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I finally figured out what that odd-shaped space under the basement stairs was really made for. Storing headboards!
Full headboards that have been bumped by queen- or king-size ones. Twin headboards that would be right at home in a 1960s or '70s family sitcom. Inherited headboards. Abandoned headboards. Tired white wicker headboards.
No, we don't have all of those stashed under our stairs, but there is one. Or possibly two. Even after donating, passing down or fixing up various headboards through the years, a couple of them always seem to be down there - including one we have been storing for my mother.
"Don't ever give that headboard away. I'm going to do something with it," she tells me from time to time, referring to a wooden headboard that belonged to my grandmother.
When? I don't even ask anymore.
Then again, this is the woman who, when I was a child, painted a picket fence hot pink and fashioned it into a headboard for my bedroom. Who knows what she might dream up for this one.
Anyway, creative types always are coming up with ways to either refresh an old headboard or build a new one from, say, metal roofing.
I'm not kidding. That's one of the ideas I found on the HGTV website.
Other ideas included crafting headboards from reclaimed doors, a recycled garden gate or a vintage sign from an old convenience store.
I don't know if people are getting in the mood for a long winter's nap, but other headboard decorating ideas have drifted my way.
Just this week I received an email showing a row of 12-by-12-inch peel-and-stick foam tiles attached to a wall in lieu of a traditional headboard. Quite cute. The pattern: Yellow and black dots on a white background. The foam tiles are from the Crearreda home decor line (I saw them on the hayneedle.com website).
Here are a few other ideas I have spotted recently:
. Slipcover an existing headboard. Or hang a series of framed pressed wildflowers hung with ribbon above the bed instead of using a headboard - two ideas from Country Living (countryliving.com).
. Turn an old mantelpiece into a headboard. Hang a textile such as a tapestry on the wall at the head of the bed. Or simply paint a square of color on the wall where a headboard would be. These are all ideas seen on the Apartment Therapy website (apartmenttherapy.com).
. Wallpaper an old wooden headboard. Better Homes and Gardens' (bhg.com) shows an arched headboard covered in a retro bird-print wallpaper - a fresh green pattern on a white background.
Old wooden headboard? I know just the place to find one.

email: smartin@buffnews.com