When selecting a headboard for a room that has already been furnished, style will play an active role in your final choice. However, if you are decorating from scratch, choose the headboard first. Since the bed is the focal point of the bedroom, the rest of your furniture can be chosen to complement the headboard.
Traditional style headboards are typically made of wood, but can also be made of a combination of both wood and metal. Metal headboards, particularly iron head boards, are a common choice when decorating a room in a Victorian-style.
Traditional wood headboards tend to have rich finishes that have either been distressed or have a matte or polished appearance. Based on historical periods and social customs, other characteristics of traditional style include crown molding, scalloped edges and Classical motifs.
Emerging from the second half of the 20th century, modern style reflects a break from the traditional, in form and composition. A modern headboard might be made of a stark, bleached wood with wire accents and an asymmetrical design. Modern style is sleek and angular; it can also be austere, with spare lines and unyielding profiles. Modern metal headboards can appear quite dramatic.
Contemporary style reflects current trends and uses color and construction materials for effect. Lines are more relaxed, but still have a clean and linear appearance. A contemporary headboard can also have a sculpted, dramatic look. Decorative detail is used carefully for a more simple and refined result. Making them ideal for condos, apartments and smaller-sized homes, contemporary headboards typically incorporate other storage elements, such as a bookcase.
Country style displays many traditional elements since this style has its roots in traditional design. However, as decorative elements and traditional construction materials were taken from major European centers and adapted to regional or provincial environments, country furniture is really an evolution of a range of traditional sub-styles that reflect its geographic location of origin. Country style has a relaxed and casual feel with a touch of rustic charm. A country style headboard could have a white, distressed finish, embossed inserts or stenciling.