In our bedrooms, our beds are typically the focal point of the room. And the wall behind our beds? It is one of the hardest walls to decorate. Can we get an Amen?
In this second installment of our mini-series on our own bedroom transformations, we'll explore some ideas for how to decorate this wall to reflect your taste, style and personality. After all, it is YOUR bedroom...
Once upon a time, headboards were made for kings (and Pharaohs). Historians date headboards back to Egyptian times, when they served as a barrier between cold, drafty stone walls and the sleeper. In Victorian times, they became even more ornate than those commissioned by ancient rulers. Beds were a luxury, and headboards were the ultimate status symbol in 19th century homes.
Fast-forward to today, and headboards still serve to keep us comfortable AND make a statement. Plus they're a handy backdrop to prop all our pillows against. Modern beds now come in all shapes and sizes, but generally speaking, headboards are either linear (straight across) or serpentine (curved). Your headboard's shape and size should be taken into consideration when choosing where to hang items above/beside your bed. Ideally they will visually anchor your bed and side tables/nightstands.
It's a Goldilocks-esque dilemma: you want to choose items that are not too big, not too small and are just "right." But what exactly is "right?" There really aren't any hard-and-fast rules, but most wall decor looks best if it stays within the parameters created by the bed posts or the area behind the bed and side tables. If you have windows on the wall behind your bed, the window openings and coverings will also factor into how much wall space you have without crowding things.
So now that we've danced around the WHERE to hang stuff, let's talk about WHAT you should hang there. Honestly, what you choose hang on the wall above your bed - if anything - is strictly a matter of taste and preference. (For the record, we're not fans of hanging plates on your wall behind your bed. There's a time and a place for a grouping of plates...and your bedroom isn't the first place we think of for it. But maybe that's just us.) Plates notwithstanding, we've rounded up ten ideas for inspiration, and grouped them here, in no particular order.
Sherri and Terry have both used some of these ideas as a springboard for figuring out what we each wanted to put on our own walls. Next week, we'll show you what we chose. All photos are courtesy of Pinterest.
1. Windows/sidelights can create interest in the space above your bed. The first picture has a great barn door flanked by sidelights. If that's your must-have option, we'd recommend having a lower profile bed that doesn't compete for attention. Windows and doors can be transformed into your headboard - just make sure they are well-sealed to avoid chipping paint flaking off, and make sure they are secured to the wall.
2. Mirrors add interest and help make a room seem larger/brighter. Choose from modern or antiques; they can be matching or similar in size and style. Remember, broken mirrors are unlucky (and dangerous!) so be sure they are secured to the wall and hang above your headboard to avoid mishaps. Speaking of unlucky, we also don't recommend putting candles on your headboard - lit or unlit, they're likely to come tumbling off when someone hits the headboard.)
3. Baskets add texture and depth. These reproduction tobacco baskets are lightweight and easy to hang; if you choose to use a real tobacco basket, be sure it is securely anchored to the wall.
4. Layered open frames can add depth and interest to the wall, and this idea is particularly good for asymmetrical arrangements. Helpful hint: lay your frames out on the floor and decide how you want them layered before you start hanging them on the wall.
5. Wreaths, either alone or layered with other items, are a classic touch. Additionally, wreaths can be changed out to reflect the various seasons.
6. Arches can be used as the headboard or to fill the wall space above/around your bed. Notice these beds show one large arch or a trio of arches behind the bed. If you're using two arches, the general consensus is to separate them and let them tie into your bedside tables rather than placing them directly behind your bed.
7. Antlers can add an unexpected rustic/glam vibe. No, it's not for everyone, but if you are a cowgirl (or guy) at heart, this is a look that is both on-trend and timeless.
8. Framed prints are a tried-and-true addition, grouped in pairs, trios or even a quadrant. A single print or piece can be used, if it is the right size and proportions. Trios can be hung straight across, or staggered to mimic the curve of your headboard.
9. A shelf for prints or decor can be beautiful and functional. Keep in mind that a shelf needs to be tall enough to not bump your head when you're getting in or out of bed, or making it up. And whatever is placed on the shelf needs to be secure so it can't topple off and disrupt your dreams.
10. Wild card: what suits your fancy? From a big and bold headboard that needs nothing else, to a vintage map of a favorite place, or antique pressed tins, remember your bedroom is your sanctuary; it's your bed and your wall should reflect YOU. Other choices might include a big boho macrame hanging, a beautiful tapestry or cherished quilt. For a real "wow" factor, consider the wall itself as your canvas and install wallpaper, shiplap or paint it a deep rich hue to make it a true focal point.
Do these ideas inspire you to try something different? Comment below and tell us which are your favorites. Or snap a picture and show off what you've got hanging above your bed! And stay tuned for next week, when we'll show you our progress with our own walls behind our beds.
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!