Giving your bedroom a quick refresh can be as simple as restyling the foot of your bed. Whether you want to add color, texture, or storage, a few small tweaks can transform the look and feel of your sleep space. Follow these tips to restyle the foot of your bed with minimal effort and cost.
Assess the Current Footboard Style
Take a moment to evaluate the existing footboard on your bed frame. Is it a basic panel, more decorative metal or wooden design, upholstered, or tufted? The style of your current footboard will help determine the best way to give it an update.
- For simple paneled footboards, painting or applying decorative wallpaper can add visual interest.
- Upholstered footboards can be refreshed by changing out the fabric.
- Tufted designs can be updated with new buttons.
- For metal or wooden footboards, a new finish or paint color alters the look.
So consider what you’re working with as a starting point for a footboard makeover.
Add a Bench
One of the easiest ways to change the look of the bed foot is by placing a bench there. An upholstered bench adds softness, texture, and seating at the end of the bed. Opt for a cushioned seat that complements your decor. Neutral colors work well for a relaxed vibe, while bold patterns or hues make more of a statement.
Make sure the bench is the appropriate height and width to fit the space. Measure the distance between the side rails of the bed frame to determine the right size bench. For adequate leg room, allow at least 18-24 inches of space from the edge of the mattress to the bench seat. An appropriately sized and styled bench can transform the foot of the bed visually and functionally.
Attach a Headboard to Create a Faux Footboard
If your bed lacks a footboard but has a headboard, extend the headboard design to the foot of the bed for visual symmetry. Attaching a headboard-style panel to the foot of the bed frame creates the look of an intentional footboard. Choose a panel that matches or complements the existing headboard in size, shape, and style.
Affix the panel to the foot rails securely, keeping it snug against the edge of the mattress. You can use heavy-duty Velcro strips, sturdy picture wire, or right-angle brackets on the side rails to hold the panel in place. This quick DIY headboard hack at the foot of the bed pulls the whole frame together for a polished look.
Upholster the Footboard Panel
For a basic paneled footboard, upholstering the surface adds softness, texture, and color. Almost any fabric can upholster the panel, like cotton, linen, velvet, or faux leather. Choose a material that suits your style – anything from classic stripes to eye-catching patterns work beautifully.
Affix batting and fabric over the panel using a staple gun, starting at the center and pulling the material taut at the corners. Use trim to cover the stapled edges for a polished finish. Upholstering transforms plain wood instantly into a focal feature full of personality. Update the fabric seasonally or when you redecorate for an easy footboard refresh.
Attach Wallpaper or Fabric
In lieu of upholstering, apply decorative wallpaper or fabric directly onto a plain footboard panel. This offers a quick no-sew way to add color, print, and texture. Use adhesive wallpaper for the simplest application – just measure, cut, and stick to the panel surface.
For fabric, secure the material with spray adhesive like 3M Super 77, stretching it over the panel smoothly. Edge the fabric with trim attached with a pneumatic staple gun for a clean look. Change out the wallpaper or fabric to give your footboard a fast makeover when you want to revamp your space.
Add Molding to a Plain Panel
Molding trim transforms a basic paneled footboard instantly. Choose trim styles that suit your decor, like classical dentil details, versatile picture frames, or reeded lines. Measure the footboard panel width to determine the length of molding needed. Cut trim pieces to size with a miter saw for perfectly fitted edges.
Attach the trim pieces with wood glue and nails, centering them evenly on the panel. For extra embellishment, add corner blocks, bun feet, or carved rosettes. Crisp white molding pops against darker wood, while painting the trim an accent shade creates a colorful statement. Dress up a plain footboard with trim for affordable sophistication.
Stencil or Decoupage a Design
For easy DIY style, stencil a pattern directly onto a plain footboard. Geometric shapes, floral designs, or striping tape off areas then apply acrylic craft paint using a brush or sponge. Clean lines create a chic modern or farmhouse vibe, while freehand painterly patterns add bohemian personality.
Another option is decoupaging scrapbook paper, fabric, or wallpaper onto the panel. Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the footboard, apply your decorative material in sections, then seal with more Mod Podge for a waterproof finish. Vintage flower prints or book pages add a shabby chic feel. Let your creativity run free with stenciling or decoupage for a feet-first room refresh.
Attach Wall Shelving
Wall shelving at the foot of the bed adds function and visual interest. Floating shelves mounted to the side walls display books and decorative objects within easy reach. Opt for solid wood shelves in a finish that coordinates with your decor. Or make a bolder decorative statement with metal piping shelves, glass, or woven rattan.
Include lighting for added ambience, like pendant lamps or sconces. Measuring the bed length helps determine the ideal shelf position and length – allow at least 12 inches from the edge of the mattress so the shelves don’t encroach on the sleeping space. Wall shelving makes the most of vertical real estate while clearing floor space.
Add Wheels for Flexible Positioning
Wheels on the bed frame allow you to easily shift position for cleaning or rearranging. Look for wheeled feet designed for your specific bed frame style. Or add universal wheels that strap onto the legs. Locking casters keep the bed firmly in place until you need to move it.
Spend a little more on quality wheels rated for the bed’s weight to ensure smooth gliding. Arrange the bed diagonally in a corner to open up floor area. Reposition nightstands, seating areas, and accessories any time for a fresh layout. Enjoy the flexibility of a movable bed.
Attach a Decorative Footrail
Foot rails that attach to the side rails add ornamental style effortlessly. Look for footrails that suit your decor, like sculpted wood, woven rattan, or sleek metal designs. Measure between the side rails first to get the right size footrail for your bed frame. Most clip or screw into place without tools.
A decorative footrail draws attention to the foot of the bed as a focal point. Continue a headboard’s design details like shape and finish for a cohesive look. For beds without headboards, the footrail becomes an instant style statement. Dress up plain bed legs affordably with a footrail to inject personal style.
Add Hidden Storage
Maximize unused space under the bed with storage options that tuck neatly out of sight. A slim rolling drawer adds organization without taking up floor area. Look for low-profile wheeled drawers made specifically for under-bed use. Soft-close hardware eliminates slamming for quiet use.
For more spacious storage, try under-bed bins and baskets. Some have caster wheels to roll out easily when needed. Clear stackable bins allow visible contents. Use fabric-lined baskets to prevent items from falling through cracks. Get organized with hidden but accessible storage at the foot of your bed.
Get Creative with Bed Skirts
An oft-overlooked way to style your bed foot is with a creative bed skirt. Move beyond basic ruffled skirts and have fun with the design. A mirrored or faux leather paneled skirt adds glam. Gathered shirred skirts provide cottage-chic softness.
For a striking contemporary statement, try an asymmetric or hi-low hem. Metallic beaded trims and fringe inject boho flair. Accessorize your bed skirt further with decorative tassels, contrasting kick pleats, or distinctive decorative edging. Express your style with an imaginative bed skirt design framing your mattress.
Light It Up
Affordable lighting upgrades make a noticeable impact at the foot of the bed. Install wall sconces with adjustable swing arms to focus the light right where needed. Sconces flanking the bed add symmetry while providing handy reading light.
Or try unique pendant lights that hang from the ceiling over the foot of the bed. Opt for plug-in styles easy to install without an electrician. Go for a striking sculptural look, or choose pendants like chandeliers and lanterns for an elegant vibe. Even basic flush mount lights over the bed complement most decor when selected thoughtfully.
Plants bring life and freshness to bedroom corners that may otherwise go unused. Place trailing vines, air plants, or small potted ferns atop a footboard or shelving unit. Hang macrame plant holders or wire baskets filled with greenery on the wall above.
Not only do plants add natural beauty and color, they also boost mood and purify indoor air. Choose varieties known to aid sleep, like aloe, English ivy, and peace lilies. Accent with ceramic planters or rattan baskets to coordinate with your decor. A bit of living green energizes the foot of the bed.
Strategically placed mirrors are a smart trick for making a small bedroom feel more spacious and airy. Opt for leaning full length mirrors propped against the wall at the foot of the bed. Position it to catch light from windows which makes the room brighter.
Smaller statement mirrors also direct eyes toward the foot of the bed. Attach an oval mirror to the wall or place a freestanding cheval mirror on the floor. The reflection adds depth and the illusion of more floor space. Mirrors make dark corners visually lighter as well.
Display Artwork Above
Fill visual space above the bed foot with art, photos, or textiles for added personality. Group coordinating pieces like botanical prints for an eclectic gallery wall. Choose meaningful words, lyrics, or inspirational quotes to display.
Opt for large scale artwork or mirrors to balance a tall headboard. Add warmth with fiber wall hangings or tapestries in earthy hues. Collections of frames showcasing your own photos inject cherished memories. Let your unique creative spirit shine through displayed artwork over the bed.
Add an Area Rug
Area rugs anchor and define spaces while adding color, pattern, and texture underfoot. Place a rug at the foot of the bed to designate a functional sitting area. Extend it partially under the bed for a pulled together look. Size it to leave a border around the edges so it doesn’t overwhelm the space.
Choose a plush rug material like wool or cotton for comfort under bare feet. The right rug warms up both hard surface and carpeted floors. Change it out seasonally to refresh your room with an updated color palette or print. Rugs add cozy style perfect for a bedroom retreat space.
Questions and Answers
What are some quick ways to update the foot of my bed?
Some quick and easy ways to update the foot of your bed include:
- Adding a bench, storage ottoman, or chair
- Attaching wall shelving for decorative display
- Painting or refinishing the existing footboard
- Upholstering or applying wallpaper to a basic footboard
- Draping the area with curtains or textiles
- Placing a rug, faux fur bench, or area rug under the bed
- Installing new lighting like wall sconces or pendant lamps
How much space should I allow between the bed and a bench or shelf unit?
When placing furniture like a bench, ottoman, or shelving at the foot of the bed, allow a minimum of 18-24 inches between the edge of the mattress and the furniture piece. This gives enough space to sit comfortably or access the bed. Measure the width of your mattress and bed frame to determine the ideal clearance.
What’s a quick way to add storage at the end of my bed?
Some easy ways to add storage at the end of the bed include:
- Rolling underbed storage drawers
- Collapsible fabric bins and baskets that slide neatly under the bed frame
- Stackable clear plastic containers for visible storage
- A storage bench or ottoman with a lift-up lid
- Hanging bins, baskets, or shelves on the wall at the bed foot
Look for storage solutions with casters or wheels for easy accessibility.
How can I visually widen a narrow bedroom using the foot of the bed?
To make a narrow bedroom visually wider using the foot of the bed, try these tips:
- Hang a large mirror on the wall above the bed foot to reflect light and add the illusion of space.
- Paint the walls and ceiling a light neutral color to make the room feel more open and airy.
- Choose lightweight bedding like a duvet and shams rather than a heavy bed skirt to avoid visual weight.
- Add shelving to draw the eye upwards and highlight vertical space.
- Position the bed carefully to allow enough room for walking around – at least 18-24 inches between walls.
- Place a bench or chair perpendicular to the bed rather than flush against the wall.
- Keep the area clutter-free to avoid a cramped feeling.
What type of lighting works best at the foot of the bed?
Some good lighting options to consider for the foot of the bed include:
- Swing arm wall sconces on either side of the bed for handy directional lighting.
- Pendant lights hung centered over the bed foot that cast both ambient and task lighting.
- Plug-in picture lights that illuminate artwork to create a focal point.
- Floor lamps in corners that wash the walls with soft illumination.
- Reading lamps on nightstands for each side of the bed.
- Strip lighting under a bed bench or shelf unit for a cool underglow effect.
Look for lighting on dimmers to control brightness as needed. Layer light sources to meet both practical and decorative needs.
With just a few simple changes, you can easily transform the overall look and feel of your bedroom by restyling the foot of the bed. Try creative DIY projects like upholstering, apply imaginative wallpaper, or incorporate lighting and greenery. Maximize the use of space with benches for seating and hidden storage options. Most of all, have fun experimenting with different footboard designs, fabrics, accessories, and furniture arrangements until you achieve your ideal cozy retreat. A little attention and styling at the bed foot can make a noticeable impact.