How about these tailored slipcovers for wooden bed frames?
Martha Stewart via The Designer's Attic
Via Kathryn Ireland
Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair
I love the way they leave a bit of the wood exposed. Much more character than a fully-covered headboard, which might go a little Pottery Barn on you.
And this last one is sort of genius:
via Cote de Texas
Those little corner slipcovers protect the antique french beds from little kitty claws! This is one of those applications where the haphazardness really makes it work.
We have upholstered headboards in 2 of 3 bedrooms, and I love the Chinoiserie bedframe in our Master bedroom....but I also love this slipcover idea should I ever need to switch it up.
Which, you know, is like...never. right?