Master Bedroom Ideas

Let’s talk about: Upholstered bedheads

An expert's guide
10 ways to make a rental home your own | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia

We sat down with Maaike Design’s owner and designer Maaike Pullar to get her top tips on choosing an upholstered bedhead. 

What is the purpose of a bedhead?

Bed heads are a great way to bring style and comfort to your sleep space. Visually they help anchor a room, functionally they provide additional support and cushioning for bedtime reading and they’re also a great sound baffle, which can be handy for rooms without carpet.

Off the rack or custom made?

There are some great options off the rack, though many of them are part of a whole bed frame. If you are looking to retro fit or get the look without the bed frame, you’ll find a custom made solution will meet your needs. Floor standing options will suit renters, while home owners have the freedom to choose wall mounted options. Do your homework and chat to an upholsterer with plenty of bedhead experience – most upholstery businesses now have online portfolios and some have even built their business around bedheads. 

What’s your advice for choosing a bedhead?

While we often downplay the role of a bedhead to an accessory, when deciding which design is right for you, it’s best to think of a bedhead as a whole new piece of furniture being added to your room. Choose something that brings your various pieces together, and works in harmony with the space. An upholstered ‘nook’ or wall panel will create a focal point in the room, anchoring the bed and furniture – a great choice for rooms with tall ceilings or industrial finishes. A large bedhead will help create a statement in an oversized room, but can make a smaller room feel over crowded. ‘Light’ options such as wall mounted, floating panels (with a space between pillows and panel) will help provide a sense of height and space within a room.

What kind of fabric works best in this application?

Chat to your upholsterer about colour and texture. Take your cues from your favourite bed linen – there are great, durable velvets on the market, right through to Italian linens and linen-look options. You might even choose to use a travel souvenir or precious keepsake. Think Kilims, Kantha quilts and Persian carpets for feature statements. Leather bedheads are also very popular – but be aware that more natural finishes, particularly the lighter tans, will discolour with time and use. This can be part of the charm or more of a pitfall depending on your overall aesthetic.

What can we expect to pay?

Lower end pieces start from $150 which is great for seasonal updates, but not so much for something you want to grow old with. Higher quality bargains in suitable fabrics start at around $245. 

Mid-range will provide improvements in fabric quality, durability and colour choice, as well as some fun design details like piping, buttons, piping and channels –  they will be around $599 – $999.

Got a creative bent? At around the $2000 mark, you can chat to an upholsterer about a custom solution. It might look expensive, but you’ll get quality to match, and you’ll avoid buyer’s remorse!

Maaike is a furniture and interior designer in Sydney, offering bespoke furniture and upholstery services.

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