This Clever, Designer-Approved DIY Will Help Your Bedroom Headboard Work Harder for You

published Apr 6, 2023
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Apartment bedroom with lots of white, natural wood, natural colors, natural fiber textiles
Credit: Ama Studio

In small bedrooms, square footage can be scarce, so you have to get creative with storage solutions and display opportunities. While headboards certainly add a touch of coziness and style to bedrooms, they often don’t have much utility beyond providing back support for when you’re sitting up in bed. One designer in France made her DIY “headboard” work harder for her, though, and her brilliant project provides a little bit of extra storage without taking up much floor space. Honestly, this idea doubles down on both decoration and functionality in a sleeping area, so I’d recommend it to any handy small-space dweller.

Agathe Corbet, an interior designer and founder of Ama Studio, lives in a beautifully renovated 550-square-foot apartment in Nantes, France. “My husband and I purchased this apartment in 2018 as an investment property without ever imagining living in it ourselves,” Corbet says in her house tour. She and her husband moved back to France from Australia in September 2021 and decided to live in the apartment while they fixed it up. 

According to Corbet, the renovation process was “pretty wild,” as she and her husband did the entire renovation themselves while also each working full-time. The couple even slept in the kitchen for nearly two months while their living room and bedroom were being renovated! Still, Corbet had tons of fun being her own client and taking design risks she typically wouldn’t in her professional work. “I even learned how to install floorboards, build partition walls, lay tiles, install a kitchen, create custom millwork, and so much more,” Corbet says. 

Credit: Ama Studio

If I had to pick a favorite DIY from her home, it’d have to be the custom headboard/wall treatment she created in her bedroom. “I aim to create interiors that are contemporary and sophisticated, yet relaxed and approachable,” Corbet says, and that’s exactly what she achieved with this project. Instead of opting for a traditional headboard, she and her husband used vertical wooden slats to construct a 3D half-wall wainscoting, which introduces a bit of character and texture to the otherwise blank space. Topped with a shallow shelf, the treatment projects out from the wall a few inches, meaning, yes, it eats up a little bit of floor space.

For the display and storage opportunities the couple gained through this feature, though, it’s well worth it. Now, they have a headboard-like, supportive surface to stack their pillows up against, as well as a spot for stashing artwork, candles, and other decorative accessories, thanks to the little ledge. Combined with the small stools they’ve used as nightstands, the couple has all the bedside storage they need for nighttime essentials and personal pieces. 

Credit: Ama Studio

“Due to the small size of the apartment, every square foot had to be carefully considered,” Corbet says. “I spent a lot of time thinking about the best possible layout on a 3D design software to make sure I maximized every corner of this tiny apartment.” Smart, unique DIY features like this “bedhead,” as Corbet calls it, stand as the proof of her labors.