Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Headboard Styles

Modern headboards often have low, sleek lines.

Your headboard might be one of the least utilitarian pieces of furniture in your house, but in terms of design, a headboard fulfills a big job. A headboard's main practical purpose is to support your back when you're sitting up in bed. But because your bed is the largest piece of furniture in your bedroom, the headboard you choose almost always become a focal point, drawing together various elements in the room and helping to set a theme for the rest of the design. Luckily, there are numerous styles to choose from. Does this Spark an idea?


Upholstered headboards add a touch of softness to any room. Their padding makes them an ideal choice for bedtime readers, plus they help absorb sound and cool temperatures. They are also one of the most versatile of headboard styles because they are available in a range of fabrics, shapes and designs, many of which you can make yourself. For a modern look, choose a low-profile rectangle shape in neutral or textured fabrics. For a more romantic twist, try a Victorian-inspired scalloped shape, with more height in the center than the sides. Fabric headboards can be accentuated with tufts, which can look modern if they are shallow or more Victorian if they are deep. They can also be accented with upholstery nails, which give them cleaner lines, or even wooden trim.


Metal headboards got a bad rap in the 1980s, when ornate brass beds were everywhere. But metal headboards are available in a range of designs, from vintage to modern and can give a contemporary or classic look to any room. Wrought iron headboards with scrolls, castings and spindles can give your room a romantic, antique look. Metal beds can also be pared down for a more traditional effect, such as the Ethan Allen Darby bed, which has simple, straight spindles, ball finials and a pewter finish.


One of the most ubiquitous American headboard styles, the swooped-backed sleigh bed, creates a commanding traditional look, partly because it takes up so much space. European styles, with swooping lines, ornate carvings, and even paintings of pastoral scenes, can give a room a similarly romantic appearance. For a more simplistic effect, go with a Mission style, which is usually made of oak, cherry walnut or other hardwoods and has simple, rectangular shapes with slatted backs. Wooden shelving or bookcases can also serve double-duty as a headboard, with the added advantage of providing extra storage space.

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