Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The History Of Styles Of European Headboards

Wooden headboard

An eye-catching headboard can add much character to your bedroom. While the basic function of the headboard is to keep bed linen and pillows from falling off the bed, it also serves as a decorative piece of furniture that can enhance the look of your bedroom. Though bed frames existed as early at 3100 B.C. in Egypt, it was only during the Middle Ages that European headboards evolved into the elaborate home furnishing accessories that they are today. Does this Spark an idea?


The earliest headboards, made of gold, silver and ebony, were found in the beds of the Pharaohs. The ancient Greeks slept on raised beds fitted with a wooded headboard that also served as a ledge for reclining and eating. The Romans slept on couches with ornate headboards that symbolized wealth and status. According to Mike Stephenson, the owner of headboard retail store Headboards UK, in Medieval Europe, bedroom furniture was built in separate pieces -- the frame, headboard and bedding material. It was during this time that headboards became more detailed and fanciful, and anyone of noble blood had only the finest bed with a highly impressive headboard as the focal point. In colonial times, these regal and luxurious headboards were exported from Europe to the rest of the world.

Soft Surfaced

The most commonly used materials for headboards are wood and metal, however these days there are many more options available in various materials and styles. Common to most hotel rooms and modern apartment units are upholstered fabric or leather headboards. Button-tufted padded headboards in Tartan or pretty floral prints are ideal for country homes. The soft upholstered surface of these upholstered styles allows a person to sit back comfortably in bed to read or watch television. Leather wingbacked headboards give a freestanding bed a handsome and classy look.

Hard Surfaced

Closer to its history origins are wooden four-poster styled headboards with cannonball knobs at both ends, or elegant crafted wrought-iron or brass designs. More utilitarian in design are bookcase headboards that allow for extra storage space near the bed, and mirror headboards. Some hard surfaced styles also provide other functions like storage and a ledge for support or hospital care purposes.


Headboards also help to insulate the sleeper against drafty walls, and wood and padded headboards are best for this purpose. Other things to consider are maintenance and safety. Brass and mirror headboards are not good choices for a child's bedroom and leather and wood or laminated services are easier to clean than brass or fabric.

Old World Charm

When selecting a headboard, it is important to ensure it complements the overall concept of the bedroom. With the wide variety of styles currently available in stores, it is possible to re-create the allure of Old World Europe in today's bedrooms.

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