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Without a doubt, the best part about a hotel stay is pulling back the fluffy comforter, crawling under the crisp white sheets, and not having to worry about making the bed up when you leave in the morning. However, there is one component of this experience that tends to get overlooked: the headboard. But not at the Graduate Hotels. No longer an accessory, the team behind the boutique accommodations is making the bed frames the focal point in their guest room designs. 

Whether you opt for a tufted arch, a wavy piece of MDF, or a 10-minute slipcover masterpiece, a statement headboard is an easy way to revamp your bedroom without a total overhaul. We soaked in all the inspiration during a preview of Handcrafted Hotels, a new show on Discovery+ (out April 15th), in which Ben Weprin, the founder of Graduate Hotels, walks viewers through four of his college-town stays. Below are the standout headboard ideas we’re stealing from some of the most popular locations.


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Photography by Steve Freihon

As an ode to the greats of country music, Nashville’s Graduate features portraits of famous musicians like Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash hanging underneath the decadent canopies.

Highlight Local Fauna

Photography by David Mitchell

Using the mascot of the University of South Carolina, the gamecock, Columbia’s Graduate bed frames feature a folk art–style illustration of the fan-favorite bird. A tonal red and pink color palette keeps it from looking too collegiate.

Try a Hint of Print

Photography by Steve Freihon

If allover gingham isn’t quite your thing, opt for a thin stripe along the edges of the frame and pair it with a small-scale stripe for contrast.

Put a Geometric Twist on a Classic Silhouette

Photography by Steve Freihon

The traditional wood bed frame in this New Haven, Connecticut, guest room breaks away from the typical antique look with its staggered headboard piece—a silhouette that plays nicely with the geometry in the upholstery.


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Look to a Different Era

Photography by Christian Horan

Upholstery isn’t the be-all and end-all for a statement headboard. Take a note from the Graduate’s Seattle location. A scalloped wood arc offers guests an Art Deco–inspired place to rest their heads at the end of a long day.