Beautiful Bay Window Treatment Ideas

dining room with woven shades on bay windows
Bay windows are an architectural treat. They have a graceful look and let natural light flood rooms. Window treatments offer control for this abundance and draw attention to the elegant feature. Here are some different window treatment ideas and approaches you can take to dressing your bay windows.

Double Up

This set of bedroom windows features both curtains and Roman shades over each individual pane for a layered look. Mounting the curtains high on the wall makes the windows appear larger. For a unified appearance, the fabrics echo patterns and colors elsewhere in the room, such as the circular design on the shades and a similar circle print on the bedspread.

Supporting Role

Bay window decorating ideas don’t need to rely solely on curtains and shades. Beautiful trimwork, an eye-catching paint color, and even furniture can all partner. Here, simple white Roman shades don’t compete with the trimwork around the windows. A wide ribbon of trim on the shades adds pizazz to the white-on-white ensemble while keeping in step with the rest of the bay’s colorful personality.

The Missing Piece

In a space with vibrant color, chic accessories, and plenty of patterns, window treatments can fill a textural gap. This living room's rattan shades pull the look together. Because the bay is comprised of an impressive five windows, a simple design keeps the repeated look low-key.

Sweet and Smart

A master suite might call for end-to-end stately drapes, but in a child’s room, simpler is sweeter. Rather than filling the expanse, curtains just flank the windows. Heavier fabric blocks light for naps and early bedtimes. The heavier fabric also eliminates the need for shades and their cords, which can be a hazard to young kids. Tailored to skim the window seat, the curtains don’t impede play at the window seat or detract from displays of prized teddy bears.

Windows in Unison

Another way to treat bay windows as a coordinated unit is to install individual treatments that connect. For example, these identical Roman shades are sized to fit each window, but they are mounted outside the' molding so they fit snugly next to each other. This creates the effect of uniting the windows. You can create the same effect with any style of shades, like woven rattan or cellular, as long as they are mounted outside the molding and meet at the edges. One long valance spanning the tops of all the windows or cafe curtains stretching across the windows' midsections would also work.

Inside the Bay

If you choose to treat the windows as separate units, each will have its own treatment mounted inside the bay. Every part should work in harmony. Here, a single angled rod custom-made to fit inside the shape of the bay crowns the windows. It supports patterned panels that fall to the floor. Each window has its own panel and privacy control. Another variation on this idea is less for privacy and more for softness and pattern: Instead of full curtains, hang two slender panels that flank the bay.

Subtly Strategic

In a space with so many standout elements, utilize bay window curtain to soften and add texture rather than make a strong statement. Whisper-soft floral curtains keep in step with this entryway's creamy white walls. The curtains were hung to ensure the molding on the walls remains visible. Hanging the curtains at the ceiling emphasizes both the room’s height and curves.

Individual Windows

If you like the look of each window dressed separately, there are many approaches that highlight the architecture. The key is to mount treatments inside the molding so they don't touch at the edges. In this kitchen area, for example, blank wall separates these windows, so individual bay window treatments make sense. Plantation shutters inside the molding cover the bottom of each window. A pleated valance covers the top portion of the window, staying within the boundary of the trim. By keeping the window treatments identical, the bay still appears contiguous.

All Together Now

Layering bay window curtains with shades not only adds style and interest to a room but also adds function. Light-color drapes can be drawn to filter sunlight, and shades can be lowered for privacy and to block light. When pairing bay window treatments, consider how the elements complement one another and how they will integrate with the rest of the room. In this charming cottage space, simple drapes mimic the slipcovered seating and rattan shades play off the room’s wicker accent furniture.

Budget-Friendly Bay Window

Bay curtain rods can be pricey, but DIY window treatment ideas can save your budget. This clever homeowner threaded rope through eye bolts and pulled it taut. Cleats on each side of the window hold the ends of the rope in place. The curtains and the DIY rod dress up the bay window; Roman shades provide privacy when lowered. Because the shades match the trim, they practically disappear when raised.

Top It Off

When dressing floor-to-ceiling bay windows, dare to leave the top transom windows unobstructed in a formal dining nook. Beautiful views of the private yard almost render window treatments unnecessary. For instances when natural light might be a little harsh, loose woven shades are at the ready for the picture windows.

Outside the Bay

Here, the windows are treated as one single unit, with curtains that hang outside the bay. The windows themselves surround a radiator topped by a cushioned built-in bench. A long, straight curtain rod hung on the ample header space supports floor-to-ceiling panels. When the bay window curtains are open, they act as a decorative picture frame for the window seat and the view beyond. When closed, they turn the bench into a snug nook and become a fanciful backdrop for the dining table.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.