The Girly Modern Guide to Headboards


If sleep were a person, we’d all most likely be in couples counseling.  We are either not getting enough, the stuff we’re getting is embarrassingly shoddy, or we have to schedule date nights with our REM sleep.  I love sleeping, lounging under duvet covers, and slow moving mornings without alarm clocks.  While my busy design life tends to keep me from pressing snooze, it does keep me close to creating beautiful bedroom designs with one of my favorite decor pieces:  headboards.

Headboards are those things you didn’t have in your 20s but finally saw the light in your 30s.  They are the cornerstone of beds and sometimes the entire room.  If you’re new to the world of headboards, don’t be afraid.  For the novice, keep it simple.  A single color or simple striped pattern on a clean, linear design is your best bet.  Here’s a great example of a two-toned striped headboard in a straightforward rectangular design.

1Photo: Designed by Kerrisdale Design Inc.

Single toned headboards can also anchor a room that has a more complex design pattern.  This solid heather grey headboard for my client’s master bedroom adds a clean, modern grounding effect to a room with multiple colors and textures.

2Photo: David Livingston

For the more headboard savvy amongst us, it’s time to get down with some patterns! Patterned headboards have the power to compliment the overall design theme of your bedroom whether it’s calm, sophisticated, or girly modern.  Patterns also open up an entire new realm of creativity.  Colors, textures, and shapes are all up for grabs with patterned designs.  To avoid a frenetic palette, pair a subtle color with a more active, detailed headboard shape. Such as this single striped, rustic red pattern on an intricately designed, cutout headboard. Have fun with the shape but consult a professional if you are going this curvy!

Photo:Nursery Notions

Or the flip-side, pair a more detailed design with a gentle sloping shape.


Photo: David Livingston


Photo: Source

I love to use fabric in my Girly Modern designs but on a recent project for the Napa Showcase, I couldn’t decide between upholstered or wood for the headboard.  I went with the best of both worlds with this custom design of pale blue upholstery on a dark wood frame.

6Photo: David Livingston

If clocking in at the sleep factory means a bedroom filled with soft lines and muted tones, we think this Barbary Barry designed bed is inspirational.

7Photo: Source

It’s never too early to start teaching the next generation about the beauty of headboards. Here is a great example of a headboard I designed for a young client with black-accented cutouts for a custom look.

8Photo: David Livingston

And this is where I lay my head every night.  This simple, white headboard was designed to resemble a Chanel handbag. It’s a favorite spot for my shi tzu, Parker, who enjoys hiding under the custom designed bed skirt. Notice the layer of cream silk organza – super practical with two small dogs – not!

9Photo: Joe Fletcher


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  1. I’ve learned a lot from your photos, never considered the patterned headboards you had up above. I’ll keep that in mind for next time, thank you.

  2. A glamorous headboard post! Now this I must link to my blog, purely because it looks lovely and the headboards in this post are gorgeous!
    Especially the steep-sloped beige number third from the bottom ;)

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