Wallpapering behind the headboard wall: all you need to know

Wallpapering behind the headboard wall: all you need to know

Decorating your bedroom can be a daunting task. After all, our bedrooms are our special sanctuary, the place we escape to from the stresses and strains of daily life, a room that we can call our own and feel at ease. Bedrooms need to feel comfortable yet reflect our personality and style. They need to be conducive to relaxation and sleep, but at the same time provide an element of romance and excitement. Finding the right décor can be a challenge indeed!

If you ask interior designers how to spread new energy in your bedroom, chances are that they will recommend decorating the wall behind the headboard of the bed with a patterned wallpaper. After all, this is the most prominent wall, the one that automatically attracts the attention when entering the bedroom. Putting up wallpaper in this area can make all the difference, substantially altering the identity and atmosphere of the space. Furthermore, as the wall décor is behind you and practically invisible when you lay in bed, you can treat it as artwork and be as daring as you wish. It’s no surprise that many boutique hotels display an interesting wallpaper behind the headboard, treating it as a canvas for creating a distinctive and unique design in each room and making guests feel like they're in a space that has been carefully curated just for them. This blog article covers all you need to know about following their lead.

Design choices for wallpapering the headboard wall

Selecting which wallpaper to hang behind your bed headboard is one of the most impactful decisions when it comes to infuse this private space with your personality. It’s the centrepiece upon which many other design choices should be based.


Browsing through the countless wallpaper models available on the market can be a scary prospect if you are not yet sure what criteria to follow. As a starting point, we recommend you pay attention to the following factors:

  • Choose a wallpaper pattern that suits your style
    Begin by reflecting on your personal style preferences. Do you lean towards classic elegance, modern minimalism, or perhaps something more eclectic and bohemian? Your style will serve as a guiding principle in selecting the right pattern.
  • Consider room size and layout
    The size and layout of the bedroom should play a pivotal role in your decision. Smaller patterns tend to create a subtle and understated effect, while larger ones can make a bold statement that is only suitable in a larger bedroom. Choose a scale that works with the size of your boudoir.
  • Take natural lighting into account
    While well-lit bedrooms can accommodate a wide range of colours and patterns, including darker and more saturated options, rooms with limited natural light benefit from lighter wallpaper shades that help create an airier feel.
  • Coordinate with existing bedroom décor
    Unless you are planning a full bedroom renovation, the wallpaper you pick should complement your current décor and furnishings. Consider how it will interact with your bed frame, curtains, and all other elements in the room.
  • Evaluate the amount of clutter covering the wall
    The ideal wall for an impactful headboard wallpaper should be devoid of items covering its pattern. Any large object (e.g. wardrobes, floor to ceiling curtains, large art frames) can cause potential design conflicts . Even a tall headboard will have an effect. Remove what you can and take into account the position and size of what you cannot move when picking a specific wallpaper pattern.
  • Plan a budget
    With so many incredible models available, it is easy to lose track on how much your renovation is going to cost you. Start by measuring the wall so you can enter it in the online wallpaper calculator that most reputable online shops offer one on each product page. This will tell you how many rolls you will need. Remember to repeat this calculation for each model you are interested it, as the amount might change substantially depending on the type of pattern. If you are new to wallpapering, check in your toolbox whether you need to purchase wallpapering equipment. A useful list of all requirements is available in our article “How to prepare for wallpapering”.

The impact of headboard wallpaper on the room

No other wall in your bedroom is better suited to become the visual focal point than that behind the headboard. Besides dramatically transforming the look and feel of the room, it has the power to change the way we perceive its size.

  • Which wallpaper can make my bedroom feel bigger?
    Patterns with intricate designs or textured surfaces create an illusion of spaciousness, adding depth that increases the perceived space. The focal point they create directs the attention away from the room's dimensions, making it feel larger as the eye is engaged with the design rather than the room's boundaries. If your room has a low ceiling, vertical stripes emphasise the room height, making the room feel taller and creating a sense of space.


  • How can I make my bedroom feel smaller and cosier?
    Some might think it is unconceivable to imagine that a bedroom can feel “too big”, yet there's something undeniably charming about a smaller, cosier bedroom. If you're looking to create an intimate and snug ambiance, you should opt for a model featuring warm and inviting patterns, such as soft florals, intricate damasks, or soothing textures. These patterns add a sense of intimacy and charm to the room, further enhancing the sense of enclosure, security and comfort which a wallpaper behind the headboard already provides.


How the colour of your headboard wallpaper can affect your mood

Many of us often underestimate the impact that choosing the right colour for our walls can have on our mood. Understanding the psychology of colours will help us create the bedroom design atmosphere we strive to achieve. Colours are generally grouped into categories linked with specific emotional responses: warm hues are associated with enthusiasm; cool hues are linked to tranquillity while deep shades are an excellent way to add an element of drama to a space. Stress-reducing biophilic designs benefit from green and earthy hues.


As the dominant colour of the headboard wallpaper has a profound impact on the room atmosphere, your choice should be based on the type of energy you envisage for your bedroom. It is also important to consider the other three other walls, as creating a harmonious overall colour scheme is crucial for an aesthetically pleasing design. The choice of shade(s) for the other walls should be based on the key hue of your wallpaper. Opting for a variation of colours based on its chromatic palette will balance the effect of light and dark and make the room feel open and airy.
For a more in-depth look into this topic, please check out our article “How headboard wallpaper colours can affect your mood”.

Can a wallpaper behind the headboard improve the Feng Shui of the room?

A key principle of good interior design is to create balance, harmony, and positive energy in our living spaces. The ancient Chinese traditional practice of Feng Shui has long served as a guiding principle for those seeking a room décor that does exactly that. Rooted in the concept of harmonising our surroundings with an injection of vital life energy, when it comes to bedroom design, Feng Shui considers the careful placement of furniture, particularly the bed, as pivotal in anchoring our personal energy or Qi. The headboard, often seen as the "command position", holds particular significance as it influences our sense of security and comfort during sleeping hours. Selecting the right wallpaper for the wall behind your headboard is therefore more than a decorative decision: it contributes significantly to the energy of the room. Accordingly, the choice should be based on colour harmony, elemental balance, pattern equilibrium, and material selection, with each element playing a crucial role in promoting a harmonious and tranquil bedroom environment.
Find out more about how to make sure your headboard wallpaper and overall design can positively impact the Feng Shui of your bedroom in our in-depth article “How to align your headboard wallpaper with Feng Shui principles”.

Headboard wallpaper ideas to suit your style – real-life design stories

The transformative power of a well-chosen wallpaper for your headboard wall reflects your unique style, transporting you to different worlds or times without ever leaving your personal sanctuary. Over the years we have seen countless examples of how our customers have used headboard wall décor as the centrepiece of a variety of styles, creating ambiances that are a testament to the aesthetic power of headboard wallpapers.


If you yearn for the tranquil serenity of Japanese gardens, the cultural richness of ethnic vibes, the nostalgic charm of vintage energy or you feel like transforming your bedroom into a tropical getaway, it can be difficult to visualise the end result. Browsing through real life design projects created by people just like you can help you find the inspiration to create a bedroom that's a reflection of your taste. Embark on an exciting journey across our collection of real-life design stories, by clicking on “Headboard wallpaper: inspiring real-life design stories”.

Creative and unusual design ideas for your headboard wallpaper

One of the advantages provided by wallpaper is the freedom to redefine conventions and customise the headboard wall décor so that it fits your unique requirements and taste. While still a popular option, the traditional “floor to ceiling” approach is far from the only option available, and you can tinker with the overall design in many different and innovative ways that might also help you adapt to the unique requirements of your bedroom. From crafting a 'virtual' headboard for minimalist beds to framing wallpaper panels as unique artwork, from extending it to the ceiling to create the illusion of added height to fashioning a quilt-like patchwork of different wallpapers for a truly unique effect, there are countless ways to unleash your creativity.

If you want to read more about fantastic ways to decorate your headboard wall, we recommend our in-depth article “Creative and innovative ideas for headboard wallpaper”.

Balancing wallpaper and paint in bedroom headboard design

While the main design focus remains on the headboard wall, wallpaper and paint should work together to establish a sense of continuity throughout the room. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Picking complementary colours
    For the other walls, select hues that are either from the same colour family of the key wallpaper shade or contrasting yet harmonious variations. For example: If you have chosen a wall décor featuring a floral pattern in shades of blue, consider a pale blue or a neutral hue for the remaining walls. You can also experiment with tonal variants, adding depth and dimension to the room design by opting for a muted or lighter shade of the dominant key colour as a contrast to a wallpaper featuring a vibrant pattern.
  2. Maintaining balance
    Maintaining balance is essential to avoid a sense of overwhelming. As a patterned wallpaper tends to have more visual weight, the other walls should provide a touch of visual relief with more subdued paint colours. Always consider the overall effect before you decide on a specific shade.
  3. Proportion considerations
    Ceiling-to-floor wallpaper décor always has a striking effect. However, this may not be suitable for smaller bedrooms as it would make them feel too cramped. If this is the case, consider alternatives like wallpapering just a section of the wall (so-called “wainscoting”) or creating a feature panel behind the headboard.

Pros and Cons of wallpapering behind the headboard

On the fence on whether to go ahead and wallpaper your headboard wall or not? In these cases it’s always a good idea to evaluate the pros and cons of such a decision.


A headboard wallpaper creates a captivating focal point centred around the bed. It provides the opportunity to personalise the room design in a way that paint alone simply can’t. Setting the mood and ambiance of the room, it lets you fine-tune the type of atmosphere the room should end up with. It is also an excellent tool for concealing small imperfections in the wall surface.


There are some potential challenges to consider, as installing wallpaper requires a level of attention to detail and precision that might scare off DIY beginners. Cost is also a factor, as wallpaper as well as the required tools can be more expensive than paint.

Balancing these factors against the aesthetic benefits is crucial when deciding on a bedroom design that suits both your style and budget. If you want to take a deep dive on these topics, read our article “Wallpaper behind the headboard? Consider the Pros and Cons”.

Wallpaper options

Choosing the right wallpaper to put up behind the headboard is more than just selecting colours and patterns. The choice of material, finish and texture will also need to be factored in as it plays a substantial role in determining the longevity and effect of your wall décor.


Wallpapers are available in a variety of materials, each with its own specific properties and qualities:

  • Non-woven wallpaper
    Non-woven wallpapers are the default choice for most people when it comes to selecting a model for the headboard wall. They are extremely easy to install and to replace, they are breathable – plus they can easily hide minor wall imperfections.
  • Vinyl wallpaper
    If you know there is going to be frequent friction on your headboard wall (like furnishing being moved, small children playing) then you should consider vinyl wallpaper. The most durable and moisture-resistant option, they are easy to clean with a damp cloth, making them a practical choice.
  • Natural wallpaper
    If you’re after a natural and organic look, have allergies or simply want a wall décor that caters for your ecological concerns, natural wallpapers are the logical choice. Whether made from grass cloth, bamboo, hemp, sisal or jute, natural wallpapers add depth and texture to the headboard wall. Please bear in mind that some might be more delicate and require extra care during installation.


The type of finish on the surface layer of your new wallpaper will have a substantial impact on how it is perceived. It also allows you to achieve specific visual effects.

  • Matte
    Soft and understated, matte wallpapers are perfectly suited for creating a cosy and serene atmosphere behind the headboard. As matte finishes help reduce glare, it will soften the impact of your bedside lights.
  • Glossy
    Glossy wallpapers reflect the light in the bedroom, creating a sense of luxury and making headboard wall stand out. They are suitable for glamorous boudoirs where the headboard wallpaper is used as artwork. Special care needs to be taken when choosing the type and brightness of bedside lamps/bulbs as glossy finishes in well-lit bedrooms may produce glare.
  • Metallic
    Often used to create striking visual effects, wallpapers with metallic finishes are on trend for modern bedrooms. They create a shimmering effect that catches the light, adding a touch of glamour that provides a stylish focal point behind the bed. They are an excellent option for bedrooms with a limited amount of natural light.


Sometimes just an afterthought when choosing a bedroom wallpaper, textures add depth and tactile interest to the space behind the headboard.

  • Embossed textures
    Textured wallpapers with raised patterns or embossing add a three-dimensional effect to the surface, providing depth and visual intrigue to your headboard wall.
  • Faux finishes
    Wallpaper models that mimic materials like brick, wood, or stone work well with rustic or industrial interior design concepts. Faux leather adds an element of decadent opulence.

Health considerations when choosing headboard wallpaper for your bedroom

As the primary function of the bedroom is as our sanctuary where we restore our energies, health considerations and indoor air quality need to be part of the decision-making process when choosing a décor behind your head as you sleep.

Choose non-toxic, eco-friendly wallpapers

When planning for a healthy bedroom environment, choosing non-toxic and eco-friendly wallpapers should be a top priority. Many low-cost wallpapers of dubious origins may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful chemicals that can be emitted over time, leading to poor indoor air quality and a range of potential health issues including headaches, respiratory problems, and allergies. Look for the VOC-free label in the specifications.

Wallpaper and dust

If you are allergic to dust mites, you should take extra precautions as certain wallpapered surfaces can attract and trap dust particles. You can mitigate potential health issues by doing the following:

  • Avoid textured or special effect wallpaper models as they are more receptive to dust.
  • Regularly clean the wallpapered area using a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to minimise dust accumulation.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in the bedroom to reduce humidity and dust mite growth.

Hypoallergenic wallpaper materials

When it comes to allergenics, not all wallpaper models are the same. If this is a concern for you, these are the most suitable options:

  • Washable wallpapers
    The market offers a wide range of wallpaper models (typically vinyl-coated models) that can be easily cleaned with a wet cloth, making them a practical choice for allergy-prone individuals.
  • Certified allergen-free wallpapers
    Look for wallpapers certified as allergen-free by reputable organisations as these models are specifically designed to minimise the accumulation of allergens and tested for their impact on indoor air quality.

If you have severe allergies or specific health concerns, we suggest that you consult a professional who can recommend wallpaper materials and maintenance practices tailored to your needs.

DIY vs. Hiring a professional for your headboard wallpapering project

Even if you have little to no experience, wallpapering behind the headboard yourself can be an extremely rewarding experience. However, there are a number of cases where it might be better to opt for a professional installer:

  • Complex patterns
    If you have fallen in love with a wallpaper model featuring intricate patterns or one that requires precise matching and you have little experience in dealing with those tasks, a professional will ensure the patterns align seamlessly.
  • Large-scale projects
    If your bedroom has very high ceilings or expansive wall surfaces, trying to do the wallpapering yourself might be dangerous if you are not experienced.
  • Walls requiring preparation work
    A professional will be able to help with issues like uneven and cracked walls and can tell you if the plaster is too damaged to be fixed and the wall in question needs replastering. Addressing these issues is crucial for smooth wallpaper application and a flawless finish.
  • You’re trying to wallpaper on your own and without help
    Wallpapering requires working in tandem with another person if you want to make sure that you will be happy with the result. Unless you are a professional, you should refrain from wallpapering alone.

If you have decided to call in a professional painter/decorator, you should read our article “How do I find the “right” tradespeople for my wallpapering project?”. It contains useful tips that will save you time and money.

The challenges of DIY-wallpapering the headboard wall

Let’s now look at the possible challenges ahead if you feel up to the task and have decided to start the headboard wall decorating project yourself:

  • Uneven wall surfaces
    In older homes or due to construction imperfections, your bedroom walls may not always be perfectly square or smooth. You need to carefully inspect your walls; if they look uneven or cracked you will need to deal with these issues as they will affect the final finish. Prep the wall by filling any holes or cracks, sanding rough areas, and applying a wall primer [LINK TO PRIMER ANSWER] to create an even surface. If your wall has significant imperfections, consider applying lining paper [LINK TO LINING PAPER ANSWER] as a base layer.
    It can be applied horizontally or vertically, depending on the type of issues you're dealing with. If you have minor uneven areas, you can slightly overlap the wallpaper edges and then carefully trim the excess once it's applied. However, if the unevenness is significant, it would be a good idea to consult with a professional decorator beforehand. They can provide you with tailor-made solutions, such as custom-cut wallpaper.
  • The headboard is attached to the wall
    Sometimes the headboard is a fixed element, firmly attached to the wall for stability and support. If this is the case and the headboard is so close to the wall that wallpapering behind it is impossible, check if there are screws or brackets holding it in position. If partial removal is not an option, carefully wallpaper around the headboard after having covered it securely with a protective plastic sheet or similar. Please note: Unless the headboard is perfectly flush with the wall, this procedure might be beyond the skillset of an amateur DIYer.
  • The bedroom is too small, and you cannot move the bed
    Wallpapering is best done after you removed all the furniture from the room. If, however, your bedroom is too small and/or your bed is too big to move it out, try pushing it slightly away from the wall so you have enough space to access the wall and wallpaper behind the headboard. Should this not be possible, you can hang the wallpaper in smaller sections, starting from the sides while moving the bed sideways. This requires extra care when it comes to aligning patterns and seams.
  • Alignment and symmetry behind the headboard
    For polished results, careful consideration should be given to alignment and symmetry, particularly if you intend to go for a large graphic motif. Before applying the wallpaper, create a mock layout using tape, take a step back and consider the room in its entirety. This will help you make the right adjustments, e.g. at which height the patterns on your wallpaper should appear.

Headboard wallpaper maintenance and longevity

Your headboard wall decoration project is complete, and you gaze at your beautiful new wallpaper full of pride. To ensure it remains perfect for years to come, it is essential to understand how to preserve its look over time.

  • Cleaning and maintenance of your headboard wallpaper
    Regularly dust your wallpaper using a soft, lint-free cloth or a feather duster to prevent dust buildup and keep it looking vibrant. If you notice any stains, use a damp cloth with a mild detergent to gently blot the affected area. Keep the label of your wallpaper roll as it will tell you what can or cannot be used to clean it. If your wallpaper is made of special materials and sensitive to moisture (again, check the label) you can use a dry-cleaning sponge or eraser to remove stains.
  • How long can you expect your headboard wallpaper to last?
    The longevity of your wallpaper depends on a variety of factors, from material to the type of adhesive used, and the general conditions in the room. Good quality wallpapers tend to last longer and are less prone to fading. Thorough wall preparation and using the right paste for your wallpaper should ensure that your décor will not start to peel in the future.
  • Tips for preserving the look of your headboard wallpaper
    Inspect your wallpaper periodically for any signs of damage or peeling and address them promptly by reapplying adhesive or patching up the affected area. Air the room frequently to prevent moisture buildup and use furniture pads to protect your wallpaper from damage caused by furniture pushed against the headboard wall. If you live in a sunny climate and your wall is exposed to sunlight for many hours a day, you could consider UV-blocking window treatments to protect its colours from fading.

Tips and tricks for wallpapering behind the headboard

How to best install a wallpaper behind the headboard wall has been one of the hottest topics for our customers and we receive request for advice on an almost daily base. As a result, we have put together some tips and tricks that cover the most common issues and will help you achieve a flawless look for your bedroom wall. They cover a variety of points from how to prepare the room to the role of temperature and humidity in the installation to how to correctly dispose of any surplus wallpaper cut-offs. For a more in-depth guide on installing a wallpaper behind your headboard, we recommend you read the article “Tips and tricks for wallpapering behind the headboard”.