When I think of a headboard for a bed, I get the feeling of a staged bed…a bed with a purpose. Visualize a peacock with its colourful bright feathers panned out giving it a beautiful appearance, as compared to a peahen. Both, the peacock and peahen perform, but the former is attractive and draws in more eyeballs. A headboard does just that to a bed…it beautifies the bed, giving it a majestic appearance in the bedroom.

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Historically, headboards were meant to protect the head while lying down, from the cold walls as the beds were/are usually placed against the bedroom wall. Though this has changed over the years, as houses are now insulated and walls are warmer, the idea of a bed with a headboard has remained symbolic of an ideal bed.

Although some consider headboards a necessity, as they tend to keep the pillows in place, especially, at night when one is fast asleep, there are many who look at them as a way to make the bed and bedroom look cozy and attractive.

Ancient Egyptians had their beds and headboards made of thick wood (which was considered to be less thermally conducive than brick or stone) as a barrier against thick draughts. A headboard, in those days, was considered a status symbol.

An elaborate headboard with intricate design was symbolic of a rich man’s status, as compared to a poor man, who had to make do with no headboard or use hay or cloth behind the head to stop the cold from the walls seeping in. The Greek had gone a step ahead in cushioning their headboards and even making them from ebony, silver and gold, more for show than comfort.

Having understood that headboards, in today’s world, are more for aesthetic appeal, they do serve many other purposes, some of which are listed below –

  • They provide a good backrest and support for the head, while lying down, without spoiling the walls
  • They act as a buffer against cold walls, if any
  • They add character to the bed and, in turn, the room
  • They give fullness to the room and make it look cozier and comfortable, thus, enabling quality sleep
  • They are considered to help with Feng-Shui (more on this in our future articles)
  • They provide space for intimacy

A headboard is the focal point of a bedroom and now that we have gone through the purpose of a headrest, here is a way to make a headrest, if your bed does not have one –

  • Use lots of colourful cushions, of different sizes and shapes, as props in place of a headboard
  • Use recycled décor to create a beautiful rustic looking headboard. You can also paint or decorate it, to suit the room colour
  • Use pieces of wood and nail them together to fit the bed length and create a rustic looking headboard
  • Use fabric of your choice (of various colours and textures) to cover the pieced-together wooden headboard, to suit the room colour and style

What is that you are looking for in a headboard, if you are looking for one? - comfort or beauty?...privacy or warmth?...good sleep or a cozy feel to your bedroom? Whatever, be your need, there are innumerable ways in which you can give your bed a personalized headboard, which reflects your personality. So, here’s wishing you happy headboarding!