A stylish headboard, whether custom or off-the-shelf, sets the design style for a bedroom. Photo / Supplied
Forget the nana five piece suite and a create custom feature for your bedroom.
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but I’d argue that is actually your main bedroom.
And when your head hits that pillow and you issue a sigh of relief I’d say it is most definitely the headboard is one of the most important parts of making your bed comfortable.
Many people see it as a functional aspect part of the bed construction, rather than a design feature. It is also a confusing feature to shop for, so here are a few things to look out for before making your purchase:
Fabric or wood?
Everyone will definitely have their own preference, but I personally am on team fabric (even though right now I have a wooden frame on my own bed).
A wooden frame is sleek and classic, and if made by a contemporary manufacturer can stylishly channel a Japanese minimalist style, but if you want to nestle in bed to watch movies or a good book, you need to have decent feather down Euro cushions to lean on.
Wooden headboards are the most common in stores, but can be customised with wall-hung pieces. Photo / Supplied
On the plus side, wood has a good long life and shows minimal wear and tear. If our clients choose wood, we steer them firmly away from the matching five-piece suite because it can be very dense and heavy visually, and dated matchy-matchy, even nana.
A fabric headboard creates an instant cozy feeling as you walk into the room and avoids the need to line the headboard with a fortress of pillows. Textured or printed fabric softens the room and still works well with other wooden bedroom furniture.
Be sure to select a fabric that is sealed with a fabric protector like Scotch-guard or, luxuriously, a wipeable fabric like leather, as daily rubbing from hair dye, skin oils and sweat can discolour the fabric over time.
Vertical channelling is the most common option for upholstered headboards, but look for a fabric with stain protection qualities. Photo / Supplied
Funnily enough, the lack of headboard selection in New Zealand does make it a bit easier to choose a style.
Most standard in-stock headboards are either a wooden slat or solid wood headboard. For a more contemporary design keep an eye out for plywood construction, or a trend that will stand the test of time, try wooden frames with woven cane inserts for a more relaxed style.
Laura Heynike: “think about what would really make the headboard pop as a design feature.” Photo / Fiona Goodall
Fabric-covered headboards are mostly plain wrapped, stud trimmed or with a special upholstery stitch or feature. Most plain wrapped ones available in stores are fairly basic, but look around for styles with a bit more interest such as curved ends or an arch shape.
Stud detailing around the edges works well for French country or rustic style-decor. For a more upholstered look, vertical stitching in a channel pattern is a sure winner as it will draw the eye upwards and make the room seem taller.
Custom options are endless, such as this battened timber extended from the bedhead to a chair-rail around the room. Photo / Supplied
For around half of our clients we commission a customised headboard, usually because we are using a special luxury fabric, a colour that is not a standard option or adding an extra design feature.
For example, we like to design little fins that wrap around the side of the headboard, a bit like an old-fashioned wing chair, to make the bed feel like a cosy hug. Or we might specify a custom height that makes the room appear taller.
Modern rattan-style headboards are a fashionable look that will have long life. Photo / Supplied
Other stylish custom options include inserting a wooden panel with LED lighting and inbuilt charging points for phone or laptop – if you have the budget, there are lots of exciting custom things you can keep adding.
To narrow your choices, decide on the overall interior style you want, whether you want the headbaoard to work with the linen you already own and then think about what would really make the headboard pop as a design feature, not just a utilitarian piece of furniture.