Headboard Heaven

With all the time we're spending at home, I find myself down many an Instagram rabbit hole. Today I am dreaming about headboards and there is nobody better (in my opinion) at mixing and matching and turning a bedroom into a cocoon than Kit Kemp. Her maximalist design makes me giddy and her Firmdale Hotels are truly jaw-dropping. Take a look with me and decide for yourself. Even if it's not your exact vibe, there are details to admire and emulate in every room. (All photos are in Firmdale Hotels)


BLUE AND WHITE The blue wallpaper is the grounding force here and red, the subtle accent color, though it could be swapped out for any color. The ikat-inspired headboard was given added dimension with a trim down the middle. The blue and white pattern on the drapes is neutral because of its large scale. The pop of red leather on the bench customizes it while keeping it unfussy. Can you spy the touch of red inside the corner pleat of the bed skirt? Love.

CHARCOAL AND GOLD This is a bold choice but remember, this is a hotel room, and I love it. Would make a wonderful guest room, too. The whimsy of the headboard guides the scheme. I love those punches of blue and gold. You can practically see the wind pushing the leaves across the bed. The striped sofa melts away in contrast to the headboard even though it has a strong pattern of its own. The black frame on the oversized art is weighty enough to balance the strength of the headboard but the art is muted enough to keep it from stealing the show.

GREEN AND WHITE I love love love dark walls. They melt away and you're left noticing the elements in front of them. Would you ever think of a dark wall behind that springtime white and green headboard? Probably not, but it's gorgeous and makes the contour of the headboard pop and at night it becomes doubly cozy. When there are dark accents in a room, repeat them in other elements. The dark marble top of the bedside table is able to balance the strength of the walls. The drapes also have a dark tape running down the leading edge to continue the theme. As does the stitching on the decorative pillow. Repetition is the name of the game.

MUTED PATTERNS WITH SIMILAR VALUES This scheme is not so much about two distinct colors but a scheme of colors with the same value. The tones are all muted and washed out, so they balance each other. Muted grays, blues, brick reds all work together. The headboard got a channeled upholstery treatment to bring a little more interest to the subdued palette. This little frame above the side table is a great example of how to use those little artworks you may have that don't seem to be big enough for any of your walls. Problem solved.

FRENCH BLUE The wallpaper here guides the room scheme and is given some oomph with golden yellow accents within an otherwise neutral headboard. The blanket brings some fun to the room and the golden frame repeats the color again. The bedding is a watered down version of the wallpaper and the decorative pillow with trim is slightly darker again. The iron handles of the bedside table add dimension and keep the table from being too light. Pick two or three colors and repeat, repeat, repeat.

BLACK AND TAN Here, busy patterns work together because they are "neutral". The wallpaper has a more delicate pattern that works with the primitive, hefty design in the headboard fabric. The green border on the headboard creates a visual break between the patterns. The pair of wood frames beautifully balance the height of the headboard. The blue pillows have a smaller pattern so as not to compete with other fabrics but connect to the blue in the headboard. As seen before, the dark marble top of the side table keeps it from feeling too dainty and melts away.

COFFEE AND HONEY Love these walls wrapped in textured wallpaper for a cocoon effect. The drapes are almost a perfect color match but a different pattern, adding depth but remaining serene and simple. The headboard brings in one more color, the honey tone that works effortlessly with these browns. When your eye scans the room, it is not overwhelmed, but when the elements are pulled apart, there is more going on than meets the eye. That's the name of the game.

TOMATO AND BLUE When using strong colors, use them in big sweeps to tone down their impact. The walls are bold but toned down by the creamy drapes with simple blue tape. The headboard is framed in the same blue and a perfect complement. Again we see the touch of leather atop the desk chair, a simple but effective way to bring a custom detail to a chair with clean lines. The bench gets a multi-color stripe that connects to all the other elements.

BLUE AND . . . Would you say this is a blue and white bedroom? blue and green? Just blue? Whatever your thoughts, can we agree it's gorgeous? Again, the rich walls wrap you in warmth and the showstopper of a headboard brings in some accent colors. Pull out the green for the pillows. Lots of other colors would work, too. Choose a neutral stripe for the bench. Add some more blue and white through the plates.

GRAY AND WHITE Totally neutral, this scheme comes alive from the red and white chairs and trim on the drape. The headboard's vines weave gray and black for depth and the striped bench again continues the color theme without competing. The decorative pillows on the bed have been piped in red to carry the color across the room in a subtle way. I also love that the furniture doesn't match - a painted side table works with an antique dresser and a modern sculpted drink drop.

PINK AND BLUE This cheerful and adventurous headboard fabric is toned down with the linear upholstery treatment. The simple striped wallpaper nods to the blue without being overwhelming and it's so much more interesting than a plain painted wall. The bedside table is teeny and can handle the bright color while the marble top tones it down and allows a visual break when your eye travels across the space. Another decorative pillow here in a small scale pattern completes the look. I think you're getting the hang of this.

GREEN AND BLUE The headboard and drapes are the fresh green elements and they are gorgeously complemented by the striped wallcovering. Because tge headboard pattern is small, the pattern on the decorative pillows is a larger pattern. It's always about balance. Again we see the pairing of fabrics on the bench and the subtle details in the bed skirt. And the art above the table ties into the green. You can do it, too, I know you can.

GREEN AND GOLD This busy wallpaper is delicate and faded, a perfect counterpart to the vibrant, crisp leaves and lemons edged in yellow trim. The drapes take the same colors but use them in an abstract pattern that stands on its own with a creamy ground. If you can't find bedding to coordinate with your scheme, choose all white bedding and then make your own accent pillows. Here, a small scaled blue pattern gets amped up with a stripe of bright yellow. Because there's so much going on here, the small white frame brings some quiet to the bedside table.

Do you feel inspired to do some (re)decorating of your own? Try some of the tricks that Kit uses in her hotels - they really work. I'm here if you'd like to do some decorating from a distance - showrooms are continuing to send out samples and we can achieve everything online that we would normally do in person.


Don't forget about my #dominoeffect offer where I'm sharing 30% of my discount with you during April and May 2020.

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