Blend your headboard into its surroundings with a subtle color shift. Paint the wall behind your headboard a shade or two lighter than the headboard's fabric. A barely-there difference will give your headboard the presence of a whisper rather than a shout.
Tufted Upholstered Headboards
For extra texture, employ a headboard that has deep tufts. Headboards with thicker padding allow for deeper tufts and a more luxurious look.
Nailhead trim offers a classic, tailored finish to an upholstered headboard. Whether you're building or buying a headboard, choose a nailhead trim that stands out so the elegant detail isn't lost on a patterned or boldly colored fabric. Also consider the size of the nailheads. They might look apparent up close, but take a step back and see if the heads are large enough to distinguish from a distance.
Curving high above a bed piled with luxurious linens and plush pillows, this headboard makes a sensational style statement. Its elegant shape and lush tufting play off the dramatic bedding, but the linenlike quality of the fabric speaks to the bedroom's charming primitive qualities -- whitewashed paneled walls, jute rug, and wicker table -- marrying the rustic with the sublime.
Placing a bed in front of a window is not a common furniture-arranging practice, but in this light-filled bedroom, the bed's placement serves a practical purpose. The tall upholstered headboard obstructs the view from the window for privacy's sake while still allowing some light through the top and providing a comfortable backrest to lean against in bed. Nailhead trim outlines the headboard, helping it stand out against the creamy white walls and shimmery drapes in the same hue.
For a look that piles on the contrast, choose a headboard upholstered in a graphic, two-tone fabric. Here, a large-scale black-and-white pattern stands out against a blue wall. A bit of cohesiveness brings contrast under control, ensuring the look is daring, not disparate. In this bedroom, a blue stripe in the shams unites the bedding to the wall color, and the hints of black and white on the pillows tie the headboard to the bedding.
If you love the look of curved posts and a classic wood frame but crave a comfortable upholstered back, look for a hybrid headboard. These models offer the best of both in one piece.
Make a standard 8-foot ceiling appear higher with a tall headboard. Standing at a stately height, this green-and-white upholstered headboard is simple in shape, but it draws the eye up and creates the illusion of more vertical space. In a palette of neutrals, a jolt of color gives a room distinct personality. For balance, pick a colorful piece that also carries one of the room's main neutral hues. The white zigzag-and-dot pattern on the headboard fabric tempers the green background so it isn't jarring the way a solid green headboard would be.
Give an upholstered headboard a little bit of structure with a solid wood frame. Here, a band of richly stained wood frames the caramel-color velvet upholstered panel, coordinating the bed with the bedside table.
This headboard marries the soaring height of a poster bed with the soft luxury of an upholstered headboard. A tufted gray panel fits between the posts, which direct attention toward the bedroom's detailed crown molding.
A pair of shamrock-green headboards sets the sweetly preppy tone in this bedroom designed for two. The cloudlike shape of the headboards is whimsical, but the crisp white linens and walls keep the whimsy in check to create a look that will last from childhood to teenagedom. To store items beneath the bed, add a matching bed skirt for a polished finish.
Neutral & Detailed
While a monochromatic palette is chic, extra details can give it a little pizzazz. This upholstered headboard is almost the exact same soft oatmeal color as the wall behind it, but its elegant silhouette, nailhead trim, and deep tufting make it stand out while maintaining an uninterrupted plane of neutral. The same principal applies to the matelasse bedspread: It's in the same neutral hue, but the quilting gives it standout texture.
To make an extra-luxurious statement, opt for a headboard in an elegant fabric and a rich color. Here, velvet and chocolate brown are the material and color of choice. A complementary blue-and-orange color pairing balances the rich brown, while a luxurious silk throw pillow keeps up with the velvety headboard's elegant demeanor.
On the Double
Proving that two is sometimes better than one, a double row of nailhead trim punctuates this headboard's simple shape and blue upholstery. In another double take, a mirrored wall behind the bed serves as a secondary headboard.
When choosing an upholstered headboard to match a wallpaper, consider matching the fabric to one of the less dominate colors within the pattern of the wallpaper. In this elegant bedroom, a gold headboard would have been striking, but it would have competed with the dominate metallic-gold leaf pattern in the wallpaper. Instead, the headboard fabric matches the secondary ecru abstract flower blossoms, which creates a visual connection between the walls and the bed.
Carved in Style
The sculptural shape of this upholstered headboard mimics the look of carved wood, but it's much softer to lean against. The velvety blue upholstery picks up the flourishes on the bedding and throw pillow.
In a room filled with gorgeous patterns and colors, a simple headboard can be just as much of a standout as an ornamented one. This subdued creamy white headboard is trimmed in oversize nailheads for a distinctive finish.
Mocha-color tufted-silk upholstery on a wraparound headboard envelopes this bed with luxury and comfort. The simple textures of the fabric-and-wood frame contrast the grass-cloth-covered walls.
Scale and rhythm are key principles to successful pattern-mixing. In a space filled with pretty florals, an oversize gingham fabric on the upholstered headboard and drapes offers a welcome contrast. The orderly pattern of green-and-white checks introduces a steady rhythm to the free-flowing florals on the walls and bedding. A larger-scale gingham pattern ensures that the fabric isn't lost among the room's elements the way a smaller pattern could have been.
Bridge the Gap
Dark steel blue walls envelop this crisp white headboard for a cool, contrasting look. Silver nailhead trim bridges the chasm between the brightness of the headboard and the steely gray undertones of the wall. When working with stark contrasts, look for an element, such as this nailhead trim, that will tie the opposites together.
Layers of touchable textures mix and mingle around a basic natural-linen headboard. The vintage hooked-wool rug framed and hung above the bed inspired the collection of pillows that features quilted silk, tufted cotton, and crewelwork.
Blend rounded lines with straight edges. The circular pattern on the headboard and bed skirt creates a striking effect with the rigid lines of the rectangular headboard. The result is an eye-appealing balance that makes a big impact in this room.
Add style to a plain wall with an extra-high patterned upholstered headboard. The blue and green flowers on this print are perfect for the whimsical bedroom and make a statement on the light blue walls.
Go to the next slides to see our upholstered headboard product picks.
Pick 1: Classic Design
Safavieh Jeneve Hemp Headboard (Full)
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Pick 2: Simple and Elegant
Full/Queen Bordeaux Adjustable Headboard
Brand: Plow and Hearth
Store: Plow & Hearth
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Pick 3: Perfectly Tufted
Chesterfield Upholstered Bed and Headboard
Brand: Pottery Barn
Store: Pottery Barn
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Pick 4: Understated Pattern
Upholstered Slipcover Headboard - Crawford Natural
Brand: Howard Elliott
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Pick 5: Colorful and Fun
Slipcover Upholstered Headboard
Brand: Skyline Furniture
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Pick 6: Gorgeous and Glam
"Bolivar" King Headboard
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