Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ikea Hack, Upholstered Headboard For The Hemnes Day Bed

Good morning,

Since adding the finishing touches to Amanda's awesome teen room seen here, I decided to make a few updates also to Isabella's room per her statement "my room looks like an old grandma lives here", kids can be so charming;) I didn't want to change everything, but rather step things up a notch by adding more color, modifying her bed, and overall giving it a dose of "fun" (as opposed to old grandma like which is apparently not fun).

One of the biggest challenges was working with her Hemnes Day Bed from Ikea since I don't want to spend the money to replace a perfectly good bed, but I did want to somehow make it better.

Here is the day bed as it's sold. 

If you're unfamiliar with this bed, let me help you out. It's a basic white day bed that has 3 drawers for storage AND the ability to turn in to a double bed without losing the drawers and their storage. The best part is that for only $299 you really can't beat it. The problem is that as you can see, it's pretty basic.

What I want is something more, something like these lovely day beds with their unique take on an upholstered head board.

I think that the head boards on these beds take them from average to amazing, and that's exactly what was looking to do. But how to make that happen?

I thought about having something made custom, but anyone who knows custom knows there's is always a high cost for this. I needed something easy and more affordable. I discovered that the length of the Hemnes day bed is 78 3/4", which is very close to the width of a kind sized bed which measures 78". Close enough. I decided to buy a prefabbed headboard from Skyline Furniture through that you can find here.

It's the perfect shape for what I was looking for and with near perfect measurements. It has a nail head trim which I love and it was the most affordable option that I found at about $370. As a side note, you may want to look on JossandMain who frequently has sales on Skyline furniture.

Take a look at the before and after for my Ikea Hemnes Day Bed Hack.

Isabella's Ikea Hemnes Day Bed Before:

 Isabella's Ikea Hemnes Day Bed After: (with some changes to the room)


Here is a step by step on how make your own Ikea Hemnes day bed have an upholstered headboard.

Ikea Hemnes Day Bed With Upholstered Headboard DIY:

First we took the back panel of the day bed and cut 12" off the top to allow us to move the new headboard down a bit so that it doesn't block the window. We also removed the decorative trim off the top of the back panel which comes off by simply lifting it (it was only held in place by wood dowels.) You will lose the top bolts that are on the back of the bed, but don't worry the new headboard will provide the support the bed needs.

We then placed the headboard flush to the back of the bed and the bottom of the headboard flush against the top of the back support panel. We did not use the metal beams that come with the headboard, in this case they are not needed. Simply place a screw at the top and the bottom of both sides of the headboard, screwing directly through the back of the headboard in to your wood bed frame.

That's it! It really was that simple to convert this bed. Below is a picture taken to show you the side of the bed where there is a missing bolt from cutting the support panel. 

If your bed were showing from the side you may need to modify the headboard because as you can see there is a bit of it that you can see. In my case it works perfectly fine since the bed is flanked by curtains. Take a look. 

Voila, nothing seen on the sides;). 

Let's see that again. 

Day Bed Before:


Day Bed After:

  It was absolutely worth it! It makes the bed look so much more custom and glamorous as opposed to your standard big box store version don't you think?! And it was so easy!!!

Stay tuned for the rest of Isabella's room including the painted stripes on the ceiling. You heard me correct, I painted stripes on the ceiling, and I learned a hard lesson along the way that I plan to share with you to save you the headache I went through;) I'll also cover the details on the color, those amazing Kelly Wearstler bengal bazaar pillows, and any sources that you may want to know about.

The new room definitely kicks granny's old butt! Take that old lady room:0) 


  1. looks great. it appears that you have a thicker mattress on this day bed than that supplied with the bed, how does the mattress you have work when you pull the bed out to use as a double or do you only use as a single?

  2. My question as well.. We love this bed but I can't decide how to make it work with two mattresses. Did you use the ones from Ikea?

  3. Hi Natalie and Melissa, funny story about this bed. I never knew it was able to be pulled out originally! I bought it for my older daughter 6 years ago and then gave it to my younger daughter when we moved (talk about good installation). When I decided to add the head board I found out by chance that the bed converts! Go figure. I haven't purchased the mattress for converting it yet and have been using a twin, but I would not buy an Ikea one they have terrible reviews. I am going to go for a thinner version of the memory foam mattress. Once I eventually get that done I will update you. Thanks for checking in and I will let you know how it goes;)

    1. Hi! Did you purchase the memory foam mattress? I am moving my daughter out of her crip and swapping beds with my brother in law. I am giving them our crib and they are giving me this daybed. Loved the idea of the tufted headboard. I am about to purchase it. They did purchase the ikea mattress so we'll see how that works for my daughter or if I will have to purchase a pillow top.

  4. I can't even tell you how thrilled I was to find this post! I had the exact same idea for my nursery and have had the hardest time explaining it to people or finding anyone else who successfully did this project! I was just about to buy the same wayfair bed, but hadn't thought to use the ikea bed with it. I was trying to figure out how to add sides to the whole thing. It was a mess! Thanks so much for posting this!! : )

  5. Super cute!! This is exactly what I've been looking for in my 8 yr old's room! Thank you!! Is the new chandelier from Ikea too?

  6. Hi
    How could I have this bedroom set.?

  7. I love this bedroom set, How can have it?

  8. Hi- Any chance you could share where you found the cute desk/vanity? I am looking for one to compliment my daughters room as well :) TIA, Blair

  9. Im confused by your explanation.. Did you still utilize the original headboard? Or was it completely removed? The upclose photo looks like it is still used but your explanation made it seem like its not?

  10. Im confused by your explanation.. Did you still utilize the original headboard? Or was it completely removed? The upclose photo looks like it is still used but your explanation made it seem like its not?

  11. Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging, headboard hardware