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gallery wall of frames above bed in moody brown bedroom desenio

13 Art Ideas for Above the Bed that Stray from the Norm

Looking for some art ideas for above the bed? I have 13 glorious suggestions for you today, and they definitely stray from the norm.

The wall above the bed is prime styling real estate. But most of us aren’t using it wisely. Some of us don’t even do anything with this wall (gasp!). I know, it’s practically criminal. But there are options galore for this area, and today’s post proves it. The wall above the bed is going to be seen in a whole new light with the 13 kick-arse ideas I’m going to show you below. Read on all about above bed art and decor.

The concepts here aren’t all new, by the way. But they’re definitely worth a re-visit. Because a reader told me recently that her husband won’t let her hang heavy art above the bed. And I thought, well, try one of these art ideas for the wall above the bed instead (short of divorcing him, of course!) 😉

I’ve also thrown in a bonus idea above via Desenio. A gorgeous little gallery wall display which I think is classic but still so so beautiful.

round tray hanging on blue wall above bed from pottery barn

1. Trays or Plates

The image above comes courtesy of Pottery Barn and it’s the first of the 14 genius ideas for decorating above the bed. That’s a tray you see hanging on the wall there. Many of us never even think to put something like a tray (or plates) on a wall like this. But it really is a sublime idea and brings both texture and pattern into the space. Is it art? Is it decor? Both, and I love it.

The decorating in this zone is all fairly subdued, so the tray creates a focal point for your eye the moment you walk into the room. Every room needs a focal point, and this is a great one in a bedroom where there’s not much else going on visually.


2. Large-Scale Textural Art

Don’t get it twisted, macrame and other textural wall hangings are very chic and worth considering. They adds a sense of effortless, airy fun to a room. And there are so many options with macrame in terms of style, shape, size and even colour. If you’re on a budget and have time and a creative flair, you can even make your own. Talk about flexible decor. If DIY aint your thing, don’t let that stop you. Heaps of local makers create these pieces and sell them at fab prices. Imagine above is via Fenton & Fenton.

house rules 2019 lisa and andy bedroom with green walls and indoor plant wall

3. Plant Shelf

We’re all becoming so focussed on getting more greenery inside our homes. And who can blame us? We love to blur the lines between indoor and out. The idea of displaying plants above your bed is a great one because it injects calming vibes in a way framed art or a canvas just can’t. Now, I know what you’re thinking: the maintenance would be a killer. But why not take a leaf out of my book and get some amazing real-looking fake plants?!


4. Picture Rails

Pretty similar to the option above, but technically a picture rail is a different beast. They are designed either with a groove for the frames to sit in, or lip to prevent them from sliding off (often both) and are specifically about layering your favourite pieces of art and photography. My tip for you would be, don’t go too large. If the picture feels like a breeze could get behind it and push it forward, it probably will land on your face in the middle of the night.

moroccan style rug hung on wall above the bed

5. Rugs

I know, this isn’t the sort of thing you might think of every day, but how cool is a rug when it comes to art ideas for above the bed? It adds texture to the space, makes it feel cosier, and you can control how vibrant you want the pattern to be. This idea works best (and most affordable) if you opt for a light rug – or even a piece of fabric. I love how Collective Gen has done it above, don’t you?

black and white pattern curved headboard in master bedroom

6. DIY Headboards

Perhaps the most creative option out of the whole list, a DIY headboard is one of my favourite ways to decorate above the bed. There are loads of options out there, from different shapes, varied colours and a whole host of patterns. Don’t just think of painted timber either. Consider a wallpaper on the headboard or a unique fabric. This one above, photographed by the amazing Jason Frank Rothenberg, is to die for. Definitely a solution to elevate your room and take it next-level.

black wall sconce lights above bed in minimalist bedroom

7. Wall Sconces

Lighting can be art too you know. And sometimes, if it’s as stunning as the pieces above, you don’t need anything else on the wall. Sure, this is a minimalist style, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The wall sconces are the stars of the show here, and I love that nothing else in the room is competing for attention.

hamptons style master bedroom with white bedside tables and mirror above bed

8. Mirrors

Part art, part functional, mirrors above the bed are extremely versatile. I know it might seem like a basic idea here, but don’t overlook it. I place mirrors over beds in a lot of my interior design projects (like the one above) and they do wonders. They bounce light, they make small bedrooms feel larger, and they’re incredibly affordable. What’s not to love?

pink neon sign art above bed ideas

9. Neon Signage

Who doesn’t love being able to customise their bedroom with words or quotes that mean something to them? Into Terminator? Display “I’ll be back”. A fan of video games? Why not give display an homage to Nintendo like in the image above? Neon signs have had a resurgence in the last decade and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re after stockists, this post on Neon Sign Suppliers has you covered.

juju hat above bed with grey bedding and orange sheet set

10. Juju Hats

If you’re going for a beachy, coastal or tropical vibe, a Juju Hat might be just the ticket for art above the bed. They had a real moment a couple years ago when Boho had a resurgence, but don’t let the trends scare you off this creative work of art. With a range of materials, colours and embellishments to choose from, they could be the best thing you’ve ever put on your head…above your bed. Image above via three birds renos.

heart shaped fairy lights above black frame bed

11. Fairly Lights

I love this idea for a kids room, or for a bedroom that doesn’t take itself too seriously. With the right lights, you might even be able to ditch your bedside lamps or harsh overhead lighting. Fairy lights give a room such a sense of relaxed charm and whimsy. And out of all the art ideas for above the bed this one is definitely in the affordable category. Image above via Festive Lights.

paint effects on wall behind headboard in bedroom

12. Paint Effects

Here’s a little art idea you might not have thought of: don’t hang anything on the wall at all. Instead, opt to paint some shapes on the wall behind your bed in a medley of your most-loved hues. Watch the room receive a whole new sense of depth and dimension. Plus it’s as cheap as chips and you can change it up as often as you like! Image above via the nord room.

boho screen as headboard in boho bedroom with bamboo screen art

13. Screens

Boho lovers… this one’s for you! If you loved a relaxed, gypsy vibe in your boudoir, I reckon putting a decorative screen behind the bed is a genius idea. It acts as art, sure, but it also acts as a headboard. And you can easily bring in a whole host of other boho style moments to tie the whole look together. Love this scene via the world news.

Over to You! What are some of the things you’ve done on the wall above the bed? I’d love to get some of your ideas in the comments below. What’s worked for you and what was a total disaster? Sharing is caring 🙂


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Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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2 Responses

  1. I am an artist so of course I put my paintings on the wall above the bed. I have too many though, I should probably choose just two and bring in some of the bright colors on the bed.

  2. so many creative ideas as usual, your a great decor hound, espec. love the tiny lights, what a great idea for next christmas – OMG now youve started me thinking about that and I havent changed my autumn to winter decor yet – lol

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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