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posted: 4/13/2014 12:01 AM

Space-saving headboard ideas

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  • Consider use of old doors, wrought iron gates or sections of fencing as a headboard. Dress them up with a stencil drawing, or consider stenciling a pattern right onto the wall itself.

      Consider use of old doors, wrought iron gates or sections of fencing as a headboard. Dress them up with a stencil drawing, or consider stenciling a pattern right onto the wall itself.
    Courtesy of Royal Design Studio Stencils

 
By Christine Brun

There is an unfailing way to save space in a bedroom: Slim down your headboard and bedding ensemble.

For those who are downsizing an entire household, you cannot waste the space that a bulky bed design occupies. Consider that your old bed may not work out as well as it did in your larger room.

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No matter how much you may love your four-poster bed or sleigh bed with arched headboard and footboard, it may be time for a change.

Measure the inches gobbled up by the frame and evaluate the consequences. Block that space out on your floor and face the fact that you cannot afford to fritter away the room.

One of the hardest things about moving is letting go of favorite pieces, especially in your most intimate room. Nevertheless, get a slimmer headboard and eliminate the footboard entirely.

If you've loved the grand quality of a special bed, instead focus on thin styles for your bed that use the room height more effectively. The headboard in this photo has been adored with stencil patterns.

Consider use of old doors, wrought iron gates or sections of fencing. These materials are not thick and can be mounted directly to the wall. In doing so you save valuable inches, but retain personality and panache.

In fact, try out the idea of stenciling a pattern right onto the wall itself if you want a zero-clearance headboard! Check out the hundreds of peel-off wall decals as another way to attach a design right to your bedroom wall. There are geometric patterns, floral motifs and highly stylist objects, too.

Additionally, find a wallpaper pattern that tickles your fancy and install it over the head of the bed. Next, frame it by nailing thin molding pieces directly to the wall to cover over the paper edges. Not only would this be taking up minimum space, but it is often a very affordable solution.

Next realize that voluminous and complicated bed ensembles eat up visual space and create the sense of being crowded. Perhaps this is a gender-based love, but throw pillows that pile high can achieve a crowded feeling. Women often feel that this is a way to fashion a cozy and soft mood.

Men don't appreciate the difficulty of making a bed just so and the necessity of clearing off the bed before being able to lie down. Compromise on this one issue might not only make for better relations, but can visually clean up the design of the bedroom. Consider two decorate pillows, as shown here, that lean against the actual head pillow. Or entertain the idea of two shams and one complex, decorative pillow shared in the middle of the bed.

Matelasse is a popular fabric that is always a good choice when striving for a trim look. While the fabric appears to be quilted it is not, yet gives the impression of being of squashy without taking up a lot of space.

The French word, mattelasse, means quilted, padded, or cushioned and in reference to textiles, means hand-quilted fabric. Generally, matelasse throws and bedspreads are a single thickness that appears thicker. They are meant to mimic the style of quilts made in Provence, France.

Another way to keep bedding looking trim is to avoid fluffy ruffled dust covers or spread drops on the side of the mattress. Keep the bedcover style tailored and simple. Carefully avoid huge and bold patterns that crowd a small room. Instead, aim for a sleek and harmonious solids or perhaps small patterns used in artful combination.

The final way to maximize space is to make sure other furniture pieces in your room are not oversized. Keep everything in scale to the size of the room itself.

Less is better in a confined bedroom. If need be, eliminate everything except the bed, headboard and appropriate nightstands on either side of the mattress.

• Christine Brun is a San Diego-based interior designer and the author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at christinebrun@sbcglobal.net.

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