Having trouble deciding what to put in that space between your headboard and the ceiling? Should it be a mirror or a piece of art? What about a grouping of wall accents above the bed? There are so many options out there and a couple of tricks we can use to provide the most dramatic visual impact.

1. Number – Three is Company: When grouping accents for display, harness the visual power of odd numbers for the most eye-pleasing results. Notice how in the examples below even when the total number of objects used is an even number, their arrangement uses a “set of three” approach.

2. Shape – Embrace Your Curves: Using the principal of  contrast, consider hanging square picture frames above a curved headboard (follow the curve of a headboard with a staggered arrangement) and round frames above a square headboard.

3. Placement – Mind the Gap: Hang artwork 12 inches or less above the highest point on the headboard, this way the accent and the headboard will read as a single unit without an awkward empty gap.

4. Size – Just Feels Right: Don’t forget the visually satisfying principle of proportion when hanging your accents. In general, the piece or grouping should fill at least two-thirds of the width above the headboard. As you can see in these examples, matching the width of the headboard was the common choice. As an exception, I also love the look of one small accent (a mirror or tiny piece of art) centered over the bed.


Artist Bill Wilkinson for One+Only Custom Headboards| Steven Gambrel

Maison Art & Architecture

Steven Payne of Maison Architecture & Design


Better Homes & Gardens | Restoration Hardware


Restoration Hardware | via Rue Magazine


Jacqueline Derrey Segura for HB photo by Simon Upton | via Better Homes & Gardens

Take-Four-and-Five-Over-Bedvia Better Homes & Gardens | Classic Chic Home 


Layla Palmer | Wisteria | The Inspired Room


Next week, just for fun, we will leave the safety of mirrors and artwork, and checkout some of the more innovative options for how to fill in the blank above your bed, everything from barn doors to paddles. If you would like your unique design to feature in next week’s post, drop me a line along with a photo of your space at submissions@designwotch.com. I would love to see what’s above your bed (now maybe that sounds a little too personal!?).

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One Response to “{fill in the blank: what’s above your bed?}”

  1. Thank you so much for including my bedroom artwork in your post, Helena. Have a lovely day,
    Wendi @ Classic Chic Home

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