Jess here. I’m back and I’m still talking about headboards. As I said in my unique headboards post earlier this month, I have been researching like a crazy woman, trying to design a headboard for my home and potentially sacrificing my father-daughter relationship. One little detail I have been seeing more and more of in actual homes and not just cool hotels are sconces in headboards. They are quickly consuming my every thought. The look can be incredibly chic and special. So while this isn’t technically brand new as it has predominately been hogged by the hotel design gang, I’ve seen an influx of the concept in (very beautiful) “normal people” homes. Naturally, I’m now determined to incorporate the idea into my potential headboard design for my itty bitty bed “nook.” And, honestly, in general, this is a great solution for a small bedroom to make a BIG statement with free up surface area.
Let’s dive into a few of the ways you can create this look into your home, including some DIYs I’ve found and, of course, shopping picks to make it happen.
Floating Integrated Sconce
In my opinion, the floating sconce is definitely the most elegant and streamlined look out of the bunch. This residential bedroom above designed by one of my new favorite designers Simone Haag is so damn pretty. It feels interesting but minimal chic. Not to mention this idea, in general, is also a great space saver (shout out to my small space dwellers). This is definitely the look I’m considering for myself. Dad are you reading this??? (very unlikely)
This integrated look is also very much a custom job. From the way I see it, you have one of two options for installation. Your sconce can either be hardwired which would require some electrical skill or somehow have a plug-in where you have access to the switch on the top or side of your headboard. The latter would definitely take some clever design.
Here are some more very pretty examples of this look:
There are some here that I’m not entirely sure how you would even turn on. Maybe there’s a remote situation? Or maybe there’s a tiny little switch on each of these we’re just not seeing in these overall photos?
Are there more ways?? So glad you asked…
Integrated Sconce with Visible Controls
For those of you who love the floating look but want easy access to your light controls or like a more high tech vibe, then this section is for you. I mean talk about having that hotel life every day. This way you could have control over your lights and have easy access to electrical outlets. I don’t know about you but I always love an easy-access USB port.
This style would probably require some professional help but would look so good. The only issue though for the integrated sconce look (especially this type) is you are kind of married to the sconce you choose. Hmmm, I guess one slight con is okay.
Here is some more eye candy to get you hooked:
The easiest and most user-friendly way to get this cool look is with a simple plug-in sconce. It’s so simple that almost anyone with a screwdriver/drill could handle it. The only thing I would make sure of is that you like the look and color of the cord since it’ll be visible.
You typically see the plug-in headboard sconce on wood, though something upholstered might still work as long as it’s not SUPER plush (or else it’ll “sink” too far into the foam/batting). That, or you just have to get creative about a solution to combat the sunken look. Any ideas?
Okay now that I’ve shown you all these beautiful custom beds with their beautiful sconce, you are probably like “Jess, that’s all good and well but how am I supposed to achieve this in my home on a reasonable budget???” Well, I have found some great DIY headboard ideas from both our team (past and present) as well as a few other great ones from the internet that you could easily build a sconce into.
WAIT. First, here are some rules and suggestions for achieving this look properly:
1. Make you sure your headboard is (a lot) wider than your mattress. The reason all of the above beds look so good is that they nearly span the entire width of the room.
2. Place your sconce as if it were above a fake (or real) side table. This is IMPORTANT and goes along with rule #1. The whole reason why the headboards are so wide is to accommodate the necessary space to properly place the sconce. If the sconce (not reading light) is too closely aligned to the mattress line then it will end up looking cramped. I promise this is not what you want
3. If you don’t want to DIY, then buy a larger headboard than your bed size if you can. So if you have a queen, see if a king size headboard will give you the dimensions you need. This is just a suggestion and depends on the headboard of course. If the headboard has legs (that can’t detach) then it won’t work. However with a legless headboard like this one for example that just attaches to the wall you can have all the style with way less of the work.
Onto the DIY headboards, I’ve been promising. I thought that since this look calls for more of a custom headboard that I would show you some of my favorites that could work with a sconce integrated with them.
Bowser’s Wide Paneled Headboard
First off, we have Bowser’s stunning headboard that you just saw last week. It’s modern, so cool and she laid out all the steps in this blog post. If you are considering, I say just do it! Plus, with its flat surfaces, it’s one of the ideal fabric headboards for a sconce because there’s not much batting and a sconce can be drilled right into the plywood backing. You’ll just have to be sure you plan out where the lighting hardware goes in conjunction with the French cleat it takes to hang.
Brady’s Skinny Channeled Headboard
It’s been a couple of years since Brady’s incredible bedroom reveal but this headboard still remains cool and beautiful. You would definitely want to plan ahead to make sure the placement of your sconce will look good. We say to center the base of the sconce between two channels for it to look its best. A round “micro” sconce (i.e. nothing with an arm) would also be ideal for the lower height of this, though you can always add more “channels” to raise it up to your liking and have more flexibility with the type of light you want to use.
Other DIY Headboards I Love
1. This very awesome leather tiled headboard from Martha Stewart will bring texture and warmth to your bedroom instantly and looks great with a sconce. For the DIY, click here.
2. Talk about a unique headboard by Jenna LaFevor. I love the drama it brings and the only thing I would suggest if you want to include a sconce would be to add at least one extra panel on each side so that your sconce and design eye has room to breathe. Click here to see all the steps.
3. Cane is very in and this cutie by Caroline Burke is great. It’s actually an IKEA hack which is also great and super affordable. Make it the right size for your bed and slap on a sconce and we are in business. Click here for six easy steps.
Now for the grand finale, let’s get into some beautiful sconces for every budget. First, plug-ins….
1. NYMÅNE Black | 2. Simone Single | 3. Om Wall Light | 4. Pelle Long Gooseneck | 5. Annalane | 6. Bedside Midcentury | 7. Vitti Round | 8. Black Swiveling Wall Sconce With Wicker Shade | 9. Barbre Swing Arm | 10. Arm Wall Light | 11. RANARP | 12. Black Metal Accordion Wall Sconce | 13. Donna | 14. Madrot Glass Globe | 15. Envoy Swing | 16. NYMÅNE White | 17. Hiline II | 18. Cylinder Task
Onto my favorite hardwired options…
Love you, mean it.
Love the idea, but cannot figure how to execute this in my room with having two windows that flank the bed and go just a little behind the bed in each side. I’m curious if you could have one sconce over the bed in the approximately 4” of wall space behind it?
Same problem, and I was wondering the same thing. I’ve seen it work well in a room with two twin beds, but not sure what could work behind a queen. Desperate to get the table lamps off my bedside tables.
Hi Josh! I am a little confused about what you mean by 4″ of wall space but another option that could look really great are two pendant lights flanking your bed in front of your windows. You could buy plug-in pendants and just install a hook into your ceiling for it to hang. No junction box need (just a long cord) xx
Good idea. 4’ sorry, not inches.
Hi Jess, great post, I love it when you guys drill down in a topic, especially one I am researching for myself. Meljac !! Is off the charts in beauty and quality for headboard sconces. To see how amazing they look and how seamlessly they attach, look at Jean Denoit beds, most of them have them attached. (In a more usable location then some of the above for bed reading, esp if you don’t want to disturb your partner). I was so excited when I saw your first picture, as it includes one of the Meljac’s in it, then nothing about them. I found the sconces when I was looking at there heavenly switch plates. Good if you attach a link for the beauty lovers out there, it is the one I was so happy that I landed on, and likely the company that has been my favorite to work with in my million decisions renovation. Plus Jacque Adnet does heart melting ones wrapped in leather. Glad you also added an allied maker to the list, great quality. I know these 3 brands are more of an investment $ and not for everyone to run out and buy, however GORGEOUS… Read more »
Thank you for the amazing resources! I will definitely look into them. Good luck with all of your research too!
Thank you, those Meljac look gorgeous. I saw the on Remodelista, here is the link for anyone else who wants to check them out (https://www.meljac.com/en/products/reading-lamps/). I couldn’t find the leather adnet ones, if anyone else can find I am very curious to see, I love all things adnet.
Thank you, those Meljac look gorgeous, I saw them on remodelista and here is the link for anyone else who wants to check them out (https://www.meljac.com/en/products/reading-lamps/). I couldn’t find the leather adnet ones, if anyone else can find I am very curious to see, I love all things adnet.
Hello, what a timely post for all of us drooling over the influx of headboard inspiration the last few weeks! Any chance we can see a link list for the hardwired sconces? Thank you!
There was a weird glitch this morning but all should be there now. So glad you are loving our unofficial but incredibly fun “headboard month” 🙂
I’m still not seeing the links either. Also would love to be able to access them.
This headboard much like brady’s Deserves to be included here too! She also shared a tutorial on how to get the look.
Thanks for the link!
I design hotels and as you mentioned, this is very common.. I’ve definitely seen this crossing over more in residential and love the idea. In hospitality of course everything is custom, which makes it fairly easy. It would be a little more difficult in residential, and would probably require some creative hacking. Can wait to see future posts on this. I know it’s coming…
A topic near and dear to my heart!
Just completed my daughter’s DIY dorm room upholstered headboard with mounted reading light, the perfect solution for concrete walls and no nails allowed, all those annoying college room restrictions! Wish I knew how to share the pic here! Yep, we’re proud!
That sounds perfect and a great dorm solution! She is a lucky gal:)
Hi guys –
Can we get links for the hardwired options please?
So strange! I think there must have been a glitch but they are there now:)
Serious question. I love all of these, but am I the only one who wants to be able to move all of my rooms around? With these headboards, you are stuck.
That is definitely the decision you need to make when attempting a headboard like this. I wouldn’t say it’s a great choice for those who frequently like to change it up.
You could just use a smart plug or lightbulb in conjunction with a Google Home or Alexa to turn the lights on and off 🙂
With a plug-in sconce, it seems it would be easy enough to drill a hole and hide the cord behind the headboard – and then I would plug it into a dimmer cord and use that to control the light. Thanks for all the inspiration.
Totally! It just takes some confidence and a little tool know-how xx
It’s surprising how similar #1 and #15 are in the plug in sconces. If you use the IKEA sconce, the savings would be over $600!
Oh how I wish you would have included our new CORDLESS wall sconce!! Shameless plug!! They are on per order now ( The Emily Wall sconce ) https://www.modernlantern.com/products/emily-cordless-wall-sconce-antique-brass
Great post! I love the Martha Stewart leather tile headboard. Unfortunately in her article she doesn’t provide a source for the leather tiles. Anyone know where one can find them?
Love this approach, but people really need to think about switch placement. You’re about to fall asleep and then you basically have to get out of bed to turn off some of these lights because the switch is on the lamp itself or hanging low on the excess cord. Of course copying the hotel approach to installing easy touch wall switches parallel to the bed and above any nightstand makes all of this moot.
I’m in a hotel right now and their approach with hanging globes on one side of the bed works well. The glass is frosted so it isn’t too bright, but the light is more than ample for reading,
I have been checking out many of your posts and it’s nice stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.
Thanks for the excellent content. Wish to see even more shortly. Thanks again and keep up the great work!