At first glance, wainscoting or trim may seem like a hindrance for combining art and headboards, but with a tweak to your decorating view, you can create decor that highlights those elements without detracting from the rest of the room. Here, for example, a medium-size print balances between headboard and wainscoting. Delicate collections on top of the shelf offer an eclectic, yet dainty, complement to the muted palette.
This stripped-down, streamlined headboard melds well with the DIYable “Love” art overhead. There’s no need for headboard art to be permanent or spendy, either. Create your own project that you can swap out if you change the bedding or furniture in the space.
White walls and dark floors work well as contrasting elements in a wide range of spaces. Here, the addition of a platform bed and white bedding threatens to overpower the room, but a contemporary painting, focused mostly on rich, dark hues, provides welcome balance. There are other subtle design tricks at work here, too: The shape of the painting mimics the shape of the headboard, while sconces accent the artwork.
Old-school decorating would have any art above the headboard slim and fairly one-dimensional. New-school rules break out of that mold to create display spaces with depth and flexibility, particularly when showcasing special collections. Look for narrow boxes or multi-tiered shelves in a style that matches your bedroom -- here, rustic traditional. Make sure to place the pieces, so when you're sitting up in bed, your head is clear of the shelf's base.
Need a headboard? Here's an easy upholstered option.
Mixing pattern can be tricky, but there's a simple trick to help you master it: Pick shades of colors adjacent on the color wheel, and use them in small doses. This charming, eclectic collection -- simply fabric cut to fit different-size embroidery hoops -- becomes an artful display over the headboard, thanks to the visual balance. There are fewer hoops of larger size and more of smaller.
Hefty pieces of furniture, such as this ornate wood bed frame, risk dominating a room, especially if paired with equally heavy art. A restrained banner over the bed offers the perfect solution, as do a series of shadow boxes -- here, made of glass for less visual heft, filled with an endearing collection of baby-size tableware.
Many homes are not all right angles and square rooms: There are funky slopes, odd-shape spaces, and endearing yet weird nooks that make it hard to approach art and headboards as a traditional setup. This exuberant, eclectic combo puts nearly every surface to just-right use, with elements that express passions (the skateboard) and whimsy (the clocks).
Resist the urge to fill all the wall space between headboard and ceiling; The eye needs room to rest in any space, particularly a retreat like a bedroom. Instead, choose one distinctive piece -- here, a very long historic photograph -- to create a visual focal point.
At first glance, the space between this headboard and the built-in windows could seem like wasted space. But bed and windows serve as bookends for a delightfully simple, spot-on element. Pressed and framed, nearly translucent leaves pick up on the floral and foliage motif in the bedding. They're a nice way to create cohesion with the geometric windows, and their see-through frames keep the wall from feeling too busy.
The usual design fallback is to rely on symmetry. It's generally a good bet, but there are times aesthetics beg for something more eclectic. If your bedroom and your headboard is a less constrained style, art over the bed can be the same. Here, visual, typographic elements pick up on the country French-meets-vintage vibe in the rest of the room. Because most of them are light and airy, the art pieces don't overpower what is actually a small over-headboard space.
Complementary to the streamlined Scandinavian style of the space, the homeowners here used the wall as a headboard and included two pretty sconces for function and beauty. An unexpected sculpture in white hues adds depth, dominating attention in the room.
Static displays have a place, but don't let the desire to impeccably finish a room undermine, what might be, the perfect art and headboard combo. The simplest of displays -- here, a piece of twine, a few clothespins, an ever-changing array of art -- can be a good way to let bedroom dwellers (children in particular) change out items as the mood strikes them.
Not every bedroom has a straightforward furniture setup; some are angled, some are pushed up to the walls, as in this cheery guest room. Don't ignore the bed’s adjacent wall space, though. These maps offer an interesting pattern and a hint of color coordination with the rest of the room. Elements such as these -- maps, oversize photos, line drawings -- make for great headboard-art combos, too.
If serenity is the main focus of a bedroom space, then the art over a headboard can help promote that through a few visual must-dos. Choosing the same background and frame for pieces is a good start, as is a color palette that tends toward the cool and calm. To keep this expansive over-the-headboard space from feeling too heavy, these homeowners chose a variety of small prints, uniformly spaced.
Many of today’s platform-style beds don’t have a true headboard. Instead, pillows take the place of the visual focus that a bed backing would have had. This bunk bed presents an art and headboard combo conundrum, artfully solved by the homeowner: Cute, framed letters spell out a whimsical message shared by both resting spaces.
Alternative headboards and alternative art share space as useful, distinctive elements in this bedroom. It's a fun way to use the art-headboard space to express personality. Here, a rustic wood shade is flipped at an angle and attached to the wall. The setup also demonstrates how useful art surrounding a bed can integrate all the decor. These pretty, slight prints help to fill a visual hole while offering balance to the headboard-art setup.
A single mirror is a fine over-the-headboard element, but a variety of mirrored pieces adds movement and visual interest. When selecting a collection such as this, think in terms of odd numbers; three or five mirrors, rather than four, is best.