With some creativity, bay window treatments can help solve a challenging window arrangement dilemma. Bay windows are often found in breakfast nooks and bedrooms and they usually consist of three or more windows configured in a half hexagon shape. These multiple angles can sometimes cause difficulties in choosing window treatments.
Simple Bay Window Solutions
For a no fuss approach to covering bay windows, install the same blind or shade on each window. By using the same materials and colors on each window, it will give the effect of one large unified window area. Because bay windows are set on an angle, covering them for privacy can pose a challenge. However, if you measure your windows correctly and leave room for hardware, you'll be able to cover each window individually with standard window treatments.
Blinds are a simple and cost effective way to cover bay windows. They are both practical and stylish, and they allow you to control how much light enters your room. They come in all different colors and materials including wood, aluminum, fabric and plastic. Traditional horizontal blinds enhance the angles of bay windows. Pair them with valances or cornices for a finished look. When you buy blinds for your bay windows, measure each window section individually.
Plantation shutters or traditional shutters cost more than blinds as they are permanently attached to the frame of the window. Bay window treatments that use shutters include full length shutters that stretch from the top of the window, all the way down, and shutters that cover the lower half of each window section. Shutters are a great option if you'd like to use your bay window for extra seating as you don't have to worry about curtains or blinds being pulled down.
Long drapery panels give bay windows a look of elegance and luxury. When the drapes are open and held in place with tie-backs, they will create a beautiful frame around your bay windows. When closed, they offer maximum privacy. Add an airy feel to the room by layering sheers behind the open drapes. Though you can hang individual curtain rods above each window, there are curved rods made to fit bay windows. If you choose individual rods, avoid those with decorative finials as there may not be enough room between windows for such a feature.
Simple curtains are another way to dress up bay windows. If your windows are in a kitchen, consider cafe curtains. This style features tiers that run from the mid-section of the window down to the sill. These are usually topped off with a matching valance, but they can be hung alone to let more light shine through. Another option would be to use simple curtain panels on each window. Cinch the middle panels with a cord or single tie-back. Pull the curtains on either side open and tie them back as well.
Decorate with Window Toppers
By adding valances or swags to a bay window, you can enhance the room's drama through the use of color or pattern. Fabric panels or valances can be mounted using a hinged pole or rod set. These sets usually consist of several rods linked together by hinged corner connectors which allow you to adjust the angles to fit your bay window.
Cornices are solid structures that are hung across the top of a window. They can be made from wood or a sturdy material covered with decorative fabric. Use cornices to top off shades, blinds or curtain rods. If there is enough room above your cornice, you can use the space to show off collectibles.
A valance is a short curtain that hangs just across the top of a window. Valances can be tailored, pleated or ruffled. Choose a style of valance that complements your overall design scheme. These are a great choice if you have beautiful scenery out your bay windows, as a valance won't obstruct your view. For privacy, pair them with shades, blinds or sheers. Valances can hide the hardware associated with basic window treatments like blinds or shades.
Scarves and Swags
Swags and scarves soften the angles of bay windows. This style of window treatment is similar to a valance, but the sides of the fabric cascade down either side of the window. For bay windows, use a separate swag over each individual window. If you'd like to make it look as if your windows are one large window, drape a long scarf loosely around a decorative rod.
Fitting Inset Bay Windows
If you have inset bay windows, consider mounting a rod with draperies on the outside of the surrounding walls. This will frame out the entire window and add emphasis to the area. The bay windows can still be fitted with blinds or shades that coordinate with the main drapery panels. The combination of blinds and draperies will add energy efficiency to the bay window area. Tie-backs or holdbacks usually accompany the drapes, so that it's easy to secure the panels out of the way. This feature is especially useful for bay window treatments which include window seat cushions.
Fit Your Windows Into Your Room
The style of window treatments you choose will ultimately depend on your personal tastes and preferences. Draw clues from the rest of the room's design to help create window treatments that fit in seamlessly.