DIY Headboard & Bedroom Inspiration

I e-got together with my friend, Beth, a while back to help her come up with ideas for a headboard dilemma she was having. After a few messages back and forth, and inspired by this family photo of hers…

…we came up with plan that involved two old windows and a new barn door…

Here’s what she and her hubby created with them…

(Click here to check out her DIY Headboard blog post!)

Isn’t it great?!

Well, Beth, wrote me with a new design dilemma the other day, so I thought I’d share it here in case anyone else is seeking similar design inspiration. Her email read:

Hello Lay!
I wanted to thank you again for helping me last summer with the brainstorming process for the headboard in my master bedroom. It has really grounded the space, and I am LOVING it. However, I just can’t seem to get this room right, so I would love your design advice again! I’ve already removed the fabric from behind the salvaged windows, I don’t like my nightstands, or the lamps, and I have no idea what to put on the walls on either side of my bed. I’m also not sure about my bedding choice. I love my Anthropologie white duvet, so that stays, but I’m not sure about my throw pillows. I made the Moroccan stenciled pillows to tie in with my curtains, but I feel like the whole thing just feels a bit dull and flat. I was thinking of adding some pops of salmon or coral to the mix, but at this point I’m just confused. I need a fresh pair of eyes to give me a new perspective. I would be so incredibly grateful for any advice/ideas you have to offer!

I used Photoshop to put together a quick inspiration photo drawing for her, to see if she might be inspired by a few different ideas that popped in my noggin as I read through her email…

Here are the four main things I’m thinkin’ might be fun (but certainly aren’t necessary because you’re room is absolutely fabulous already, Beth!)…

1- Mixed Mirrors. I love the idea of using reflective surfaces on each side of the bed to open that wall up a little. The barn door/salvaged window combo eats up most of that wall, so maybe adding mirrors will both, add interest and “lighten the visual load” a little, too?

I’ve always loved the mirror collection in this photo from Country Living:

Here’s another pretty inspiration photo I found while surfin’ around on Google today:


I love that little room!

2- Corral some coral.

I love the idea of bringing in the color coral and was so inspired when I came across this pic…


Then I found this bedding on

…and I was like, whoa. Me like-y, the look-y, a lot-y.

This is what the back sides of the euro shams (that I popped in my photo drawing above) look like…

(Cora Kalamkari bedding)

Completely coral-icious, right?! She wouldn’t have to use this exact pillow though…I just thought it was pretty luscious, and wanted to give her a visual on what some coral accents might look like in there. It’ll be neat to see if she decides to work some into the room!

3- Warm wood.

I showed what it would look like to use chunkier, warm wood-toned nightstands in my inspiration photo drawing because I liked the way they “talked” to the warm wood in the salvaged windows. Here’s a pretty, warm wood nightstand inspiration pic…


The windows on each side of the bed also *sort of* simulate what it feel like to have mirrors on the walls, too.

4- Larger lamps.

Bigger table lamps, that mimic the reflective quality in the mirrors on the wall, hold their own (size-wise) against the large headboard, and contrast with the rustic finish and glass on the headboard would really be a nice touch, scale and finish-wise.


Also, a lamp with a natural-colored shade (like the one above), versus ones with white shades, might be a nice addition to the existing color palette, too.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Beth for allowing me the chance to throw in my two cents…and to apologize to her hubby, Matt, for throwing out more ideas that cost more than two cents. Beth made me do it.

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  1. says

    I looove that family picture, how sweet! I definitely like the windows better without fabric behind them. Your ideas are right on target (or Pottery Barn), as always. :)

  2. says

    Gorgeous, Layla – I think you nailed it!

    When I saw Beth’s picture, the first thing I said is “she needs larger lamps”, but that was as far as my inspiration took me!

    I love that little sofa with the gorgeous pillows.

    I need you to do something with my bedroom – I’ve been told it’s pretty, but it’s kind of boring (like a hotel room!)

  3. Michelle says

    Love it. If she’s looking for similar lamps TJ Maxx Home Store has lamps very similar right now.

  4. sara t says

    I like the idea of inserting mirrors inside the panel openings in the two old doors (instead of the original patterned fabric/glass material in her photo).

  5. says

    This is love-rly … I need headboard help desperately. Very much appreciated!! And great suggestions for a master bedroom!

  6. kris anderson says

    I *need* to know where she got the white comforter / duvet! Please share!! p.s. Love the suggestions- larger lamps, warm wood, mirrors, pops of color… So pretty!

    • JoLynn says

      Just thought I’d let you know Kris that I have a duvet cover very similar {white with ruching} that I bought from I think it might have been part of their Shabby Chic line. Just in case you were looking for a more affordable option {it was like $89? for a King size}. :)

  7. says

    Great start!!!

    The lamps are definitely out of scale and not visually substantial enough to hold their own next to the headboard. Personally, I’d love to see a couple of drum shade pendant lights coming down from the ceiling.

    I would put mirror tiles into the side windows and then beef up the side tables like Layla has shown but maybe do round tables since the room is currently has a lot of squares and rectangles.

    Hanging the lights removes the need to “put something” on the walls that flank the headboard. There is a lot going on with that piece and putting more on the walls seems very distracting.

    Right now everything is concentrated on one end of the room, creating an imbalance. Place a blanket folded lengthwise in her pop/accent color at the foot of the bed the add an accent rug under half the bed coming out toward the front of the room. They will help bring visual weight to that end of the room to balance out the headboard end.

    Great job. Looking forward to seeing more!!

  8. says

    Just love that pop of salmon! It’s got some peachy hues in it as well which really helps brighten up the space. Great job!

  9. Kim in MD says

    I love this post! I always get a smile on my face when I receive an e-mail from The Lettered Cottage in my inbox! Your blog is so fun and always inspiring! :-)

  10. says

    Love your plan, only instead of coral….I’m seeing a sweet room with red!!! (ya’ know…go big or go home, ha)

  11. Naomi says

    Lovely Design Ideas. I was wondering what paint color and brand Beth used on the wall of her bedroom? Its Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!!

  12. says

    I just wanted to throw this little tid-bit in. I happen to LOVE the coral touches, it really makes things “pop” nicely. However, apparently under Feng Shui guidelines, coral is a big no-no. Under Feng Shui rules the color coral in a bedroom promotes infidelity in a marriage. I’m just sayin’….. :-)

  13. Kathy :) says

    Hey Beth, there’s always one room that just for whatever reason “bugs” us. Love what Diana above said, she read my mind, I’d put in hanging lights with round tables and a pop of color at the end of the bed, either a little couch or bench or just a throw….., perhaps 2 groovy rugs on either side of the bed…….and that pic of the BOYS is awesome !!!

    Good Luck, cant wait to see what you do :)

    Kathy :)

  14. Jeannette Carriere says

    I to like the windows without the fabric, before it looked like particle board from a distance.Burst’s of color would be great I’m not liking the side tables however don’t like the color of the wood but the design is great.Love the floral design in the pillow the whole set is really fab.

  15. says

    Where did you get the drapes/curtains? I love them…….and you stenciled the toss pillows yourself to coordinate? how cool….but really like the drapes.

  16. Melanie says

    YOU have an EYE for BEAUTY!! LOVE your ideas…Also, Coral is one of my color lusts!

  17. says

    I think Beth’s headboard is spectacular, and I love the coral accents added to the room. My two cents: I would go for wider bedside tables, ones that go all the way to the walls, to balance out the size and scale of the headboard, (did I mention that I love that headboard?). I bet, if they can build the headboard then Matt and Beth can build the tables too. Especially with plans from Ana White’s incredible website.

  18. says

    Great ideas! I’m absolutely DYING over that photo from Country Living, and I love the mirrored lamp base. Thanks for providing such detailed explanations for your recommendations, because it really helps non-designers like me to make more conscious choices (not sure if that makes any sense, ha!) :-)

  19. Rachelle says

    Oooh! I love the coral in the room. I think that it would be awesome to put the mirrors behind the windows for a big reflective impact! I would also suggest tall paper floor lamps on the night tables. We did that in our master bedroom, and everyone thought it was nutty – until the project reveal and it is fantastic! (Still!) For the bedding, I’d try to set my pillows upright on the euro shams (Nice touch, Layla!). I think some Navy blue ikat would look awesome on the bed as well (in place of the matching throw pillows). Also, a bright colored throw (teal?), and try to fold the duvet in half for even more oomph! I love those hammered lamps – to die for!

    I think the room is already pretty great as well!

  20. Kate says

    Layla, I am just in awe of how you can finish off a room! And you are right… it was very pretty before, but with your ideas it really comes to life. Thanks, as always, for the great inspiration!

  21. Wendy says

    I like it all–of course–but it would be nice to see more coral at the foot of the bed. Maybe the bed skirt or upholstered stool. Absolutely LOVE the headboard. I have a section of cutwork porch railing for my headboard, that has that same old-storied-past life-ness to which I’m always drawn.

    Good work everyone!

  22. says

    this post is bursting with great ideas i could use! love the headboard and the mirror idea, the coral colored shams and the lamps, basically all of it :). dreaming of a little sleeping nook like the one you showed. takes my mind back to being a kid and finding a cozy spot where i could read for hours….

  23. says

    Ooooo! The aqua and coral together are so awesome! I’m in the process of redoing my bathroom in those colors right now. Love it.

  24. says

    Now, admittedly, I’m more of a bright color person, but most of my (amateur) blogging is saved for teen rooms and teen decor. However, I read this blog and I did have a few different ideas of my own…

    She could use some coral pillows, but since she said her self it was a dull and lifeless room, (which I don’t personally believe, it’s adorable) why not use some BRIGHT corals? Or BRIGHT peach?

    Here is something I could that I LOVED and thought would go fabulous:

    ^it’s not a pink necessarily, it’s more of a bright coral/peach. And It’s adorable, and I love the butterfly with it!
    And then I found this:

    ^not only is it super cute, it also has the coral*ish color in it, and the butterflies again (which to me translates country chic. I know I’m weird)

    And Instead of lamps, which about getting Chandelier(s)??

    I dunno, just thought I’d through in thoughts! But it’s wonderful either way!