Market by Julia Stevens

Published on May 8, 2020

Deliciously crisp linens and chocolates left on pillows aside, one of the most satisfying parts of a hotel room stay is the sconces built into the headboard, which maximize space on your nightstands and look oh-so-luxe while they’re at it.

According to designer Tina Ramchandani, it’s a project that’s all about functionality. “The issue with small nightstands is that you can only fit small table lamps on them or use skinny floor lamps, which tend to get in the way. And when you place sconces over your headboard, the light hits you in a way that’s not totally comfortable,” she says. “With this placement, your room looks bigger and the light is more diffused.”

Ramchandani starts her custom headboards by sketching them out and deciding on sconce placement. Then she calls in an electrician to install junction boxes where the sconces will go, and an upholsterer cuts holes in the headboard that fit the lights precisely (for a nonupholstered option, you’d work with a carpenter or get handy with your own tools). Installing light switches right under the lamps also adds to their practicality. These projects are proof that the extra effort is well worth it. 

The Glamorous Retreat

Bedroom with built-in green velvet headboardPin It
Design by Tina Ramchandani

This bedroom by Ramchandani was designed to feel like a luxe hotel—and the custom green velvet headboard is key to that effect. These sconces have an extra layer of frosted glass that make the light even gentler.

The Ply Panel

Bedroom with built-in ply headboardPin It
Photography by Christian Torres

A custom headboard can also help you work around architectural quirks or annoyances. At Dreamers Welcome, owner Stephan Watts used plywood wings to simultaneously frame a window and a bed. Small globe scones free up space on their built-in shelves.

The Smooth Ridges

Bedroom with slatted built-in headboardPin It
Courtesy of Mollie’s Motel and Diner

At Mollie’s Motel and Diner—a property by Soho House—slatted wainscoting is a triple threat, working as a headboard, a platform for simple ball-shaped sconces, and, of course, a wall decal. With its detailed texture, there’s no need to overcomplicate the rest.

The French Fix

Bedroom with built-in cane headboardPin It
Photography by Francis Amiand; Design by Maison Sarah Lavoine

This eclectic yet streamlined Parisian space by Maison Sarah Lavoine uses a full-wall headboard to make an otherwise simple bedroom look tailored. Small sconces perfect for late-night reading are a practical detail, while quaint table lamps serve a more decorative purpose on the bed’s built-in shelves.

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.

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