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From Inspiration to Inexpensive: Headboard Edition

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in an old house. With this in mind, it can be assumed that my home has the same challenges as other older homes. In this instance, it’s a smaller floor plan where the size of my bedroom dictates that my bed be placed directly in front of a window. This can be a tricky situation, but after a little online shopping I found some beautiful headboards that could go in front of a window without blocking the light. Problem solved, right? Absolutely, if I wanted to spend $400 on a headboard, but  I did not. So, I turned this inspiration into an inexpensive design solution.

West Elm Morocco Headboard

  Morocco Headboard from West Elm

West Elm Window Headboard

Window Headboard, also from West Elm

I love both of these headboards, they’re light and airy and instead of blocking light, they make it an even more appealing feature. I knew I wanted this look in my bedroom, so I started obsessively checking Craigslist in hopes that someone would be selling their gently used West Elm headboard. That never happened, but I did find something that I thought would work.

Inexpensive before paint

For $30, this headboard has all the features I love about the ones from West Elm, it just needed a little work. To give it the same white enamel look as the inspiration piece, I started by sanding the wood so the paint would stick, then wiped it down with a damp towel to remove the dust. Next I applied three coats of bright white satin finish paint. Even with the satin finish, it still didn’t have the enamel look I was after, so I finished it off with an aerosol clear coat to make it shine. Here’s the final product:

Inexpensive headboard

So, a $30 headboard + $15 in paint = $45 project. This very simple DIY headboard saved me $355! Here are some side by side comparisons.

titled side by side

titled top to bottom

In the end, I’m even happier with my headboard, not only because of the money I saved, but because it’s a one-of-a-kind piece.

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rondell #

    I really do like it better than the West Elm ones! You did a great job!

    May 22, 2013
    • Thank you so much! Especially with the age of my house, I’m happy I found the “inexpensive,” I feel like all the curves suit the 100 year old house a little better.

      May 25, 2013
  2. Wow…gorgeous. I actually like it better than the West Elm versions! I am in the same boat with the small house-and-can-only-place-beds-in-front-of-the- window sitch, in both our master AND our college-age daughter’s room. Our solution: for our master BR we found a black iron bed with nickel finials, that has the open look , the “Svelfik” for $250. Def not as cheap as $30!! For our daughter’s room we found an iron headboard (I like iron) at a yard sale for about $50 that was just an arch with some bars going down vertically (hard to describe) which I painted a bright white. If I had seen your headboard I would have snapped it up! Way to go!

    May 23, 2013
    • Thanks so much for the comment – sorry for the extreme delay in response. Bright white and iron sounds absolutely gorgeous!

      October 30, 2013
  3. Jan #

    And following your quick note on May 27th, that’s exactly where I found you – at Knock Off Decor. Great job! I love your headboard! I do not recall seeing anything remotely like it before, wow! So unique and beautiful. And such a score price at $30. Good for you having the vision to see what the piece could become. While I do not live in, precisely, an older home (mine will be 23 this August), it is a modest sized house. My “mistress” bedroom (no masters around here) is a modest 11 x 14 and the other two bedrooms get smaller from there:) Only goes to show that you don’t need a lot of square footage in order to get a luxurious and yet comfy look.

    June 1, 2013
    • Hi Jan, So sorry for the delay in reply – I’d been off of my site for a bit. So happy to hear from like-minded folks who can appreciate the benefits of a “cozier” home 🙂

      October 30, 2013

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