15 Ideas for Filling the Empty Space Above Your Bed


So you have a headboard (or at the very least, a mountain of pillows stacked against the wall), but what about the space above that? Has it been empty since you moved in? The space above the bed is a tricky one to decorate. You can very well leave it be (especially if you live in a quake-prone zone) but if you want to jazz up your walls just a bit, there are a lot of creative ideas out there for how to fill the negative space. From cube shelving to gridded gallery walls to statement making tapestries, the options are a-plenty.

1. Go for Stability With Shelves

Propping your bed up against a set of shelves (like in this product shot via The Wonder Forest, who sells the super cute pineapple bedding) might be a little bit of a new move for you, but if you have the space, it’s an interesting way to bring in more storage as well as something to look at above your headboard. Fill with books, picture frames and decorative objects to keep it interesting (and dust regularly!).

2. Wallpaper a Wall

Take a leaf out of designers’ Kate McIntyre and Brad Huntzinger book (via Lonny) and decorate your empty wall space with wallpaper. A paper with a more sparse oversized mural pattern is daring without being dizzying. For example, while this floral and fern print is definitely bold, it also uses a lot of negative space, making it feel a little less overwhelming.

3. Install a Shelf

Skip the tufted headboard and instead decorate with a shelf laden with accent pieces you love. Nuevo Estilo proves that from books to old oil paintings to statement lamps, adding a floating shelf can do wonders for the room.

4. Art + Sconces = Beauty & Useful

Designer Emily Henderson shows how great a large scale artwork flanked by two sconces (perfect for reading!) can look. Normally, we see sconces in place of table lamps, but here, she used both for a layered look.

5. Accent with an Abstract Grid

Abstract art always makes a big statement, but there’s something about an installation piece that really jumps out at you. While paintings and photographs are a fan-favorite design move when it comes to bed decor, you can color outside of the lines with an abstract grid accent like Mark Tuckey did in this room via Inside Out.

6. Open Up the Room with a Mirror

The room will feel bigger with a few mirrors strategically placed around it, and a minimalist circle shape looks wonderful hung over a bed frame. Designer Lauren Geremia (vai Architectural Digest) shows what a difference the small move could make with this Scandinavian inspired space.

7. Drape a Tapestry

Take a page out of your college dorm days and hang a tapestry over your bed like Better Homes & Gardens did.

8. Toss a Tapestry Over a Curtain Rod

If you don’t like the droopy look a tapestry has when you pin it to a wall, you can get cleaner lines by copying Urban Outfitters and draping the cloth over a curtain rod.

9. Add Texture with a Wall Hanging

Give the room a ’70s feel with a vintage-inspired yarn hanging, like designer Sarah Sherman Samuel used in this room makeover. You can DIY one yourself if you’re handy with craft projects, or you can leave the weaving to an expert and buy one.

10. Make a Gridded Gallery Wall

For those that have a neat and tidy aesthetic, showcase your favorite photographs in a strict grid like this room from Better Homes & Gardens did. It won’t feel chaotic, but it will allow you to show off your favorite memories.

11. Or Try a Statement Gallery Wall

Or if you like a more busy aesthetic, transform your whole wall into a colorful, playful gallery like former Lonny Editor-in-Chief Michelle Adams did in her New York home.

12. Add a Jungle of Plants

If you’re not one to collect art prints, hang up giant tapestries, or clutter your shelves with knick knacks, then maybe plants are the way to go for you. Copy Katie & Tyler Branch of Branch Abode by installing a floating shelf above your bed, and then filling it with a tangle of potted plants. So cozy and eye catching!

13. Invest in a Statement Lamp

A great, sculptural way to fill up that negative space is to get a statement wall lamp that brings a lot of drama to the room. You can get an interesting industrial one that’s larger in size and brings lines into the room, like designer Amber Lewis did in this space she shared on Instagram.

14. Opt for Textural Baskets

Colorful, artisan baskets have been en vogue for a bit now and they’re a great option for above the bed. The round shape pairs nicely juxtaposed with a streamline headboard like the one here shot by Tessa Neusstadt for Homepolish via Style Files, while the lightweight nature makes them less worrisome (in case you’re not too handy with hanging and something comes crashing down in your sleep).

15. Have Some Fun With a Juju Hat

Cameroon juju hats were everywhere just a few years ago. They seemed to be the style move of designers and stylish dwellers alike, but even though many people have moved on, we think it’s still a great look, especially in a jewel tone like this aquamarine version in a room from TF Diaries.

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