Best 10 Patterns for Your Upholstered Headboard

Tips & Tricks

As the focal point of your master bedroom furniture, your bed deserves a headboard that does more than just prop up your pillows. Whether you’re looking for “wow” or quietly chic, these are our top ten favorite ways to dress up your upholstered bed.

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Shop the look: Art Deco Headboard in Ink Cabana Stripe | Photo credit: @whatwuwears

Be Fierce and Fabulous

We are wild for animal prints around here, for good reason. Whether you go for leaping zebras or leopard spots, animal prints add an unmistakable flair to any home décor. Surprisingly versatile, they work equally well in elegant, neutral bedrooms as they do in vibrantly colorful ones. Don’t think you need to stick with the colorways that nature originally dictated – who says a zebra stripe can’t be emerald green or a leopard print can’t show up in shimmery silver?

Make a Statement with Stripes

Cheerful and crisp, stripes make serious impact. For a bolder look, go with wide cabana stripes in high contrast shades, such as navy and white or tangerine and pink. For a more subtle look, try thinner stripes in any variety of colors you like. Think pale blue and cream, charcoal and light gray, tone-on-tone red…the possibilities are endless. Ticking stripe is another excellent choice, reminiscent of the French seaside. Stripes tend to work best on straight panel headboards with no tricky corners or curves to work around.

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Shop the look: Modern Wingback Headboard in Linea Ikat | Photo credit: @alireevedesign

Get Graphic

Indigo ikatgroovy geometricbamboo trelliscolorful abstract…pretty much any graphic pattern you can imagine is available to transform your headboard into a work of art.  A highly graphic headboard usually becomes the dominant pattern in the room, so you’ll want to keep your bedding on the simpler/solid side. A décor trick we love is picking out one color from the graphic pattern and painting your walls in it, to create an enveloping cohesion. Even better, repeat that graphic pattern on your curtains for maximum punch.

Embrace Botanicals

Whether you’re a fan of vibrant chintz or muted toiles festooned with pheasants and foliage, a nature-inspired headboard is a beautiful way to bring the outdoors inside. We love these patterns especially on wingback headboards, to make you feel cocooned in the soothing embrace of Mother Nature. And consider your other home décor pieces for added effect: for example, bookend your bed with a pair of wooden nightstands for another natural touch.

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Shop the look: Art Deco Headboard in Banana Palm | Photo credit: @loveiswiseillu

Go Tropical

The famous “Martinique” banana leaf wallpaper designed by Don Loper for the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1942 is back with a vengeance, and we for one can’t get enough of the many similar patterns that have followed in its inspiration. Think birds, palm trees, and vibrant florals to enliven your headboard with tropical flair for an instant maxmialist makeover.

Escape to the Seashore

Love to feel the sand under your toes and breathe in the salty air? Then bring that sensibility into your home with coastal-inspired patterns for your headboard such as coral branches or seashells. Or, if you’re someone who likes to change your bedding with the seasons, choose a sand-colored linen for the headboard as your backdrop and fill your bed with coastal-patterned pillows in summertime, then exchange them for plush textured ones in the winter. Throw in some rattan furniture and your bedroom will become a mini beach house getaway you’ll want to escape to all year round.

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Shop the look: Modern Wingback Headboard in Ocean Velvet | Photo credit: @ivytzhang

Elevate with Velvet

Classic, cozy, and delicious to the touch, you can never go wrong with a plush velvet headboard. Velvet is a reliable staple that adds richness and elegance in any colorway. We love it in vibrant jewel tones like emerald and ruby as well as soft neutrals like flax, pearl gray, and muted pink. For super luxe we love chocolate brown or navy blue velvet. A sand or flax colored velvet bed is versatile and can work in almost any style room. Regardless of color, opt for a performance velvet to ensure your bed will remain in pristine shape for years to come.

Make an Impact with Shape

Another way to up the wow factor on your headboard is to play around with its shape. We love art-deco inspired stepped headboards like the queen size one seen here. There are literally hundreds of options for shape available, from simple linen upholstery to elaborate and angular. Go tall if you want to add drama, stay low if modern is your beat. Another option is to choose a channeled headboard, which gives visual interest to solid-colored headboards while adding a hit of 1920s-style glamour.

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Shop the look: Square Back Headboard in Pink Blocks | Photo credit: @kenzschmidt

Let Your Bedding do the Talking

Have a patterned bedding that you love? Then let that be the star of the show and opt for a simple, solid headboard and bed frame to set the stage, especially if you already have a wood frame. Consider a fabric with some texture, like a nubby linen or velvet, to give your headboard more presence. This is great if you want to play with pattern in a noncommittal way – test the bedding out in your guest room, and level-up with a few complementary throw pillows for added flare.

Don’t Forget the Details

Just like accessories make an outfit, upholstery details make a bed! Consider accentuating the border of your headboard in brass or nickel nailhead trim or outlining it in a contrasting piping or trim. Or, opt for tufting in a diamond tufted headboard to convey a timeless elegance. These small touches will make your headboard next level fabulous.

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