Nontraditional Headboards


In a bedroom, the bed and the headboard are always the main focal point.  While there are many beautiful traditional headboard options available, there are also many nontraditional, DIY, and creative options.  If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your master bedroom, a guest room, or a kid’s room, check out these ideas for inspiration. Have you ever thought of painting a headboard directly on the wall?  Pick up the sample size from any paint store and this is probably the least expensive headboard you will ever create.  Choose a fun, bright color for a kid’s room, or a more subdued tone for a guest room and accessorize with fun pillows to complete the look.

painted headboard

painted headboard

If you don’t want to paint, but need to stay economical with your selection, consider a wall decal headboard.   These are also available in several colors and styles, and they can easily be changed or switched when you’re ready for a new look.

wall decal headboards

pink decal / gray decal

Folding screens are a great item to repurpose as a headboard.  They can often be found at antique and consignment stores, or even garden centers.  Be sure to think creatively when selecting a screen – they can be used ‘as is’, but don’t be afraid to paint it or use it horizontally for an unexpected effect.

folding screen headboard

wooden folding screen headboard

folding screen headboard

yellow vines folding screen headboard

folding screen headboard

turquoise horizontal folding screen headboard

If you can’t find a folding screen check a local home décor store like Pier 1, Home Goods, or Hobby Lobby for other decorative features that could be hung in a similar way.

metal scroll headboard

metal vines headboard

Another way to create a big impact with your headboard is to find a fun wallpaper or fabric and frame it out with molding.  If you choose a bright or busy pattern, keep the pillows and bedding simple so that they don’t compete with the headboard.

wallpaper headboard

wallpaper headboard

Using a mantel not only gives you the look of a headboard, but it also provides a functional shelf for frames or other décor.  To bring more interest and softness to the piece, add a custom tufted cushion.

mantel headboards

mantel & cushion / rustic mantel

Mantels aren’t the only things that can be repurposed as headboards.  Old windows or shutters can be used to create a rustic look.  You can also customize them with paint or by filling the panes or panels with fabric.

shutter & window headboards

windowpane headboard / shutters headboard

If you’re feeling especially crafty, you can build your own headboard with wood.  Use a ‘x’ detail to give the piece a barn door feeling, or paint it to coordinate with pillows and fabric already in the room.

wood headboards

rustic wood headboard / turquoise headboard

If you’re looking for or are planning to make a nontraditional headboard, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1.  Know the width of your mattress.  You do not want to purchase a headboard that is too wide or not wide enough for your space.  The headboard should be at least as wide as the mattress.
  2. Keep the style of your room in mind.  If your bedroom is elegant and feminine, a pair of rustic shutters is probably not the best choice for that space.
  3. Be creative.  If you find a piece you love there is always a way to make it work!

º Do you have a traditional or non-traditional headboard in your bedroom?

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