Bay Window Treatment Ideas

bay window

Before looking for bay window treatment ideas let’s understand the bay window itself.

A bay window has one large window in the center and two smaller angled windows on the side. It is used when the main walls of the house project outwards in a way that the area inside is expanded forming a polygonal bay in the room. Bay windows are a symbol of Victorian architecture but are also found in many new homes.



The bay window is used to create an illusion of a larger room. It brings in more natural light than an ordinary window. It also expands the view from the outside. From these facts we see a number of things about the bay window. Firstly, it is a focal point and a large part of the architecture of the house. This means that it needs bay window treatment ideas that will accentuate this and make it more noticeable.

Secondly, it lets in lots of sunlight which is good at times. But most of the time the sunlight needs to be controlled so that you can enjoy the natural light without having to squint from the sun’s glare. Also keep in mind that the bay window is usually in a main room like living room, dining room, family room, or master bedroom which has furniture or artwork which you do not want ruined from the sun.

Thirdly, there is the issue about privacy. A bay window is not only pretty from the inside it also attracts attention from the outside because of the architectural shape of the window that protrudes outwards. This is a reason to take the issue about privacy more seriously because there will be more prying eyes looking in.

Accentuating the bay window as a focal point is essential in bay window, window treatments. This is even more crucial when the bay window does not need to be covered for the other reasons noted above. Not accentuating the bay window will make the room lose its architectural quality and let the bay look blend into the background defeating the purpose of the bay window.

So here are some bay window treatment ideas that will do the trick.

bay window drapery

Drapery - Drapery panels placed in the corners of the bay will accentuate the polygon shape and pull focus inside the bay. And drapery panels on the two sides of the bay will widen it and it will unify all the windows and define them as one.

For this you can use this adjustable bay curtain rod.

Valances - An appropriate valance above the windows will visually connect all three windows while bringing focus to this unique three-dimensional area.

One bay window treatment idea involving a valance is to assign just one swag to each window with some kind of embellishment like a rosette, jabot, or tassel between the swags and set into each corner.
bay window kingston valance

Another idea is to use a continuous valance like a Kingston valance with optional drapery panels on the sides.

Creating a nook – since the area in front of the bay window is recessed it is a good place to make into a special corner.

If the bay is small or shallow a built-in window seat can fill the area. Decorate it with pillows and cover the windows with matching fabric shades . Or add a pair of curtains in front of it that will frame the bay when opened or close it off completely when closed.

A larger bay can be furnished with a sofa and/or chairs that blend with the drapery and valance that surround it.

It is very important that the bay window, window treatment should look attractive from the outside, too. This is because the bay window is so prominent on the outside of the house and it gets a lot of attention.

Now, what about privacy and light control?

Most of the bay window treatment ideas mentioned above (accept for the fabric shades) are mainly for decorative purposes, so here are some tips on bay window covering:

  • Luminette® and vertical blinds down to the floor as well as curtains need special tracks to adequately cover the bay window without leaving gaps in the corners.
  • Shutters, wood blinds, woven woods, honeycomb shades, and pleated shades can be used for bay window treatments but great care must be taken when measuring the windows and installing the shades to make sure the shades that meet do not rub against each other.

Our recommendation would be to have them professionally measured and installed to save you a lot of trouble.

When you decorate your bay window come back to tell us about it!

To purchase custom window treatments for your bay window in the New York, New Jersey, Long Island Metro area Click here.

Bay Window Treatment FAQs

Need an idea for my bay window slider . . .

My bay window has trim work, I want to trim work to stay uncovered . . .

Is there a good way for me to bend ready-made tubular rods to about a 45 degree angle for a bay window?

Various questions about bay window treatments . . .




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