Lay your head in style

Article by Homes to Love

Homes to Love chatted to Annabel Berry, director of multi-disciplinary design agency Design Federation, about her latest venture – a collaborative range of headboards


The Garden Party headboard.


Annabel, how did this range develop?

I started with headboards after multiple conversations with clients who either couldn’t find interesting options or who were looking for ways to style their bedrooms that didn’t involve 12 pillows arranged in multiple ways! Headboards are a great design statement without the effort!

The original intention of Design Federation was to be a collective of creatives collaborating on New Zealand-made products. Since starting my business four years ago I am now starting to realise this dream. The headboards are intended to be part of a broader group of design collaborations where the central focus is quality craftsmanship and design.


Spring’s Bloom design.


What is it you love about heaboards?

I love that they push design boundaries; they stand up and make a statement and the fact that they can be styled with different bedding and soft furnishings. As a proponent of mixing styles and aesthetics people can really have some fun mixing it up or equally you can stick to a neutral palette and let the headboard shine.

This collection will always mean a lot to me because of the personal back story behind each one.  The collection is based around my experiences as a child growing up in rural New Zealand – I looked for fabrics that spoke to me about those experiences and we worked on finishing’s that work for a variety of styles and tastes.


Design Federation’s Annabel Berry.


How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Always eclectic with an appreciation for a contemporary vintage mix – bringing traditional furniture and furnishings into modern new homes and how they work together within the space that makes sense visually. The headboards are the perfect example of my design aesthetic – bringing a new contemporary life to a traditional product.

With my clients, my main intention is to create homes with heart. Developing timeless colour palettes as a solid backdrop then layering up personal items like furniture, soft furnishings, heirlooms, collectables or contemporary pieces. Homes tell a story and each one should be different my aim is to create homes that are unique, functional and most of all appreciated by owners.


Breaking Dawn headboard.


Why is it important to have a beautiful headboard?

They are the finishing touch to your bedroom, a central focus that adds a sense of luxury to your space. Headboards provide a warm ambience and even if you have a smaller room they can make it look bigger. Depending on your choice they can complement your bedding choices or be the shining star!

Design Federation headboards are both timeless and on trend, the range gives you a designer look that can update your bedroom in an instant. Our headboards are wall mounted meaning no issues with movement they are solid as a rock and cosy too. If you enjoy a good read at night – upholstered headboards provide incredible back support and comfort.

They have the bonus of improving Feng Shui in your bedroom and help provide a sense of security and support for a better night’s sleep – something we can all do with!


The Artist’s Palette design.


What’s the process for creating your headboards?

We work with a variety of specialists throughout Otago to make the components of our headboards and we import the fabric from different locations around the world. Then our small team start creating the headboard utilising artisan techniques they are each lovingly made by hand. Customers are kept in touch throughout the process with updates and expected delivery times.

Where are they stocked?

Currently stocked online



Do you have a styling tip for people wanting to match your headboards with nice bedding?

Firstly decide whether you want the headboard to be the statement piece or work as part of a greater scheme. Find balance with some of our bolder headboards like Garden Party or Artists Palette by bringing in some monochromatic bedding and picking out one or two colours in the headboard design for cushions or a throw.

If working with our lush velvet headboards, you can create a more romantic and serene space – quality linen and complementary velvet cushions will bring everything together. Our Breaking Dawn headboard has copper piping and copper buttons so the addition of metallic pieces in lighting or bedsides would work well.

Interview by: Johanna Thornton


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