A bed’s headboard, traditionally made of wood, was once used to separate a slumbering houseguest from a drafty wall. But in modern homes, it provides an opportunity to add another decorative layer and texture to a bedroom. When upholstered in a bold fabric or fashioned of unique materials, such as leather straps, a headboard can become the focal point in guest rooms, children’s rooms, and master suites alike. Architectural Digest combed the archives to compile eye-catching versions, from patterned and ornate styles to sleek minimalist designs, that will offer endless inspiration for your next bedroom refresh.


Photo by: Simon Upton

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In the guest room of a Hong Kong home reimagined by Mattia Bonetti, the bed, a Bonetti one-off, is positioned within a swath of orange lacquer that serves as a virtual canopy. The designer padded the headboard with the same gray leather used for the bedspread, and the lamps and custom-made nightstands are also his work.


Photo: William Waldron

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In this New York City loft decorated by Milly de Cabro, a floor lamp and valet, both by Adnet, command the guest room, which is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White. The bed is outfitted in Pratesi linens, and the headboard is upholstered in a Peter Dunham Textiles ikat.

Photo: Simon Upton

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An Artemide lamp tops one of the Syrian side tables in a bedroom of a Marrakech home renovated by Sardar Design Studio; the headboard is draped with a wool blanket, the coverlet is a Berber wedding blanket, the chest is antique Moroccan, and the Tuareg carpet is made of woven leather and palm fronds.

Photo: Michael Moran

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In the master bedroom of a Manhattan apartment refashioned by Lee Mindel, the headboard by Jonas and the Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist daybed were upholstered in fabrics by Nobilis and Holland & Sherry, respectively; the wall covering is by Clarence House, and the bedding is by Pratesi.


Photo: William Waldron

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A China Seas fabric sheathes the walls of a guest room in retail entrepreneur Christopher Burch’s Hamptons home, which was decorated by Christopher Maya; the bed and custom-made headboard are clad in a fabric from Country Swedish, the bedding is by Matouk, the lamps are from Treillage, and the carpet is by Merida Meridian.

Originally Published by Architectural Digest
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