I have always been fascinated by headboards. I am quite the expert, as I really sleep around. Not what it sounds like - I just stay in a massive amount of different hotels and friends' guest rooms during my constant travels around the globe.
A headboard is decorative. It can bring grandeur, simplicity, coziness or sleekness to any bedroom. They also have a practical purpose built into the various designs.
Padded headboards provide comfort. Any size and shape can be cut from plywood or MDF. Glue (use nontoxic) or staple fiberfill, foam or a combination of the two onto the board to build up as much padding as you like. Cut fabric to overlap the edges, and secure to the back of the headboard with staples. You can stop here, or add more definition to the padding by pressing in upholstery tacks to create a tufted headboard. Your fabric choice will set the tempo for the bedroom: Velvet or satin are both elegant and sexy; leather and suede are chic; cotton florals can be fresh and romantic; and denim is youthful.
A flat headboard is a blank canvas for you to interpret at will. Paint techniques provide a multitude of design options, including a solid splash of a bold hue, such as fuchsia or lime, geometric and checkerboard shapes, and faux-wood or faux-fabric finishes. You can add decorative molding to frame the headboard, or build up a series of panels.
Headboards can also be fashioned as mini-storage units with a shelf for bedside reading, a clock and some photographs. A light that is built into or attached to the headboard is ideal for reading. Here is a headboard I was lucky to share a room with this past summer. It is so easy to make; plywood boards are screwed onto a plywood back, countersink the screws, fill the holes, prime and apply coats of high-gloss paint.
If headboards are your passion, why not check out auction houses and secondhand stores for pieces that can be repurposed for the job? I have used an old wood-panel door set on its side and painted it in an aged finish. An antique carved fireplace surround would be full of character and drama. For art lovers, pick a favorite poster and have it enlarged, laminated and framed. The framed poster can be hung behind the bed, or legs can be attached to the sides.
For college students on the move, a personalized headboard is a great way to inject their own style into a dorm room without breaking any rules. The framed poster works well, and for a friend of mine whose daughter was off to school, I cut a big heart out of MDF and decorated it with pieces of shiny foil for sparkle and glam. You can cut the heart in half so that it will be easier to move, and join it up with two piano hinges.
A great headboard is the focus of your bedroom, so have some fun.
Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.