Fancy or practical? Headboard options to match your style

A room at Giraffe Ark Hotel in Nyeri (left). Innovative headboard ideas can completely transform the look and feel of your bedroom. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI
A room at Giraffe Ark Hotel in Nyeri (left). Innovative headboard ideas can completely transform the look and feel of your bedroom. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI 

As you return from the holidays, there are those aspects you probably like to borrow from the hotel you stayed in.

Hotel beds often have unique features that spell style and comfort and one of my obsessions is the elegant designs of the headboards.

They come in a wide variety of materials to complement other furnishings and to suit your style, including wood, metal, or those covered in cloth, leather, vinyl or natural materials such as sisal and rattan. Some feature a combination of materials.

Whether it is a metal bed or an artistic Lamu one with its intricately carved details, choosing this furniture piece depends on your taste and preference.

Besides picking a material based on looks, also consider durability and comfort—especially if you sit up in bed to read or watch the news.

Different shops in Nairobi offer some interesting designs. Take your time to check out the possibilities— you’ll be surprised by the variety of shapes, styles and functions.

Whether you want a massive headboard that takes up a large part of the wall or a subtle one which does not overshadow other details in the room, a good piece will certainly make you feel more comfortable in your bed.

Artistic headboards

Rattan and Lamu furniture are some of the unique furniture pieces of this century; however they might not be everyone’s option.

They are either made of recycled dhow or of original bamboo tree from Congo that is carved to give it that “Swahili” finish. Most Lamu beds look simple, with minimal decorations on the headboard such as a glass picture but you can also have an elaborately carved design.

Zahra Jina of Sunny Daze says their Lamu-style furniture are highly popular for their rustic looks.

“Lamu designs are some of the most popular and are on high demand,” she says.

There are also headboards made of sisal. These ones can be made by even inexperienced do-it-yourselfers with just a few tools and minimal hardware.

Futuristic headboards

Mostly seen in magazines, they can however, be replicated with the help of a good carpenter.

They include glass headboards with rather complicated, detailed design to led lighting on a suspended bed, giving the impression of a floating bed. Some are quite functional and relatively minimalist.
Most of these designs are made on order.

Cloth padded

These are more common and are upholstered with beautiful, easily available fabrics.

Whether it is leather or a soft fabric, they provide good cushioning and can be comfortable to lean on.

They are also safe for children and add colour to a bedroom. They can also be easily matched with the curtains.

Most hotels will have these headboards either as part of the bed or screwed to the wall.

Rampel Designs Kenya has contemporary beds with carved and wavy headboards as one piece.

Wooden options

These often feature decorative carvings and some are stained while others are painted. Wood is readily available in the country, making these designs the most common.

Quinn Peaks offers unique and wide choice. Carlos Nathwani who is the brains behind the brand, says he ventured into the business due to his love for unusual furniture pieces.

“I can sometimes keep a piece of wood for years just waiting for the right opportunity to mold it into something beautiful,” he says.

Metallic pieces

They come in a variety of designs as metal is easy to bend and fold to whatever shape one desires. Jua kali artisans can come up with versatile designs to suit client needs.

You can go for floral designs or those with animal figurines.

Most artisans can also replicate designs found in magazines.