painting a trompe l'oeil tufted headboard

The bed makes the bedroom, and the headboard makes the bed.  In short, a bedroom always ends up being about the headboard.  Luckily, a headboard is probably the easiest piece of furniture to fake.  I've created the look of a headboard using folding screens, doors, large scale art, fabric panels....the list is almost endless.  Unless a client has a really large budget (and that does not happen often) and/or is in love with a particular bed, I usually try to conjure up a bed with smoke and mirrors and save the cash for upgraded bedding or fantastic night stands.

This is a headboard I made from painting bifold closet doors and mounting them directly on wall.

My kitchen door turned into a headboard.  (i have better photos of the door, but I couldn't  resist posting a pic of Cleopatra.

Before I re-did the bedroom, a large piece of art substituted for a dramatic headboard.  The one I had at the time could barely be seen behind the pillows.

I've long been a fan of Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook and her DIY projects, especially her headboards, and in particular, her diamond tufted headboard. (Click here for her tutorial)
DIY diamond tufted headboard by Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook

Recently, I helped my sister on a quick fluff of her bedroom.  She still liked her yellow walls, but wanted to incorporate some blue/greens, and in general, jazz things up, but on a tight budget, both of money and time.  We picked up some new lamp shades, a great new quilt, and some fun giclees for over the bed, but we still didn't have a headboard.  I immediately thought that an upholstered headboard would be fun, and thought of the great tutorial at Little Green Notebook, but I didn't have the time.
New lampshades, quilt, and throw pillow, but something's still missing.  (Please ignore suitcase.  I don't know how I didn't notice.)

Then it hit me.  Why not paint it on?  Using a photo of real diamond tufted headboard as a model, I painted one directly onto the wall.
I started with an outline drawn with a level.

I taped off, and brushed on a couple of coats of paint.  Using Jenny's headboard as a template, I used quarters to draw on the "buttons" in a diamond pattern.  I then added highlights and shadows to suggest 3D.

I finished with drawing in the diamond "pleating" between the tufts, again referencing the photo of an actual headboard.

The art went back up, now grounded by the headboard

 Adding blue/green to the room, check.  Adding instant interest, check.  Giving the bed wall the focus that only a headboard can bring, check.  Not bad for a quart of paint and two hours.  I wish decorating could always be that cheap and easy.

I love those lamp shades.  In person, they're a perfect match for the wall paint.

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