There seems to be a clear divide between those pro-headboard and those pro-blank space, to which I say, you do you. Whether you're a fan of something more alternative, something more boho, or something that really makes a statement, your bedroom needs a focal point. And that focal point is often more times than not, a headboard. So let's start with the basics – the IKEA MALM. It's affordable, simple, and unassuming. It's also very hackable. See what I mean...
Above is the unadulterated version of the MALM shown in oak veneer (also available in white, black-brown, and stained ash as well as with a storage drawer option). For $199 for a queen size, it's easy to see why this basic but slightly forgettable bed is a popular option.
Let's start with a simple, modern makeover that's sure to warm up any room (above). Ashley over on Sugar & Cloth started with a MALM headboard and added Stikwood (in reclaimed barrel oak) on top for an easy hack. See the full tutorial here.
Maybe modern isn't your thing. Then you'll love this more rustic hack, covering the headboard and frame in gray wood vinyl planks. You can catch a helpful video over on Hester's Handmade Home.
Go full Scandinavian by fitting a raw wood plank, cut-to-size of course, on top of the MALM. The planks can be attached with corner braces. See more over on wohngoldstuek.de.
Create a reclaimed wood look by encasing the MALM bed frame in a variety of stained woods. See how the couple behind Oakdale Onward made this one.
For a more luxe look, you can check out IKEA's own channel tufting hack, featuring a DIY sleeve made from IKEA curtains, with foam inserts for extra comfort.
Another cushy option, this DIY upholstered headboard hack from Place of My Taste uses the MALM as the headboard base. By adding additional plywood, you can get the look of a more grandiose bedroom. Grab your favorite fabric, some batting, and a staple gun to finish it off.
Even more dramatic is this hack from Design Manifest, which adds a custom cutout on top of the existing bed frame, while upholstering with a hand-printed fabric.
If the last hack felt too complex, you can always use your fabric to create a simple sleeve that fits over your headboard, as seen on Merriment Design. And when you're sick of the pattern, trade it out for a bedroom refresh!