Who Needs A Headboard Anyway?

Author: Lisa Soeno

In our last house the bed in our master bedroom was an oh-so-practical but oh-so-boring Divan bed. The drawers were brill for storing things like duvets, towels and handbags but I used to lust after beds that had fancy tufted headboards like this one from The White Company or ornate wooden spindles like this Ercol one.

To fill that gap over the bed I ended up attaching a gorgeously embroidered rug – a charity shop find – to a piece of dowel to create a wall hanging of sorts. It may sound a tad odd but it prettied up the wall no end without blowing the budget. And I’ve noticed that on the Urban Outfitters website they often use images of their rugs hanging on walls so I reckon I’m in good company. Whilst we are talking rugs, how epic is this flamingo one?

Here’s some other ideas which show that there are some lovely alternatives to headboards that won’t necessarily break the bank.

Alternative #1 {Macrame}

I’m all about the macrame trend that is currently enjoying a moment. I’ve got my eye on this one for my lounge and a wider one would look perfect above a bed, a la the above image from Almost Makes Perfect. So simple but so effective. And if you’re strapped for cash then it’s worth following one of the YouTube tutorials on how to make your own macrame wall hanging – I recently made a hanging planter out of twine – it’s much easier than it looks and costs just a couple of quid.

Alternative #2 {Picture Ledge}

Get yourself down to Ikea or B&Q and pick up a couple of photo shelves (I bought a couple of these ones for our kitchen and completely disagree with the 1* review – they’ve been fab). Stack with your favourite pictures, album covers and an alarm clock. This is also a fab option if you’re short on space: rather than using a bedside table you can attach lamps, like the ones above, to either end.

Alternative #3 {Window}

Have a reshuffle of your room so that the bed is positioned beneath the window, and it takes pride of place instead of a headboard. Our bedroom overlooks a park so I wish I’d had this idea before I used wallpaper to create a feature wall behind our bed.

Alternative #4 {Antique Window}

Or if it’s not possible to position your bed under a real window, why not trawl the antique shops and flea markets for some vintage windows instead.

Alternative #5 {Shutters}

In Charlotte’s old house she used whitewashed shutters as a headboard which I thought was a lovely idea so I was delighted to stumble across some very similar ones in Hudson Home. You can also buy similar shutters from Cox and Cox.

Alternative #6 {Gallery Wall}

I’m a big fan of a gallery wall and the above image shows how you really don’t need a fancy bed. Just choose a colour scheme (monochrome is high impact and easy peasy), print off your favourite photos and pick up a few arty prints. Just make sure the pictures are securely attached to the wall …

Have you ever used rugs, plates or the like as an alternative to headboards or as general wall decor? I would love to hear all about it. And if you fancy even more interiors inspiration then pop over to Rock My Family today for a tour of my little boy’s new nursery.


Header image by Adam Crohill

Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
This post may include affiliate links.
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7 thoughts on “Who Needs A Headboard Anyway?

  1. Oh, how timely Lisa, I’ve been wondering what to do about our room. We rent and where our bed headboard would be is the only radiator in the room. Our room is massive and the bed looks very ‘floaty’ and I’ve felt it needed a bedhead but all the ones I like attach to the wall which is a no go and the bed doesn’t have any fixings to attach a headboard. I’ve gone for the floating shelf option currently but it just looks kind of…dropped…if you know what I mean? The bed in the window image though has got me thinking as we have a big bay window like that. It would also give an opportunity to move the wardrobe which is blocking the half of the the other smaller window in the room (which endlessly annoys me). The only problem is I need to get new curtains – the current ones are so thin and let a lot of light in. If anyone has good suggestions of where to buy nice blackout curtains over 300cm wide that aren’t too expensive (the cheapest I’ve seen were over £100 which Id happily pay it it were our house but its not) then I’m all ears…

    1. Yey glad to be of help! Positioning the bed in front of a bay window sounds fab. Lucky you having two windows in your room.

      Have you tried Ikea for curtains? Also, I don’t know whether blinds would be suitable but I recently bought some from Blinds2go and have been very impressed with the quality and appearance x

      1. Ah that’s the sticker I forgot to add…I need pencil pleat ones and Ikea only seem to do the eyelet ones. Ikea have very long curtains but not wide enough. I would look into getting two sets, but again, the cost! Yes the room is pretty amazing, the biggest room in the house…seems a waste just to be a bedroom, I’d kind of like a little chair/reading nook in there somehow too (with all that spare time I have for reading books when I’m not working/running around after an 18 month old lol). Great feature though, its made me think about the room in a whole different way!

  2. Loving this post as I’ve been pinning various headboard styles on Pinterest and also alternatives to the typical side table. I really like the idea of a luxurious hotel type headboard like the White Company one but they’re always so flipping expensive. I’m leaning more towards a long shelf above the bed like Emma. Does anyone else have one of these? Is it practical or do you always hit your head on it? How do you make it look like it should be there?

    On a side note, does it bother anyone else that most of the beds are unmade in the images above?!

    1. It’s funny you say this Naomi because when I was picking the images I thought that the snaps where the bed was unmade generally looked better…?! However I can’t stand it if my own bed is unmade!

      We have a photo ledge behind our sofa and I’ve got to admit I’ve bumped my head on it a couple of times however I would rather that and have the flexibility of mixing up the pictures every now and then, and also less holes in the wall x

    2. I don’t bump my head on it but then I’ve probably put it a bit higher than what they have in that picture…maybe that’s the problem? I think with the right artwork on it it would look good but I just can’t quite work it out yet…a print I thought was going to look fantastic looks too big so now I’m a bit stumped on it. I’ve also thought of hanging a bit of bunting or paper poms poms or something off the bottom of it too to take it look a bit more grounded as its higher up but I haven’t actually managed to get around to trying that out yet.

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