14 Bay Window Curtains and Shades to Show Off the Pretty Feature

bedroom window treatments
Photo: Edmund Barr

Bay windows add architectural interest and let natural light flood rooms. Window treatments help control sunlight and draw attention to the elegant feature. Check out these bay window treatment ideas for beautiful ways to dress your windows.

01 of 14

Elegant Window Treatment Ideas

modern living room with teal-blue walls and black window trim
Jay Wilde

Large bay windows are often striking enough on their own and don't require elaborate window treatments to stand out. The tall, narrow windows in this living room, for example, are framed with ornate trim painted glossy black, a feature that shouldn't be covered up with bulky curtains. Instead, simple white roller shades pull down over the glass to block light or views when needed without taking away from the elegant look of the bay windows.

02 of 14

Bold Bay Window Treatments

dining room floral home décor
Jessica Delaney

Draw extra attention to your bay windows with bold window treatments. These floor-length curtains frame the windows with a splashy pattern, turning the bay area into the dining room's undeniable focal point. The floral patterned fabric ties in with the leaded-glass window's colorful design.

03 of 14

Practical Bay Window Treatment Ideas

Nook dining area with booth seating and wooden table
Erica George Dines

In practical terms, window treatments provide two functions: light management and privacy. If you're not concerned about controlling sunlight, look to bay window treatment ideas that focus more on privacy and style. Here, patterned half-length curtains are strategically hung across the lower part of the bay window. This allows sunlight to stream in from the upper portion while blocking views where it counts.

04 of 14

Double Up Bay Window Treatments

bedroom window treatments
Edmund Barr

Combine different types of bay window treatments to maximize style and function. 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.

05 of 14

Bay Window Decorating Ideas

red desk in bay windows
John Bessler

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 style to the white-on-white ensemble while keeping in step with the rest of the bay's colorful personality.

06 of 14

Rattan Bay Window Shades

living room raised shades
David Tsay

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

07 of 14

Kid-Friendly Window Treatments

Bedroom with pink walls
Tria Giovan

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 flank the individual windows. Heavier fabric blocks light for naps and early bedtimes. The sturdy curtain design 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 stuffed animals.

08 of 14

United Bay Window Treatments

dining table with bench
Michael Partenio 

One 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.

09 of 14

Window Treatments Inside the Bay

neutral living room with painting
Jeff Herr

A continuous curtain rod stretches window treatments across the entire bay. Here, a single angled rod custom-made to fit inside the shape of the bay crowns the windows and 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.

10 of 14

Subtle Bay Window Treatments

round room with windows
Tria Giovan 

In a space with 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 its curves.

11 of 14

Individual Bay Window Treatments

yellow themed dining room
Richard Leo Johnson

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 shades the top portion of the window, staying within the boundary of the trim. By keeping the window treatments identical, the bay still appears contiguous.

12 of 14

Layered Window Treatments

living room bay windows with white curtains
Werner Straube

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, while rattan shades play off the room's wicker accent furniture.

13 of 14

Budget-Friendly Bay Window Ideas

bay window desk area with dark curtains and white roman shades
David A. Land

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.

14 of 14

Window Treatment Ideas for Natural Light

dining room with woven shades
Werner Straube

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

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