10 Alternatives to the Traditional Footboard

In most bedrooms, the bed itself is the largest piece of furniture, thus becoming the center of attention. A headboard, footboard and one -- or preferably two -- nightstands add balance to the bed, countering the horizontal stretch of the mattress. While a traditional, matched bedroom set is always in style, it’s not your only option. In fact, there is no rule saying you have to have matched bedroom furniture, or even use pieces originally designed to be furniture. Feel free to get creative in the bedroom by repurposing items into useful pieces of furniture. It’s especially easy to repurpose a footboard, often with other furniture or items you already have gathering dust in the garage or attic.

Chest or trunk: One of the most common alternatives to a traditional footboard is a cedar chest, an antique trunk or a wicker storage chest that is large enough to stretch nearly the width of the bed. Trunks are useful for storing extra linens, out of season clothing and all the bulky items that need a home in your bedroom.

Desk: If your room is large enough, use a small desk at the foot of the bed in place of a footboard. Now you have a spot to sit and pay bills, read the news on your tablet or laptop, or work on that novel you’ve been meaning to write.

Bench: Whether it’s a rustic wooden picnic bench, a Victorian style velvet fainting bench or a sleekly modern metal or plastic bench, extra seating at the foot of the bed comes in handy when pulling on boots, setting out your outfit for the following morning, or having an impromptu family breakfast in bed.

Crates: If you’re looking for footboard alternatives in a child’s room, just spray paint a few wooden crates a bright, cheery color, then set them on their sides at the foot of the bed. Now your child has cubbies to store toys and games. A similar, but sturdier solution is to use a small cubby unit as a footboard.

Decorative fence: If you like a country or cottage look, attach a length of painted picket fence to the foot of the bed. For a Mediterranean or romantic style, use a small stretch of ornate wrought iron fencing. You’ll need to use strong screws to attach the fence to the mattress frame.

Surfboard: For a child or teen’s bedroom, or any room that is decorated with a coastal or beach theme, mount a surfboard on its side in place of a footboard. You’ll need brackets to hold the board in place.

Kitchen chairs: If you have a couple of wooden, armless kitchen chairs, press them into service in the bedroom. Give the chairs a coat of fresh paint, then set them at the foot of your bed. Now place a cushioned board across the chairs, making sure it’s sturdy enough to support a sitter’s weight.

Small dresser: This won’t work in a tiny bedroom, but if you have the space, why not use a small dresser as a footboard? If the back of the dresser is unfinished, give it a coat of paint, or cover it with fabric.

Parsons chairs: These armless chairs have upholstery on the seat and the back, making them both comfortable and elegant. Set a pair at the foot of your bed, and you have extra seating or a spot to lay your morning workout clothes.

Potted plants: Give your bedroom a jungle feel with a few large potted plants at the foot of the bed. Whether faux or real, palms, ficus or dwarf citrus are large enough to make an impact, add an interesting touch to the d├ęcor, and give a lush, green healthy look to the bedroom.

Nothing at all: Sometimes, your best footboard choice is nothing at all. If you have a tiny bedroom, or prefer a minimalist, contemporary style, leave the space at the base of the bed bare.


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Lifestyle Magazine: 10 Alternatives to the Traditional Footboard
10 Alternatives to the Traditional Footboard
Lifestyle Magazine
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