Although headboards are commonly used with beds, it is also possible to decorate a bed without a headboard. Whether you choose to decorate the wall behind the bed, paint the wall to simulate a headboard, or use another creative method, you can create many different and attractive effects without the use of a headboard.
Framing the Bed with Photos
One interesting way to decorate without a headboard is to arrange framed photos or other artwork behind the head of the bed. This can have an attractive look regardless of whether you use one large piece or several pieces framed and hung together. To make the framed artwork or photos look more like a headboard, hang them lower on the wall so that they are closer to the bed, as opposed to the normal height positioning for framed artwork. You can use different sized frames in a collage effect on the wall, or use frames the same size spaced equally. Blend the artwork into the room by mirroring the overall theme of the room with at least one of the pieces, such as using a floral print in a room decorated with a predominantly floral theme. For extra interest and reflected light, include one or more small framed mirrors in with the other pieces of framed art. Painting the wall behind the head of the bed in a different color can also help to accentuate this method.
Drape the Wall with Fabric
Swags of fabric hung on the wall behind the bed are another way to decorate without a headboard. This can add a very romantic look to the room, and can be a very inexpensive way of giving the overall illusion of a headboard. To achieve this effect, attach the swag of fabric on the wall in the center, and loosely drape it down on each side, securing the fabric on both sides close to the outer edges of the bed. Then, let the loose lengths of the fabric swag hang down the wall on either side of the bed. Using an especially long length of fabric so that the loose ends drape the whole way to the floor gives an especially opulent look. Sheer fabric generally looks best for this effect, but you can also use any fabric soft enough to drape nicely.
Different moods can be created in the room, depending on the fabric chosen. A richly romantic look can be achieved with soft, sheer or gauzy fabrics, or give a teenage girl's room a cool and funky look by using a fabric with an interesting print that coordinates with the rest of the room. The fabric could also be hung behind the wall on a rod spanning the width of the bed, allowing it to cover the wall behind it, giving the illusion of a headboard. Another way of using fabric in lieu of a headboard is to drape it across the ceiling itself, allowing it to billow down loosely. This can give the overall illusion of a canopy bed and can frame a bed nicely if you are trying to decorate without a headboard.
Other Decorative Touches
Other interesting techniques include using floral garlands, plaques with romantic or fun sayings, or even a large mirror behind the bed. Any of these ideas can give a very interesting look that you can use in the bedroom when you don't wish to use a standard headboard.
After acting as a contributing editor for AmericanArtisanArt.com, Veronica Smith, an award winning designer in her own right offers tips on displaying metal art sculpture and palm tree wall art.