Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fifty Upholstered Headboards to Love

I’m working on a principal bedroom with a client who is quite keen on the idea of an upholstered headboard but isn’t sure what style direction to take.  When it comes to upholstered headboards, there are a multitude of options.  Straight or curved? Patterned or solid fabric?  Nail head detail?  Button tufting? Wood frame? Or any combination.

You can either make the headboard yourself, have an upholsterer make it for you or purchase one from a furniture manufacturer or a retailer like Restoration Hardware, West Elm or Crate and Barrel.  Even Ikea has a couple of upholstered headboards.

DIY Headboards

Of course the most economical route to go is to make it yourself.  It’s fairly simple especially if the headboard has a straight top and is slip covered.  If you are handy with a jigsaw, then the possibilities are endless.  There are a number of DIY instructions and videos on the web:

1)   HGTV:  here and here
2)  Canadian House and Home:  here  and here
3)  Country Living:  here
4)  Design Sponge:  here
I’m hoping the following 50 (yes 50!) headboards will inspire you.

Simple: plain fabric + straight






Nail head detail




Button tufting

Gwyneth Paltrow’s bedroom – so pretty!



Carrie and Big’s bed from SATC 2 upholstered in Kravet’s Velvet Gate Tuxedo.

Straight with patterned fabric



Have always loved this simple yet charming slip-covered (I think) headboard by the talented Mr. Eddie Ross.



If you can’t decide between a four poster and an upholstered headboard, you can have both:






I saw this over at House of Turquoise and emailed it to my 16 year old God daughter who wants a black and white bedroom.  She “wants the whole room” so I will have to see what I can do for her!  (I personally think the headboard shape is a bit over the top.)

It was this headboard belonging to Michelle Adams, founder of Rubie Green and Lonny, that had me jump on the upholstered headboard bandwagon.  Love this fabric!

Graphic and over-sized:

With a wood frame:




(1 – Style at Home; 2, 3, 8, 20   - Elle Decor; 4, 25  - Samantha Pynn; 5, 9, 14, 40, 49 - Lonny; 6, 22 -  Massuco Warner Miller;  7, 27, 28 – domino flickr; 10 – Amanda Nisbet via Simplified Bee; 11 – via Nest Egg; 12 – bhg; 13, 37, 47 – Country Living; 14, 20, 4, 50 – House Beautiful; 16, 17 – Jay Jeffers; 18 – Sunset; 21 – via VT Interiors; 23 – Eddie Ross; 26 – Serena and Lily; 27 – Phoebe Howard; 28, 29, 44 – Sarah Richardson; 30 – via Delight by Design; 31 – Caldwell Flake; 32 – decorpad; 35 – Mary McDonald; 36- Palmer Weiss;  38, 45, 48 – via House of Turquoise; 39 – Rubie Green/domino; 42 – House and Home; 43 – Arren Williams; 46 – Stephen Gambrel via Simplified Bee.)
Some of these are stunning and as you can see there are so many options.  I think my personal preference is for a slightly curved headboard with a neutral fabric.  For my daughter’s bedroom (yes, that bedroom which hasn’t received much attention of late), I’m thinking tall and curvy with a more graphic fabric.
What are your thoughts on upholstered headboards?  What style are you drawn to?
If you need help decorating a bedroom or any other room in your home, please email me at


  1. i love upholstered headbords- they are so stylish and easy to recover and change the look inexpensively!

  2. What a fantastic post! I love all of them honestly!! The most unique being the big round one! I like the simple ones with pattern too! Great job getting this together!

  3. Vanessa, so many fabulous examples, I am really excited to do one soon!

    Art by Karena

  4. This is an inspired post! I will now always refer to this when I need headboard inspiration - a comprehensive coverage of all styles in one post - fabulous!

  5. You have done your homework, girl. Love these images, I am dying to try on for myself when I move this fall. Thanks for the tutorials!!

  6. Wow, what a great collection for inspiration. thanks!

  7. What a great collection of inspiring ideas for headboards, thank you! I would like to attempt to make one myself for our new king-size. I will definitely post whatever I decide to do on my blog.

  8. This was great b/c SO many people want this touch in their bedrooms! Your homework, plus presentation gets an A++!! I am loving that giant green one and also a neutral palette it looks a lot like (but much better) my bedroom :) Yummy stuff!

  9. Oh my goodness, so much eye candy here! I have a thing for upholstered headboards and I am planning to make my own for my bedroom sometime soon. I have always loved Grace's from Design Sponge, although it is pretty big. My other two favourites are the curved green, black and white floral one with the nailhead trim and the yellow, black and white floral one. I guess my headboard style is floral and in an unusual, curved design!

  10. SO much inspiration! We're in the midst of a bedroom makeover, and this gets us thinking! Thank you also for including us! Yes, it was slip-covered!

    Eddie + Jaithan

  11. love an upholstered head board.

  12. Nice collection of headboard ideas! It really depends on what your client is looking for, I would have him/her choose from her top 3 categories from above, and narrow it down from there. My favorite is simple and pretty, and button tufting, but all of them could look gorgeous! Review with him/her other design elements on her room like paint, lighting and flooring, and maybe that way it will be easier to make a decision ;) thanks for sharing!

  13. This is such a great post. I adore upholstered headboards.


  14. The choices are mind numbing, Vanessa! I love an upholstered headboard, but for myself, am afraid to be too specific as to color, pattern and shape. I would love the opportunity to actually install one for a client though.

    Thanks for entering my giveaway! I wish I could do my business full-time ~ I'd probably look forward to Mondays then, too!

  15. I love upholstered headboards -- in fact, I love an entirely upholstered bed!! Hubby and I designed and built our upholstered bed. It was inspired by the bed in the master bedroom on Sarah's House (you posted it above, the white fabric with blue floral pattern). The headboard has silver nailhead trim to add some sparkle.

    I do like the look of an upholstered headboard in a bold or graphic fabric. But the advanatage to using a plain fabric is that it's a bit more versatile, and you can put a fabulous graphic wallpaper on the wall behind the bed :-)


  16. wow - what a round-up! i love it when my clients say they want an upholstered headboard. they are so much fun to do and a great focal point in the bedroom.

  17. huge, gorgeous collection of photos.. I have to come back and have another look! I am craving a big, comfortable headboard - my wooden one is too short and not doing it! Thank you for all the inspiration..

  18. Amazing collection of headboards!!! Will bookmark and use this one over and over again. Great resource! I am in love with that big round "green/white" one. So retro!!! Great job!

  19. Thanks for your kind comment on my "surf-n-sun" post :-) I'm shy about putting my pic on our blog, so believe me, I struggled with whether or not to post that last picture!! But I think it really shows the fun we had on our trip, so there I am!!

    Have a great weekend!!


  20. Phew! What an incredible roundup, Vanessa - it's epic! It's like the best roundup ever. I'm a big fan of upholstered headboards. Perfect for reading in bed. (Mine looks like the second one.) Hope you're having a great weekend!

  21. Fantastic post! I featured you in the 3rd of my Blog Bites series today for this post, along with Corea Sotropa Interior Design & Tobi Fairley!!

  22. Oh this has got to be the BEST inspirational post! I linked it to my "headboards - upholstered" project post too!

  23. I just saw a show on SLICE tv that went through the design process of making your own can be very easy! awesome post and great inspiration!

  24. This is such perfect timing because I just decided I was going to make one for my daughter. Thanks for all the great inspiration!

  25. Thank you for posting these beautiful pictures! I have pinned some of my favorites for inspiration.

  26. Love it! Greetings from Ewa in Sweden


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