A Guide on Creating a Beautiful Bay Windows

Bay windows are a lovely effect that commands to be the focal point in any room where you have them. As such, they should be dressed to give you all the light and heat control you need with a beautiful window coverings that you desire.

Window Treatments for Bay Windows

Demystifying Window Treatments for Bay Windows

Homeowners will often decide to purchase a house with a bay window in at least one room. It makes the room look larger and adds extra light and glamour to any space or you can dress it to be informal if you wish. The sky is the limit. Bay windows can be a bit tricky to dress properly so they look as they should without detracting from their purpose and beauty, however, you do have many choices.

What are Bay Windows?

Bay windows are often confused with bow windows as they have some similarities, however, they are different types of windows and require different window shading products. Bay windows have three panes of glass that are either attached to each other’s casement at a sharp angle. A bay window generally has a larger center window of one size and it is flanked by two smaller windows on each side of it. Some bay windows have all three windows of the same size. Bay windows have flat planes and angular lines, which seem most appropriate for modern style homes, although they are perfectly acceptable for any style home. Bay windows protrude out from a flat wall into the exterior space to give you more floor space and a lot of natural daylight.


In comparison, bow windows generally have four or more windows, creating a rounded appearance outside of your home and it is widely used in Victorian architecture, although it fits into any decor. Bow windows allow more light into a room because they have more windows that are usually the same size but take up more room overall. A bow window can also wrap around a corner of a home forming a turret shape on the outside.

6 Considerations When Decorating Bay Windows

Since bay windows give you a great view of the outside world, it also gives outsiders a great view into your home if they face a street or a neighbor nearby. You want your bay windows to protect your privacy in most cases unless you have no neighbors to see inside your bay windows. Being three glass panes that are next to each other also allows much more beautiful natural light into your home, but along with that comes extra heat and UV rays in the hot summers. In the harsh winters, you want your windows to be insulated in order to be energy efficient too. The sharp angles of the windows in a bay window can also give you quite the headache if you aren’t a professional interior designer as well. Fortunately, you have many different products from which to choose to dress your bay windows and satisfy all of your needs plus add color, texture, functionality and beauty to your space.

#1. Honeycomb Shades

Honeycomb shades will give you a crisp and clean feeling to your bay windows. You can mount one shade in each window inside of the window casing. This type of shade is greatly energy-efficient as it traps air next to your windows in the tiny cells to keep it from entering your home. You can easily open and close them with a safety-approved cordless option as well for no dangling cords. You can choose from sheer, semi-sheer, semi-opaque and room-darkening opacities. If you wish, you can even have a sheer fabric on the top half of each window with a semi-opaque material on the bottom to let sunlight in while still providing all the privacy you need. It’s the best of both worlds in one product.

#2. Roman Shades

Roman shades are a classic window treatment, which gives you literally thousands of fabric choices for your own unique style. You can choose anywhere from lacey and flowing sheer fabric to a thick and luxurious fabric to suit your needs in shading your windows from the extra heat and cold all year round. Mounting Roman shades inside the window casing provides you with clean lines and it also provides visual alignment as well.

Roman Shades on Bay Windows

#3. Voluminous Valances

If you have very little light that enters into your bay windows and privacy isn’t an issue, you can consider a lovely custom valance. This will preserve a beautiful view to the outdoors without any obstructions. It works best to choose a custom valance with some style rather than one in each of the bay windows that is merely a horizontal piece of fabric. You may consider some unique shapes to bring out the fabulous fabric of your choosing. The wide arch looks very fashionable as it has a deep arch going upward in the center of the valance. The soft arch valance rises upward in the center and then comes down longer on each side of the window. You can also choose from intricate scallop shapes, balloon shapes and just about any shape you can imagine in a valance.

#4. Cute Cafe Style

Cafe-style window treatments are basically a casual window treatment, but depending on the fabric you choose you can really make them glamorous if you choose. Cafe-style curtains mount on a drapery rod about halfway down from the top of each bay window. This leaves the top open so you can have plenty of natural light come inside. This style works best if you don’t get a lot of sun in your bay windows. Cafe curtains look best with an inside mount or even an adjustable tension rod with a pocket-style heading. If you want to add some extra frills to it, leave a few inches of extra fabric above the rod pocket so that it forms ruffles on the top of the drapery rod.

#5. Dreamy Drapery Panels and Side Panels

You can make your space with your bay windows look even larger with drapery panels and side panels. This idea includes a drapery rod over the top of each window mounted high on the wall at a few inches below the molding. The drapery length should be where it barely kisses the floor. Custom draperies adds the illusion of extra height to your room. One set of two drapery panels mount over each window, so when you open them they stack on each side of the center window and on the outside of the other two windows. Side panels can be added to each side of the threesome of windows in a coordinating fabric for a luxurious appearance. You also have the option of using one angled or curved drapery rod instead of three separate drapery rods with one over each window. Custom bay window drapery rods are available in many beautiful designs for a great finishing touch.

#6. Layering Treatments with Functionality

Since it gets quite cold in the winters in the Bronx, you may want to double up your window treatments on your bay windows to keep more of the cold air out of your home while keeping the functionality and adding beauty all at the same time.

Your first layer on bay windows will be inside mounted and would be a shade, or blind of any type you wish. Your second layer should be drapery panels, curtains, or side panels. When you close both layers, you get extra insulation in your room and will have much better energy efficiency than with one layer on its own. You can use a solid color and a coordinating print that has some of the same solid colors when you are layering window treatments. Either of the two layers can be the solid color or the print as you wish. If you add a few throw pillows to the room in the same solid color and print and perhaps a rug on the floor, you will tie in all the aspects of the entire space together.

As you can now see, you have many options when dressing bay windows even though they may look intimidating at first. One thing to keep in mind is that when you layer window treatments, you should use two layers of items that can open and close without interfering with the other, such as cordless blinds or shades for the first layer. Bay windows are versatile and allow you to mix and match window treatments as you wish. The sky is the limit.

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