Boiserie behind the bed: why choose it

The wall behind the headboard of the bed is not often taken care of and is left plain. However, there are solutions to make it more aesthetically appealing and above all more functional, and one of these is boiserie. There can be half-height boileries behind the bed, which are therefore just over one metre high and cover just the strip behind the headboard, and other solutions that instead cover the entire wall up to the ceiling.

In this article we go into the subject of boileries behind the bed, analysing the advantages of inserting a wooden boiserie behind the bed and all its characteristics.

The origins of boiserie

But let us take a step back and discover what boiserie is and its origins. The term boiserie comes from the French bois, meaning wood, so boiserie refers to the wooden cladding of a house wall. Its origins go back a long way because the first uses can be traced back to 16th and 17th century France. These panels were used to cover walls, cupboards, doors and bookcases and served almost exclusively as decoration.

In fact, they were almost always finely inlaid panels and had an almost exclusively aesthetic value, although the properties of wood also helped to insulate against damp and cold. Emblematic examples can be found at the palace of Caserta or that of Versailles. In more modern times, marquetry has given way to painted decoration.

Wood panelling is still used in homes, but has less decoration and is almost never inlaid. They are, however, undoubtedly a unique design element and are often used to decorate the wall behind a bed.

Types of panelling

There are different types of panelling in the most diverse materials and designs. The most commonly used material to this day is the traditional one, the wood. However, the fact that it is the original material should not mislead us into thinking that wood panelling has a distinctly classical taste. Instead, there are designer wood panelling characterised by minimalist features.

The most commonly used types of wood are:

  • fir, such as the wood panelling proposed by Scandola, which allows a wide range of customisation possibilities in terms of colour;
  • cedar, on the other hand, is particularly robust and thus reduces maintenance costs;
  • larch, very durable and aesthetically pleasing
  • mahogany;
  • walnut;
  • cherry.

Other materials to create a boiserie are ceramics, often used in rooms such as the bathroom. It is characterised by relief designs and is almost always white in colour, which is why it is called white wainscoting.

Another method of replicating a false wall paneling is with plaster, often used externally, and polystyrene, used internally. The cheapest version is to use different colours of paint to replicate a light and dark effect and thus a relief feel that is actually fake. But most bedroom wall panelling is made of solid wood, so that it can also take advantage of its hygroscopic and room-regulating characteristics.

The advantages of boiserie behind the bed

As we have also seen in the section on its origins, boiserie is particularly popular for basically two reasons:

  • For its ability to insulate thermally and acoustically;
  • For its unique aesthetic presence.

Boiserie is therefore usually used to cover the wall behind the bed to create a more cosy environment and to give the idea of a love nest. At the same time, it is often used to cover all the walls of children’s rooms because it really creates a feeling of warmth and, considering that children like to play on the floor leaning against the wall, they are protected from the rush of the wall. It is certainly also widely used by those who have a simple bed frame without a headboard.

The disadvantages of boiserie

The only disadvantages of boiserie relate to its installation. If there are electrical sockets on the wall where the wall panelling is to be fixed, several on-site processes must be carried out, which can be time-consuming. Our advice is therefore to contact qualified personnel and not to rely on DIY. Wooden panelling once installed will remain in place for a long time, so it is best to install it correctly straight away.

Examples of behind-the-bed panelling

We now offer a roundup of images of panelling behind the bed to show you different designs and solutions.


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