Ask a Decorating Question: Can I use a Queen Headboard with a King Bed?

Courtesy of Anthropologie

I’m looking forward to answering design questions from readers each week. The question below from Brett has been on my mind. I’ll tell you why in a bit, but first, let’s start with the question…

My wife and I have a 4 month old who is taking up too much of our queen bed. I would like to get a king bed but we have a fairly new bedroom set. Would it look weird if we used the same headboard? The bed would stick out 5 inches on either side.

I always say there are no rules to decorating, just rules of thumb. When it comes to headboards, the rule of thumb is they should not be narrower than the bed frame. Is there an exception to that rule? I don’t think so. Why? Good design is all about scale and proportion. A bed is typically the focal point of the room – the headboard is the foundation for a beautiful bed. A headboard that is smaller than a bed is simply going to look wrong. It will be out of proportion. If it’s going to bug me…it’s going to bug you.

So what to do? I have three possible solutions.

1. Come up with a DIY solution to convert the queen headboard into a king headboard. I do believe that anything is possible with a bit of creativity. I  don’t know what your headboard looks like, but I am sure there is a creative way to extend the headboard by adding on at the ends or adding a panel in the middle. BUT, you would have to be a DIY’er and it would have to be fabulous. If you do decide to try it, here is a link I found for hardware you can use to attach the headboard to a king bed frame.

2. Store or sell the queen size headboard and get one that complements your furniture. The key here is to get one that is not wood – a wood headboard may fight with your furniture. An upholstered or woven headboard would work quite nicely with any style of furniture. You can find them in many price ranges. Here are a few  headboards/beds I found:

Target has a great selection on-line of reasonably priced headboards. A  king is less than $250.00:

I found this king seagrass headboard on amazon for $549.00.  I love the texture …

Ballard’s has this great leather headboard with nailhead trim for under $800.00:

Macy’s has this gorgeous bed with a price tag right under $2,000.00:

Pottery Barn’s slip-covered headboard+bed has a sticker price ranging from $719.00 – $2,249.00. Isn’t it lovely?

So this brings us to number three. I know that sleeping with an infant is something some parents do. Brett, I am sure you have researched this and made a decision that is right for your family, but here are my thoughts…

A. Regardless of the size of the bed, there are always dangers when sleeping with an infant. Of course, you may be using an Infant Sleep By My Side like this…

Blogger Danielle wrote a great article on Co – Sleeping which I think is worth a read. And check this out from HowToBeADAd

These are some funny, funny guys! You really ought to check out their blog! If co-sleeping is your choice, you are definitely going to need that king size bed.

Let’s move on to B and C…

B. Sleep is a good.  There is no doubt that sleeping with an infant causes you to lose sleep. A rested parent is a better parent. Yes, you don’t get much sleep with a baby in the home, but my guess is you get even less when their in your bed. And let’s just throw this out there… sex.

C. I raised three children. I was a stay at home mom, breastfed them and understand how exhausting it can be. I slept in their bed more than once when they were young and they climbed into our bed more than once.  But, always, they had their own bed and place to grow. It was a win-win for everyone.

You probably guessed what three is…

3. Keep the queen sized bed. Put the baby in their own room, Let him/her sleep in a crib within your room or use a co-sleeper next to your bed like the one below…

The co-sleeper arrangement gives you the best of both worlds.

That is my long winded answer – get a new headboard, find your creative side or keep your queen sized bed. The bottom line is  make a decision based on what is best for you and your family. We’d love to know what you decide to do! Readers…what do you think? xo Amy

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5 thoughts on “Ask a Decorating Question: Can I use a Queen Headboard with a King Bed?

  1. Our oldest child slept in our bed for a very long time. He wasn’t going to have it any other way… no advice or books were going to change that. We were happy with our sleeping arrangments though and just didn’t tell anybody since it was so frowned upon. Our second child was born independent and always wanted to be in her own bed. That worked out great for us.

    I read somewhere that America is the only country that sleeps with their babies down the hall. I don’t know if that’s true but it sure made us feel better with our first child because we wanted him close to us. I think parents should do what works best for them because there’s always so many variables.

  2. Amy, great advice. I knew why you were sleepless before reading the article. I too loved cuddling my babies and still do with the grandbabies, but ultimately you have to think of safety. It is absolutely not worth the risk of suffocation. How could you live with yourself ! I do understand the family bed concept, but I
    Also think having a bedtime ritual and spending that time helps the baby develop a since of security.

    On a lighter note Overstocks.com is a great place to look for headboards and the shipping is only $2.95, I have ordered one myself.

  3. Amy, I think you’ve touched on a sensitive topic. When I was a new mother, strangers gave me their advice whether I asked for it or not. I’m an awesome mom and never, ever put my child in harm’s way… even by letting him sleep in our bed. I also changed diapers in my lap on airplanes (very secretly) and nursed him in public (also secretly). What the heck did people do before car seats and 3 bedroom houses? I agree with you that the bottom line is to make a decision based on what is best for you and your family.

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