional wooden headboards that were initially designed to protect the bed from the wall. Today, they are a chance to express your creativity. From bespoke designs that have been upholstered in your favorite fabric, to low-slung, two-in-one designs that also double up as a built-in nightstand, your headboard offers ample opportunity for creativity in the bedroom.

More and more, we're seeing headboards presenting an opportunity to create a feature wall. A neutral, unexciting headboard might work with every room, but something bold with a unique silhouette will revitalize the space. Your headboard shouldn't be an afterthought - instead, it can be the center of attention, embraced as the main focus of your bedroom. I've seen this abstract headboard design floating around recently, and I think it signals the future of bedroom design. I've spoken to the designers to learn more about this particular bedroom trend, and why it's having a moment in the spotlight.

What's the look?

A earthy green bedroom with abstract headboard

(Image credit: Ekaterina Izmestieva. Design: Studio Ahead)

So what does an abstract headboard look like? This design from Studio Ahead, the San Francisco-based design firm, is a perfect example, and has been affectionately named the 'Sheep Bed'. Made of custom merino wool felt from Northern California sheep, the soft shapes of the bed are reminiscent of smooth pebbles. For Homan Rajai and Elena Dendiberia, founders of Studio Ahead, the stones found on Muir Beach, about 17 miles from their studio, are the inspiration. It's cozy, modern, and stylish and provides an interesting texture and depth to the wall.

'I think a lot of people are craving this softness and gentleness and where better than in the bedroom,' says Homan, principal designer at Studio Ahead. 'Specifically in this bedroom for our clients who wanted a sanctuary for lazy Sundays where they could read and hang out with their cats all day long.'

The sheep headboard in a bedroom

(Image credit: Ekaterina Izmestieva. Design: Studio Ahead)

So why is this look having a moment in the spotlight? For Studio Ahead's Homan, it's related to the wider trend for curves. We've seen organic shapes and undulating curves having a moment in recent interior design trends. Instead of sharp edges, we're looking for rounded-off kitchen islands, curved coffee tables, and even shapely sofas to bring a calming, sweeping feel to any room in the home. This look is about mirroring that. Bedrooms are meant to be relaxing spaces, and embracing curves is just one way of making sure the room feels like a space for winding down come evening time.

For Homan, it's also about mirroring the surrounding landscape. 'We are so affected by the Northern California landscape - the natural undulation of the golden hills, the rounded-out stones along the coastline, the meandering paths through redwood forests,' he explains. 'Our sheep headboard made of wool provided by a wool artisan in Sonoma is a continuation of the undulating, rounded, and meandering lines we experience around us.'

What kind of bedroom does this headboard style suit?

An abstract headboard design

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: 1818 Collective)

If you're keen to embrace the abstract headboard look, the key is to make sure the headboard is the main focus of the space. This means you don't need many other statement pieces in the room, like artwork or an overindulgence of pattern or color. In this example by The 1818 Collective, the headboard is the standout piece. There is no wall art above the bed, and the bedroom color palette is kept simple and unfussy with pale pink.

'This very small bedroom has beautiful light, so we decided to go for texture and chose very few but brilliant pieces, including this headboard,' says Kristin Fine and Analisse Taft-Gersten, co-founders of The 1818 Collective.

For the designers, the contemporary feel of the abstract headboard against the history of the home was a perfect way to introduce contrast.

'An old house and historic wall finish set a background for unexpectedly modern organic shapes for the headboard. It's simplicity with a twist,' they say.

Get the look with these three shapely headboards

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.