How To Dress A Bay Window And Make It Cosy And Stylish

Maybe you already know how to decorate your living room or your bedroom walls, but what more can you do if you have a bay window? You can find these windows not only in period properties but also in contemporary homes. A staple of the Victorian decor, these windows can be stunning, letting light flood into the room too. If you’re lucky enough to have one in your house, it’s essential to make the most of it.

Since there are many different types of bay windows and the shape of each is unique, decorating them can be a challenge to homeowners or even interior designers. If you are looking for a window treatment and ideas that offer privacy, warmth and style, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a handy guide with our top ideas for dressing windows that work in any space. Keep on reading to achieve a glamorous result!

Measure your bay windows before you start decorating

Bay windows are a set of windows that angle toward each other in a curve. They often project out from the house’s wall. A bay window usually includes at least 3 windows, 2 angled side ones, and 1 picture window in the middle.

Your window’s configuration will determine what kind of measuring challenges you have. It is crucial to measure window dressings and the window’s size before you move on to purchasing anything you need. The 2 most popular types of bay windows are traditional and separated

  • Traditional ones have sections that are separated only by a thin trim or casing. Sometimes the glass can even touch in the corners. The windows’ angle and how close they are to each other creates a “depth” issue.
  • Separated windows have thick sections of wall between each window that pushes them farther apart from each other. Usually, they are simpler to measure since they have a smaller chance of having blinds that intersect.

Create a sense of drama with curtains

Bay window curtains come in all sorts of materials, sizes and patterns. That way, you can choose the ones that mix up with the rest of the room’s decoration and use them as a frame for the window to block out light and keep heat in your home. There are many material options to choose from, like standard, sheer translucent or blackout, depending on the dose of natural light you want to receive each time of the day. Use tie backs to allow in more light and boost the room’s style. Also, look for an elegant and classic finish with pencil pleat curtains and check out the thermal-lined ones that absorb outside noise and offer extra insulation.

Full-length curtains are ideal, as they create a sense of height. One thing to consider is the placement of any radiators under the window. Don’t worry; all you have to do is keep them open when the heating is on. If you have more than one window you want to dress, a curtain for each is best. There is also a wide range of curtain poles and curtain tracks to choose from. If you want to give a more spacious effect and allow lots of light in, you can fit your drapes outside the window frame. Finish the look by adding decorative valances, pelmets and matching cushions for a unique look! 

Use shutters for a timeless design

There are many window dressing types besides curtains, like blinds, shutters or even Venetian blinds. But the most practical and timeless ones are window shutters. They complement every house interior, and their neutral colours work to any colour scheme, ensuring a timeless design. 

Bay window plantation shutters, built bespoke to the millimetre, look like a part of your home’s architecture. They also come in many style options, like cafe style, wooden, solid, full height or tier on tier, offering you a wide variety to choose from, depending on the window’s aspect and needs of privacy and light. 

Go for roman blinds for extra style

Roman shades are a more cost-effective and modern alternative to curtains. They take up less space than curtains and are still very elegant for your living room or bedroom. Roman blinds are a stylish and contemporary choice for any bay window, offering a clutter-free and neat look.

The drapery adds drama and sophistication, and they tend to be thicker, increasing privacy and reducing heat loss. If you have 3 separate window panels, you can fit made-to-measure roller blinds to each one. That way, you can achieve a tailored feel that’s ideal for modern interior design.

Go for bay windows valance

The valance can make things run smoothly and elegantly but keep in mind that it’s a feature that best suits traditional décors. You can use a single large curtain for all 3 windows, as long as you don’t plan on opening and closing it but simply using it as a window treatment. You also can combine valance with panels. Use the same fabric and the same colour shades to make the treatments meld beautifully.

Mix dressings together

You can combine window coverings, like blinds and curtains. It will add texture and depth, and you can also get to be a bit more creative with your materials and styles. If you decide to go for a patterned fabric for one of them, you should keep the other one relatively plain, as it could end up being overwhelming.

Choose the right colour combination

Do you want your covers to match the room’s colour palette or create a real statement? Anything is possible, thanks to the many available options. Window bay dressings come in many colours, stains and you can even order a custom colour in most shops. 

Choose made-to-measure products

Bay windows can be challenging, and making mistakes when measuring them can prove costly. That’s why made-to-measure curtains, blinds, or shutters are essential! Make sure to take the proper measurements, or even better, ask a professional to do that for you, so you can rest assured you’ll get the window dressings that will fit and look fabulous. If your window has curved or angled shapes, you should choose vertical blinds, curtains that allow for a bent or curved headrail and ideally follow the form of your bay.

When looking for window blinds to dress awkward spaced areas, pleated blinds might be the solution. You can also look for insulating fabrics to help prevent draughts on cold days. The slats of the shutters should also be designed to fit that particular section of the window. Remember that these will take up more of your window’s vertical space when you have them fully raised.

Create a window seat

Dreaming of snuggling by your window with a cup of tea and a book or your kindle? This can be the perfect place to do so, to simply rest or watch the world go by. It’s easy to create a cosy DIY seat by installing some custom-cut MDF. You may also call in a handyperson or carpenter to do the job for you. 

Add some comfortable cushions, beautiful floor-length curtains and cosy blankets to your seating area to make it feel like a cosy nest. If you have a large bay, you can also take the opportunity to create a storage area underneath the window seat to keep your room clutter-free.

Separate your space

If your living room bay window’s shape is large enough, it could provide space for a separate area within the room, with a sofa, an armchair and a small table in front of the view. You can also draw your curtains straight along the shape of the wall rather than curving round to fit your windows. That way, you can provide a straight curtain pole rather than dealing with corners, making it more practical for you.

In a bedroom, you can place a dressing table or chest of drawers in the opening, having a larger area to change, walk or dress the bed. In an open living or dining area, you can place a table and some chairs in the window area to create a focal point. Add a vase of fresh flowers to the table, arrange some more plants in the room and add a beautiful rug to enhance your home’s beauty.

Transform the bay window spot into a bar or dining area

If the windows form a smooth and delicate curve, add some flexible curtain rods to expand the room slightly. Then create a small dining or bar area in the space in front of the window. The natural light will make it feel like you’re having a gathering in a garden and will be great for inviting friends and family over! 

Paint a warm accent colour on the wall

Having big, beautiful bay windows is something you should take advantage of and increase your home’s beauty. Take the extra step to treat any damp walls in the room and paint the ones surrounding the window bay area with an accent colour. After you are done with the matching walls, clean your windows regularly to hear the room sing! Wallpapering the walls will also have the same effect if you prefer that as an option. 

Bay windows are a key and beautiful feature of a room in both traditional and modern houses. If you are lucky enough to have these gorgeous windows, don’t be in a rush to cover them. Take all the time you need to study your options, look at our fantastic design ideas and then make your move. The only thing for sure is that you will love the result!

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