Window Treatments for Bay Windows: Ideas & Tips
Bay windows are an architectural feature that adds tasteful character to both the exterior facade and the interior decor of the home. The whimsy apart, bay windows are loved for their unique shape, charming aesthetic and ability to draw in more natural light than standard windows. The additional space the architecture offers can double up as a cozy dining nook or your favorite reading corner – another alluring feature.
But as much as they are endearing and handy, they are the Gordian knots of interior design. Getting the right bay window treatments is necessary but can be difficult and so, let this blog help ease the process.
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Dressing Up Bay Windows: Top Ideas & Options
Bay windows are a composition of at least three windows: a flat window on the front and two angular windows on the sides. The windows may have gaps between them or be joined at the frames. The angular curve often poses a challenge for bay window treatments to be installed in such a way as to avoid overlapping and constriction of movement. Besides the presence of inbuilt seating or radiators underneath the windows often puts homeowners in the difficult position of finding suitably fit treatments.
It’s clear that bay windows warrant haute couture dressings, given their angular arrangement. And that’s where the possibilities abound for an interior decorator to introduce an element of je ne sais quoi and an arresting focal point for the room.
Various types of window treatments are available for bay windows, and the choice would largely hinge on your specific needs and personal decor style. Let us take you through them one by one so that you can discern their potential for your bay windows.
The top fabric bay window treatments recommended by Spiffy Spools stylists are roman shades. Sleek, chic and functionally efficient, roman shades look classy, and with their sill-length structure, suit right for bay windows.
By the fact that they frame each window individually, their versatility with light and privacy control is high. When mounted within the recess, they take up no extra space beyond the window and when mounted outside on the wall, they help to make the window look grander.
The fabric composition allows roman shades to sport any color or pattern of your choice, making them extremely capable to blend with any type of decor style. Although their minimalistic structure and accordion-style crisp folds echo the ‘clean lines-refined details’ watchword of modern decor, with traditional motifs and carefully considered details, they can be arresting traditional decor accessories too.
Our roman shades come in three styles: Front-slatted shades that show off the silhouettes of the horizontal slats on the front, back-slatted shades with clean frontage because they have the slats stitched into the back linings and relaxed shades that have swagging bottoms and no slats.
Curtains & Drapes
Drapes are the most luxe bay window treatments given their lavish use of fabric, rounded pleats, and flowing trails. Indeed, there is no other window treatment that echoes the grandeur of bay windows this loud and clear. If your home is designed on traditional lines, drapes are perhaps more in sync than any other window treatment.
But, when drawn close, they give no clue that there’s a splendid architectural gem beyond the veil!
But, that said, in rooms where privacy is not a top priority – living rooms for instance for many clients – you can mount single curtain panels on both sides of the bay windows to simply frame the view.
Here are a few tips to get your bay window curtains right:
- Mind the length: Floor-length drapes are ideal, and ceiling-to-floor drapes are the best to echo the stateliness of the architecture. But in a casual setting, if you have inbuilt seating, sill-length curtains will work fine. Formal settings would benefit more from a dressing like roman shades.
- Hardware: When selecting the hardware, we recommend drapery poles connected by elbows at the angular joints, instead of individual disconnected poles. This will help to relay a unified look and to highlight the sculptural beauty of the bay window.
- Heading Style: Depending on whether you want a formal or casual arrangement and whether your decor style is more traditional or modern, you may choose from over a dozen heading styles on offer from the richly ornate French pleats to the ultra-simple flat panel tops.
READ MORE: BAY WINDOW CURTAIN IDEAS
Either as a decorative topping over curtains, shades, or blinds or as standalone dressings, valances are a lovely option for bay window treatments.
Covering almost one-fourth of the window, their ornamental touch not only softens the space but also adds a luxe vibe to the decor. They help to garner a unified look for the bay windows which can otherwise look like separate units, especially if the windows are spaced by walls.
If you’re looking for embellishment and not for privacy or light control, valances are good as standalone. In frilly pleats or scalloped shapes or in a tailored flat bottom, our valances come in many styles, each proffering a different vibe of its own.
Where privacy and light control is a priority, use valances as a second layered treatment to top the curtains in good old classical style, lending a garnishment to the window trim even when the curtains are open. Valances can also top modern shades or blinds if your decor style is a tasteful mix of the modern and traditional.
NON-FABRIC BAY WINDOW TREATMENTS
There’s no debating over the endless opportunities that fabric treatments bestow because of their ability to feature color and pattern while softening the space and speaking unparalleled style. But still, for all their magnificence, if you’re looking for non-fabric bay window treatments, you have the following alternatives:
Roller Shades, Solar Shades & Cellular Shades
Featuring a window-sized covering that is held within cassettes mounted on the wall, the window shades roll up and down like a scroll when operated by the cord. Extremely sleek silhouettes and the ability to clear off the window completely when closed are the two mention-worthy features of shades.
- Roller shades can be opaque or blackout or a blend of opaque and semi-transparent sections designed to meet various desired levels of privacy and light control.
- Solar shades are chemically treated fabric shades that are meant to keep away harsh UV rays while remaining semi-transparent like sheers.
- Cellular shades, also called honeycomb shades, due to the criss-cross arrangement of the double-layered shade, are highly insulative window treatments.
All three are machine-made and do give away that appeal very evidently through their neutral palettes and oversimple details. Hence, they suit modern home designs but may look out of place in traditional homes that feature handcrafted decor accessories and richly embellished details.
Their inability to feature diverse colors and patterns is a deterrent for many designers but their svelte and sill-length frames are great solutions for bay windows with inbuilt elements at the bottom.
If you love to have shades minus the industrial look, woven shades are a great go-to. Made of bamboo, wood, reed, jute, or rattan, woven shades are a great way to bring a touch of nature and rich texture to your bay window treatments.
While closed, they still allow light and air to pass through the tiny gaps between the weave. They also provide ample privacy as the indoor views are fairly obscured. If you’re looking for bay window treatments that can echo the wood finishes of your home, woven shades are ideal.
While window blinds and shades are terms that are used interchangeably, they are not one and the same.
Like roman shades, blinds take up very little space when stacked, and are often operated by a cord. But, while shades are a one-piece treatment, blinds consist of horizontally or vertically fitted slats or vanes that pile up on pulling the cord and can be adjusted at various angles to suit the needs for privacy and light control.
There are various kinds of blinds made of wood, faux wood, aluminum, PVC, or vinyl. They usually come in solid neutral hues like black, white, gray, and brown – and some clients may find this limiting for their desired palettes and pattern mixes.
It’s important to note that the wood and fabric blinds will bring an element of nature into the home while the others cast an industrial appeal. So, when selecting blinds as your bay window treatments, it is important to weigh their suitability with the overall decor of the home.
Bay windows with inbuilt arrangements will surely profit from the sleek and sill-length structure of blinds. But if you’re looking for a highly insulative treatment for winter, they may not be the most pleasing choice as the gaps between the vanes are notorious leak points for thermal energy. The maintenance routine should also be given consideration since individual slats will have to be reached separately while cleaning.
READ MORE: HOW TO PUT CURTAINS OVER BLINDS
Top Tips from Spiffy Spools Stylists For Bay Window Treatments
Bay windows are default scene-stealers, but with the proper treatment, they get even better. When selecting the treatment, it is important to maintain a balance between aesthetics and functionality.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed since the options are plentiful, but by weighing the pros and cons listed above for each type of window treatment, making a choice becomes easy. Whichever one you may choose, here are a few last design tips that can benefit you:
In summer, bay windows make a sunny haven, but in winter they do just the opposite. If insulating against the elements is a priority, consider curtains and cellular shades for your bay window treatments.
Size of Window
Take into account the width of the individual windows. If they are too narrow, mounting sleek treatments like blinds or roman shades within the window recess is advisable. Solid-colored blinds that share the same palette as the window trim help to make the window feel wider.
Layout of Furniture
Whether you have an inbuilt seating arrangement or radiator directly under the bay window makes a big difference to the bay window treatments decision. Floor-length treatments like drapes become out of the question, and the highly informal apron and cafe curtains may fail to match up with the stateliness of bay windows, especially in formal rooms.
Roman shades and blinds that reach up to sill-length and effect a formal appeal through their matter-of-fact makeup are befitting. You can still employ drapes to frame the bay window and that will add to the grandeur of the setting.
Layering the Bay Window Treatments
For a highly insulated bay window treatments, you may consider employing double-layered treatments such as curtains with blinds or shades. It also helps to bring in two kinds of layers – an opaque and a semi-transparent one. Besides, it also lends enough opportunity to mix colors, patterns, and textures.
Paint a Picture with Bay Window Treatments
When opting for custom fabric window treatments, never miss the opportunity to relay the high-end look through coordinated decor elements. How elegant and thoughtful a room can look with bay window shades and cushions on the inbuilt seating or a chaise lounge upholstered in the same fabric!
If you tend to want to decorate your home with strictly functional accessories that do nothing beyond that, blinds may be a good choice. But, if you believe that anything that fulfills a function can also double up as a beautiful decor piece, fabric treatments should be your default go-to.
Bay windows are architectural marvels, but it will be a lost opportunity if they are not also converted into design marvels. Hence, we are big fans of fabric window treatments that let our clients incorporate color and pattern to bring their space to life.
We hope this blog has put you in a better position to make a decision for your bay window treatments and that you will enjoy the process of dressing them as much as the final result.
READ MORE: WINDOW TREATMENT IDEAS FOR ARCHED WINDOWS