I promise, we’ll move out of the bedroom soon, but I have received a lot of feedback that it is an area where many folks struggle with their decorating decisions. In particular, many are flummoxed by the bed itself. Many of us do not have a bed—we have a mattress sitting on a box spring, but not a “bed.” The question then becomes, how do you finish the look of the bedroom when you don’t have a four poster bed complete with a canopy draped in lace? Let’s see what we can come up with . . .
We had a brief encounter with a real bed a few years ago. I had maneuvered our queen box spring and mattress onto the frame of a full bed I fell in love with, but it was a short lived arrangement. The bed worked fine, it was just that it took-up so much space in our room and it felt claustrophobic. So, it was out with the cannonball four-post bed (which has been converted into a really cool bench for my “creative space”) and in with the blue doors.
Here’s the bed bench—the bed was white, but I had it painted black when I asked my favorite craftsman to covert it into this extra deep bench. It now has a mattress ticking on it and a wealth of pillows!
While out scouring antique and junk shops for inventory, I came across three vintage doors in three different booths at the same mall; all three were painted shades of blue. I wasn’t looking for these doors, but when I rounded the corner and saw the third door, I thought I had to figure out something to do with them! There and then, I decided they were going to be the new headboard for our bed. I went home, disassembled the bed and propped the three doors against the wall and viola, we had a headboard. I loved this look. The doors didn’t match, but they worked together. You can use the same idea. If you don’t like the idea of just propping the doors, you can use brackets to attach the doors to the wall.
I’ve looked and looked for a picture of my door headboards—I was sure I posted about them before! Anyhoo, the best I could do was this picture that shows two of the doors in the reflection of our mirror on our wardrobe. (Yes—that’s my outfit for that day lying there on the bed.) We lost them in the fire—just smoke damage, but they were stinky!
There are other great substitutes for headboards. I’ve used old wood shutters—hanging them horizontally on the wall. You can find decorative iron work or other architectural elements to use the same way. Those iron porch supports—popular in the 1960s and 70s—can be found all over the place. Art work is another option—one large piece hung at a low level will connect the eye with the bed and ground the look. I’ve also arranged a twin bed in front of an antique fireplace mantel. Our current headboard or focal point is comprised of the side mirrors once found on a vanity and a lovely, empty vintage frame.
You can find instructions all over the internet to make your own upholstered headboard—a quick and easy do-it-yourself for almost anyone. I like these because you can easily change the cover with no sewing involved—scissors and staples will do the trick. If you don’t want to tackle the job of cutting the plywood, most home improvement store will cut the wood to your dimensions.
Another effortless option is to hang a curtain rod above the bed and use ready-made curtains as a focal point. At the shop, we have a semi-circular canopy support which attaches to the wall above the bed and supports simple tie-tab curtains.
This type of device makes it easy to add a canopy to any bed. Another simplistic canopy option involves hanging a grapevine wreath from the ceiling parallel to the floor using a three- or four-point support of fishing line. You can then drape tulle around the bed. I prefer to use this technique for a canopy above the head of the bed only, but if you have high ceilings, it is possible to use this for a full mosquito net-like effect.
I hope I’ve given you an idea or two for your bedroom decorating dilemmas. You don’t have to have a “bed” to complete your bedroom; there are many easy, affordable alternatives. If you have other ideas, I hope you’ll share them here . . .
Thanks for your indulgence,