Headboard Ideas – 20 elegant designs for a modern bedroom scheme

From headboard ideas that stretch wall-to-wall and ones that touch the ceiling, to unusual materials and sumptuous textures, these striking headboards favor the bold

a dusty pink bedroom with a patterned headboard
(Image credit: Trove by Studio Duggan)

If you're hunting for headboard ideas, you're not alone  –  statement headboards are a huge trend right now, and we're very on board. From simple elegant designs to punchy headboards that scale the width of your bedroom wall, they're sure to add warmth and texture to any bedroom scheme, no matter the size. 

Statement headboards are a wonderful opportunity to introduce beautiful fabrics or gorgeous embroideries – and because they don’t require meters and meters of material, you can indulge in the most expensive fabrics to make a splash in your bedroom.

If you're after unusual bedroom ideas, remember that headboards come in a variety of styles, from built-in headboards with extra depth for storage to a design with hidden wiring and electrics for hotel-style, easy-access bedside lighting. The options are endless!

Scroll down to get inspired by some of our favorite headboard ideas – these latest looks are sure to dramatically transform your bedroom.

20 headboard ideas to inspire your bedroom scheme

1. Match your headboard to your valance

a bedroom with a curved headboard and valance

(Image credit: Trove by Studio Duggan)

A look once reserved for traditional and twee bedroom schemes, matching your upholstered headboard to your valance is now in vogue and not only looks super stylish, it helps tie the look together, too. The delicate pink tones here are broken up with crisp white linen for a clean, but pretty bedroom look.

Designed by TROVE; a home and lifestyle brand designed and curated by the Interior Design firm Studio Duggan, the debut bedroom collection embodies Studio Duggan's signature style – with a nomadic, yet timeless sensibility and an emphasis on quality, craftsmanship, and the never-ending search for the extraordinary and the beautiful. 'The Studio Duggan design philosophy is to create liveable yet dynamic spaces which fearlessly unite different eras and styles in pursuit of today’s perfection,' says Tiffany Duggan, founder of Studio Duggan.

Featuring a diverse range of headboards, beds, lighting, seating, case goods and accessories designed by the Studio, TROVE creates a look that appears to have evolved and matured over time, with carefully edited customization available to personalize your home. 

2. Contrast light and dark

a bedroom with light limewash walls and a dark headboard

(Image credit: Secret Linen Store)

If you're after a dark and dramatic headboard, opting for light bedding will help soften the look and help distinguish the headboard from the rest of the bed, creating more of a statement. But if you're after something very impactful, be brave and pick bedding for a dark bedroom idea.

On the subject of bedding, it seems like a fine art styling a bed to perfection. Luckily, Molly Freshwater, creative director and co-founder at Secret Linen Store shares her top tips for creating the perfect bed.

'Making a bed is all about the magic number of pillows, which in by bedtime book is six. Choose four standard and two square, or if you can only have four, then make sure two of them are square,' she says. 'I couldn’t live without my square pillows, for sleeping and most importantly to prop them against the headboard for sitting up, sipping tea, reading the Saturday morning papers and late night watching something on Netflix.'

'I have always said that you should think of your bed as a picture with color in it and headboards offer the perfect backdrop to build upon. Mix your pillow sizes up – if you look closely at our beds, we often use three different styles to add interest and a quirky style,' she adds. 'When it comes to matching pillowcases to your headboard, remember that color and texture are your friends, and you should be brave. Add contrasting pillowcase colors or keep it tonal – anything goes!'

3. Matching twin headboards

double beds in a spare guest room

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

Do you have a spare bedroom or children's room you're looking to update? We suggest trying twin beds with matching headboards for a chic new look. The modern, straight edge design of this look by Albion Nord ensures the room doesn't feel too twee. Blue, yellow and orange tones unite to create a contemporary space that will wow guests and excite kids.

‘Consider texture to be as important as color and pattern,' notes Camilla Clarke, Creative Director at Albion Nord. 'There is nothing worse than a flat design. Interiors are all about evoking the senses and therefore texture is a vital ingredient to every design to get our sight and touch senses going. Try mixing different textures such as natural linens with soft velvets or robust leathers with thick wools.’ 

4. Art deco design

a modern space with an art deco headboard

(Image credit: Bethan Gray)

For Bethan Gray’s first bedroom furniture collection, the renowned British designer has married clean-lined silhouettes and exquisite hand-crafted construction and finishes to create a range of new pieces, including customizable headboards, perfectly in tune with today’s modern lifestyle. 

'As one big open space, a headboard really makes the most of the pattern and the metallic overlay really does shine,' enthuses Bethan of her Dhow range. 'Equally, there is a charm in the way [the pattern] works on the smaller pieces, such as bedside cabinets.'

As each piece is made to order, both the length and width of the wooden base and the pattern of the headboard can be customized to accommodate different mattress sizes and individual needs, resulting in a glam bedroom no matter the size. 

5. Make it extra tall

a tall detailed headboard in a bedroom

(Image credit: Andrew Martin)

After that boutique hotel interior design look at home? Then go big with your headboard, whether that's tall, wide or in an elaborate pattern - or all three!

'Headboards are an inexpensive way of transforming a bedroom. They are essentially alternative forms of artwork,' says Martin Waller, Founder, Andrew Martin. 'With the rise of the boutique hotel and its trending look in residential design, the headboard has taken center stage in bedroom interiors. Our bedrooms should be as individual as the people that inhabit them.'

'Don’t be afraid to choose a quirkier or more eccentric style as this only adds character,' he continues. 'We no longer require artwork in bedrooms when we have a headboard crafted to elaborate perfection or upholstered in a bold-patterned fabric acting as a piece of art in and of itself. Having said that, employing artwork or mirrors either side of a headboard to complement the centerpiece will only add impact and depth.'

6. Consider scalloped, fluted textures

a pink bedroom with a scalloped headboard

(Image credit: Future)

This stunning bespoke headboard, designed by Irene Gunter of Gunter & Co, taps into the trend for lozenge shapes. We love the headboard's scalloped silhouette and fluted texture – like tall fingers. 

The beauty of this room also lies in its eclectic mix of different patterns, and the appearance of vintage touches alongside contemporary style. A soft pink on the walls makes a soothing backdrop. 

7. Create the unexpected

a tall green velvet headboard

(Image credit: Future)

This green velvet headboard wraps around fitted shelves, adding color, glamor and drama. Low hanging pendant lamps on either side offer an out-of-the-box approach to bedside reading lights. 

Velvet has also been used to encase the shelving above the bed, making for a dramatic design. 

8. Consider built-in storage

a yellow velvet headboard

(Image credit: James Merrell)

This zesty upholstered headboard really packs a punch against the calm surroundings in this bedroom. However, this yellow velvet belies another design detail. 

Pushed forward from the wall, this headboard has been used to create built-in storage for the bedroom too. Behind the plush surface, the headboard conceals handy hidden shelving for nighttime reading.

9. Choose tufted texture for a traditional touch

headboard ideas

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

This eclectic bedroom design was inspired by Kit Kemp. The bedroom curtains are heavy but work well to block the light. 

The headboard was designed by Champalimaud. Its color echoes the artwork from Nova Scotia, where the yellow figurine on the table was also found. 

10. Wraparound for a cocooning feel

headboard ideas

(Image credit: Future)

Curved shapes and lush textures have a cocooning effect that can be relaxing and sleep-inducing. Look for stain-resistant velvet for longevity. The toffee hue shown here chimes with the trend for earthy hues. 

11. Try this laidback curtain look

a curtain used as a headboard in a bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

Fake a headboard with a room screen instead, and use it to frame the bed area. For a laid-back vibe, drape it with a fabric and cocoon yourself in linen.

12. Replace a headboard with a paint effect

a bedroom with a painted wall instead of a headboard

(Image credit: Future)

You can also fake a headboard with paint effects. Not exactly a headboard but we love the striking geometric paint pattern behind this bed. 

13. Use a headboard as a room divider

a bedroom with a room divider as a headboard

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

The integrated bed and storage below was designed to give a feeling of “his and hers”, with two different colors and a delicate flower motif etched into the surface. Concealed behind the headboard / wall of cupboards is a walk-in wardrobe and dressing room

14. Pick patterned fabrics

a bedroom with a patterned fabric headboard

Get the look: Farrow & Ball's Sulking Room pink is similar.

(Image credit: Future)

Inject some pattern into your bedroom with an upholstered, patterned headboard design. A patterned headboard is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can tie a color scheme together, as you can choose a pattern that incorporates a variety of colors – or choose the fabric first, then complement the design by choosing the bedroom wall color, bedroom curtains, accent cushions and rug in the same shades.

15. Embrace pattern clashing

Clashing patterns used for a headboard and duvet cover

(Image credit: Alicea Neo)

The girls' bedroom by Singapore-based interior designer Elizabeth Hay below features a confined color palette to give a considered scheme. A statement headboard completes the look. We love the pattern clash – it works as the color palette is the same.

16. Opt for antique woods for vintage glamor

a bedroom with a dark wood headboard

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

The owners of this home say their friends joke this bedroom looks like it's from the WWII years, but they love its vintage glamor. The antique wooden bed might look frumpy in cluttered, floral, chintzy spaces but with simple white bedding, a modern bedroom wallpaper and modern bedroom lighting it works.

17. Take a modern approach to wooden headboards

a modern wood headboard in a bedroom

(Image credit: Chris Tubbs)

A matt black headboard unit works as a functional focal point in this bedroom. The headboard also hides a practical shelf for a changing array of art. 

18. Choose warm metallics for a glam look

a brass headboard in a bedroom

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

In this master bedroom, high skirtings are worked into a darkly glam space, its surfaces glowing in deep teal, brass and matt-black timber. But the piece de resistance is the luminous brass headboard.

19. Build in shelving

a green headboard with built in storage

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Simple but dramatic statements reflect architect Christina Seilern’s flair for stop-and-stare design – an acid green headboard with built-in storage and lighting dominates.

20. Try a framed headboard for a sleek look

headboard ideas

Get the look: The headboard is upholstered in Navaho Grey fabric by Andrew Martin. The side cabinet is from Swoon. The light is from Menu.

(Image credit: Rei Moon)

Designer Amelie von Celsing wanted the bed to be the main feature in this small bedroom. A bespoke headboard with specially chosen fabric creates a distinct focal point. 

What can I use to make a headboard?

Headboard ideas in modern bedroom

(Image credit: Trove by Studio Duggan)

If you're feeling adventurous and fancy making your own headboard (check out these Ikea bedhead hacks) or you can't pick which fabric to choose if you're having one made, remember that if you are choosing a fabric headboard for a bed that you use every day, it’s important to choose a fabric that is easy to clean, durable and stain resistant, especially if you have little ones in the house, so consider cottons, linens and leathers.

You should also take into account the location of your bed. For example, if your bed is near a window and drenched in sunlight for a lot of the day, you should choose a fabric that does not fade easily. Consider natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and wool blends. Fabrics blended with acrylic, polyester, and nylon are also less likely to fade. Avoid selecting fabrics like linen and silk as they are prone to fading quickly.

What is an alternative to a headboard?

A headboard is much more than a visual focal point. It can be also be used to create a comfortable back support when sitting up, provide practical storage solution if you go for one with in-built storage, and of course, you won’t lose your pillows. But if you're not keen on the idea, artwork, room dividers, fabric wall hangings, and even wallpapers can create the look of a headboard without the need to buy or make one. 

'We created a headboard only option following the success of our Song Bed, as customers love the ability to include the comfy laid back look of Maker&Son cushions on their existing divan or bed frame,' say the experts at Maker & Son. 'Color selection varies but is split equally between our neutrals like Sunstone and Moonstone and our more bold colors. Topaz is always a favorite, but when it comes to beds people just love Angelite which is a dreamy pale duck egg blue.'

a bed with two cushions for a headboard

(Image credit: Maker & Son)

What is the reason for headboards?

'A bespoke headboard is a great way of elevating and complementing an existing décor scheme,' says Camilla Clarke, Creative Director, Albion Nord. ‘We decided to integrate a wall light into this bespoke fitted headboard. It’s a much more contemporary approach to a headboard design and makes it feel more considered and holistic.’ 

‘Adjustable bedside lighting gives you more flexibility and ability to direct the light in different angles for reading. We have chosen a bronze metal with a metal shade. A smooth, cold material to juxtapose against the soft light boucle wool on the headboard. Making it a feature in the design.’  

a boucle headboard in a bedroom

(Image credit: Albion Nord)
Rachel Christie

As the Houses Editor on Livingetc, Rachel has been obsessed with property ever since she was a kid. With a diploma in interior design and more than a decade working on interior magazines under her belt, she feels very at home sourcing the best contemporary houses the world has to offer for Livingetc. It's not just the day job either, she admits she's spent a scary amount of her own time researching schemes for her own renovations - scrolling Instagram, stalking Rightmove and Modern House, flicking through magazines and snooping in other peoples' windows - so she really does live and breathe houses on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Before Livingetc, Rachel had a stint finding homes for Ikea Family magazine where she was lucky enough to gallivant around the world on shoots meeting and interviewing interesting people, all with a very keen eye for blending high-end design with everyday items from Ikea. It inspired her to not be afraid of mixing new and old, expensive and affordable, vintage and modern and so Rachel's current Victorian terrace in north London is very much an updated, contemporary take on a period property; think open-plan modern kitchen with concrete floors, feature fireplaces and her grandmother’s paintings on the walls. Rachel is currently crushing on reeded glass, large gingham prints, squishy curved furniture; like Buchanan Studio’s Studio chair, and vintage wall sconces; she especially adores Retrouvius for sourcing antique finds and feels inspired by Lonika Chande, Beata Heuman and Matilda Goad and already can’t wait to start planning her next home, wherever that might be.

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