Bed and board: How to choose the right headboard

PUBLISHED: 09:54 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:27 11 March 2020

Harnham Bed from £1,380 (previously from £1,725), Willow and Hall. Picture: PA Photo/Willow and Hall

Harnham Bed from £1,380 (previously from £1,725), Willow and Hall. Picture: PA Photo/Willow and Hall


From statement styles to space-saving designs, Sam Wylie-Harris looks at how to choose the perfect headboard.

Sandridge Bed from £846, Willow and Hall. Picture: PA Photo/Willow and HallSandridge Bed from £846, Willow and Hall. Picture: PA Photo/Willow and Hall

The right headboard can help create the perfect focal point in a bedroom, whether you want to sleep in luxe cosiness like a fairy-tale princess, channel some rustic charm or to think outside the box with something modern.

Here's why headboards are worth considering and how to choose the perfect one for your space...

Think about the size of your room

'One must choose the correct headboard for the scale of the room. Vast rooms allow for tall showstoppers in exciting fabrics, and others with lower ceilings call for gentler curves and less statement,' says Henriette von Stockhausen, co-founder of VSP Interiors.

'And for those wishing to make changes to their bedroom, updating a headboard can transform the look and feel of a room without the need to undergo an entire makeover.'

Create a unique look with a bespoke headboard

Vintage chic: Antique fabric on mirrored four-poster bed frame, POA, VSP Interiors. Picture: PA Photo/VSP InteriorsVintage chic: Antique fabric on mirrored four-poster bed frame, POA, VSP Interiors. Picture: PA Photo/VSP Interiors

It may sound fancy - and of course it's generally going to be a lot more expensive - but if you're feeling creative, or as von Stockhausen suggests, want to inject some wow factor into the bedroom without having to redo the entire room, a bespoke or designer headboard could be an ideal option.

'I particularly like working with antique fabrics to make a statement, and on many occasions have used the colours from the headboard fabric to pull the rest of the room together,' says von Stockhausen.

'Let the headboard be your guide for cushions and accessories such as fabric lampshades. I always choose two-sided cushions to offer two different looks/moods from one cushion. This allows you to reverse and change them with the seasons - a simple change such as this can update the room for summer or winter.'

Statement headboards

Even if you're on a tighter budget, headboards certainly don't need to be boring. Whatever your design brief, statement headboards come in many shapes and colours.

'For those wanting to recreate the feeling of luxury found in boutique hotels, look no further than a statement headboard,' says Kris Manalo, senior buyer, Heal's. 'By creating a bold focal point and opting for tactile upholstery, a standout headboard can be a quick and cost-effective way to introduce personality into a space, whilst staying firmly on-trend.

'Don't be afraid to add height, colour and texture to elevate bedroom schemes and construct a cosy cocoon-like setting,' Manalo adds.

Brimnesi Headboard Standard Double, £100, IKEA. Picture: PA Photo/IKEABrimnesi Headboard Standard Double, £100, IKEA. Picture: PA Photo/IKEA

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'A winged headboard is perfect for zoning off a sleeping space, whilst padded cushioning creates optimum comfort for those who enjoy a spot of bedtime reading,' suggests Manalo.

New for spring/summer 2020, the Crawford Bed (from £899) from Heal's features a soft fabric backing, sitting elegantly against its blonde oak frame.

Keep it simple

Of course, simple, sleek designs are always a popular option too. These can still add valuable structure and interest to a space.

'For those with minimal, Scandi-inspired schemes, opt for simple, oak frames such as the Morten (from £649), or classic mid-century styling like the Brunel (from £649),' says Manalo.

'Featuring industrial touches and a gently scooped oak headboard, Brunel is a pared-back option - perfect for those seeking a contemporary look for their bedroom,' Manalo adds.

Brunel Bed Oak Headboard, from £649, Heal's. Picture: PA Photo/Heal'sBrunel Bed Oak Headboard, from £649, Heal's. Picture: PA Photo/Heal's

Space-saving headboards

As well as looking good, headboards can multitask these days and be a great way to utilise bedroom space and even add extra storage and function.

Ikea has a variety of affordable options to suit all different styles and spaces. For example, their Nordli and Brimnes headboards have built-in storage - potentially saving space on a bedside table in narrow rooms.

'Books, magazines and other things you like to keep nearby make these headboards small-space heroes,' says Stella Monteiro, sales leader at Ikea UK & Ireland.

'You can also hide cables for lamps and chargers by feeding them through the holes at the top of the headboard, ensuring a decluttered and tidy look.

'Furthermore, the Nordli bed frame and headboard incorporates convenient boxes and shelves, that you can easily attach in your desired position by simply slotting into the headboard grooves, so your favourite book is easy to reach.'

Classic styles are having a moment

Throughout 2020, Willow & Hall predict classic furniture design will continue to rise in popularity, with more and more customers turning to traditional styles. 'Expect to see button-backed headboards and sofas in abundance,' says Sarah Massouh, managing director, Willow & Hall.

'Deep blues (Classic Blue is Pantone's Colour of the Year 2020) are perfect for spaces where we want to sleep, dream and relax - it's a colour you can dive into, with connections to the sea and sky proven to alleviate stress and tension,' Massouh adds.

A twist on traditional designs - especially if you love the idea of rattan and sandy tones to imbibe a Mediterranean-style scheme - Ikea's rattan Delaktig Headboard channels a relaxed and natural look. You could even personalise it further and build on the theme with a few wicker baskets, exotic decos and woven throws - a budget-friendly way to update the whole room.

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