What To Do With Bay Windows


I’ve always loved bay windows and consider myself lucky to to have a couple in our new house. One is in the living room and I kind of like them in their current bare state but I think they would also look great with big, full, white silk drapes. The other one is in the master bedroom so I’m thinking of a combination of window blinds to block out light in the early morning with some drapes over them. And all that got me wondering how do you hang drapes on a bay window? Here are the options I found:

1. Individual drapery rods for each window:

Picture 169

2. Single drapery rod across all three windows:


3. Bay window drapery rods:


So does that about cover it? (Hahahaha!) Okay, seriously though, do any of you have bay windows and what do you have on them?

(Photos: 1.Decorpad 2.Style at Home 3.the Nest 4.Remodeling Center)

33 comments on “What To Do With Bay Windows”

  1. What a beautiful first photo! I want to curl up and live in it.

    Living in San Francisco, I'm always inspired by bay windows. I have one in my apartment and I feel so lucky.

    Have a great time figuring out how to decorate your bay windows.
    .-= Caitlin @ Sacramento Street´s last post ..10 Things That Make Me Happy: Habitually Chic =-.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I too love bay windows. I have two of them in my current house. The one in the formal lounge has silk curtains on a bent track right to the ground. I have a window seat in the one in the formal dining room. I love sitting in here (and so do my dogs). It is a great place for that phone call you want to have away from computers, televisions and kids. It has curtains to the bottom of the window sill but they are left open most of the time. I had a bay window in a previous house and put roman blinds on that one.
    .-= Jennifer´s last post ..The White Stuff =-.

  3. Brismod says:

    We have bay windows in our bedroom and the curtains have individual rods (they were there when we moved in). The bedroom will be renovated later this year, so it may well change.
    .-= Brismod´s last post ..Outdoor lantern installed =-.

  4. Lindsey says:

    I grew up with bay windows in my home and I miss them! I would camp out with a book, leave the screen window open and listen to the birds chirping, my dogs playing and the kids on their bikes in the neighborhood. Obviously my speed of life has changed drastically since then but I still get excited when I see stunning bay windows like these!
    .-= Lindsey´s last post ..All Greased Up =-.

  5. I always expect someday to have a home with a big bay window, and there I plan to sit, and eat, and compete…at a big white vinyl booth.

    I may have to steal one from my favorite diner.
    .-= TERI REES WANG´s last post ..Eco at The Super Store =-.

  6. Kellie says:

    I also adore window seats! x
    .-= Kellie´s last post ..More lovely vintage finds… =-.

  7. I would kill for some bay windows! With seats, it looks so perfect to sit and read in one of those. I'm leaning more towards using roman blinds (like the first pic) than curtains, but if I were to go for curtains, they would definitely be silk!
    .-= Dagny @ Beautiful Living´s last post ..LCD, NOT LBD!! / LCD, IKKE LBD!! =-.

  8. mise says:

    Option 3 is what I've implemented in the bay windows in two of our bedrooms. I like the grander sweep of larger curtains rather than individually curtained windows. I really like option 2 as well, especially with the window seat, but I don't have blinds so I'm reluctant to cut out that corner of the room when it's dark.

    Your top image with the roman blinds is beautiful!
    .-= mise´s last post ..senior sofa management position =-.

  9. The Zhush says:

    Love them also, and luckily have two. Downstairs in dining room, drapery panels on rod meant for bay, upstairs in bedroom, simple roman shades over window seat with lots of pillows. Wish I had more!
    .-= The Zhush´s last post ..Channeling Diana Vreeland =-.

  10. Love that chair in the last image!!
    .-= Gypsy Purple-Chamara´s last post ..French Find: Aurelie Alvarez =-.

  11. i have a bay window in the kitchen. mine have roman shades that can be wiped clean. kitchen grease is bitch.
    .-= my favorite and my best´s last post ..hurts so good… =-.

  12. We just dealt with this issue over at The Design File. We had a "Design Dilemma" from a reader seeking advice about treatments for her bay windows. I even used one of the same photos!

    The original post — which includes comments with suggestions from readers — is here: http://www.thedesignfile.net/thedesignfile/2010/0….

    Then I posted some of the suggested photos here:

    I've never had bay windows myself but I just love full drapes on either side with bamboo blinds on each individual window.

    Good luck!
    .-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last post ..Geometric patterns add interest & fun to rooms =-.

  13. christy says:

    I don't, but if I did I would definitely put in a window seat and then curtains across the whole thing like in your picture! I couldn't resist the urge to have a good book reading seat like that!

  14. Appletree says:

    Love this post. I have two oddly shaped bay windows in my living room and can't decide what to do. I am thinking window seats and will post about it soon.
    .-= Appletree´s last post ..welcome to my home =-.

  15. LindsB says:

    I love bay windows, but I HATE mine. They are curved, do you know how hard that makes it to hand curtains correctly, its awful to say the least. Anyway- I still love long panels layered with roman shades.
    .-= LindsB´s last post ..Color me Orange =-.

  16. I say less curtains so you can see more windows. So option 1 or 3. Though I don't like the rod in 3. Could you hang them behind the bay opening to hide the rod? Or maybe you don't have the same rod aversion that I do!
    .-= Naomi@thirteenandsouth´s last post ..the first day of the rest of your life =-.

  17. Marija says:

    My favorite look with a window seat is the long rod with draperies flanking either side of the baby – totally classic. A bay with a window seat away from the rest of the chaos of the house (kitchen, computers, toys!) is a dream! Marija

  18. Piper says:

    I really love the first picture…makes me want to curl up on the couch and stare out the windows! We don't have bay windows…but we do have a sun room that has 3 walls of windows which has posed quite a challenge for me as to what to cover all 6 windows with! I may have to use the first photo for inspiration – thanks!!

  19. Maggie says:

    That top photo just solved a huge problem I've had with my kitchen! And for cheap! Thank you! Thank you!
    .-= Maggie´s last post ..My Recipe Is A Finalist! =-.

  20. I love those bow windows too. It's quite rare in France anyway.

    You're very lucky to have some.

    .-= le banc moussu´s last post ..Où il est question de zizis, zezettes et autres bistouquettes…. =-.

  21. Averill says:

    I've got a "faux" bay window (doesn't curve, just inset windows with a teenie tiny window seat) in my bedroom and it's been a real pain to figure out what to do with them — these are some great ideas though and hopefully I use these as a jumping off point.
    .-= Averill´s last post ..Patterned Powder Rooms =-.

  22. Ally says:

    Teri: That sounds awesome. 🙂

    Dagny: I'm thinking silk too. 🙂

    Leslie: Thanks for the link. It's great to see all the options.

    Linds: I can imagine round would make it really hard to figure out what to do!

    Naomi: There's crown molding above the window (behind the bay opening) so there's no way to install a rod. That's a great idea, though.

    Maggie: Great! Happy to be of help!

  23. Anna says:

    Oh goodness please use those roman-style blinds!!! They are so beautiful and they really make the space look nice.

  24. i love the custom feel of the third option!

    and whatever you do about the curtains — i'm all for a window seat.
    .-= Design Darling´s last post ..desk du jour =-.

  25. nkp says:

    I have one in my breakfast nook and we have one in the master bedroom. Both have painted wood blinds for privacy. This works well in the kitchen, but I would like to dress up the windows in the bedroom. I love the simple, crisp look of the roman shades and if I were to go for curtains, I think single rod for each window would be my choice. That is if we ever do anything with our bedroom, which I suspect at this point we never will. I freeze up

    when it comes to decorating our master bedroom. Strange, but true!
    .-= nkp´s last post ..This one is all about the bones. =-.

  26. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Ally,

    We have a double fronted house with two bays downstairs. We have had blinds and curtains, but, the best thing that we ever did was to have plantation shuters. They fit beautifully and look as if they were put there when the house was built in 1890.I LOVE them. XXXX
    .-= Jacqueline´s last post ..YET 7 MORE THINGS ABOUT ME !!!! ………. =-.

  27. Maria says:

    I really really love that first image, that's exactly what Im planning on doing with our six dining room windows! love it
    .-= Maria´s last post ..Lucite revisited =-.

  28. I love bay windows. It's a place to retreat to. Great posting.

  29. Bromeliad says:

    My favorite apartment had a bay window. We did Roman shades, which we basically always left up. (Especially since they were about a foot short, as I recall. )
    .-= Bromeliad´s last post ..High/Low/Way Low/J. Lo – Task and bedside lighting =-.

  30. Engracia says:

    We have 2 bay windows, one in our bedroom where we installed balck out roller blinds which I wind up till they disappear in the day so you don't see them. The other one in the dinning room has no window dressing. They are both corner windows so it would be hard to have curtains.
    .-= Engracia´s last post ..Lona de Anna =-.

  31. Like you, I'm lucky to have a bay window in my living room and in my master suite. I have enjoyed bare windows (only white blinds), but I'm really craving some drapes. I love the black and white striped shades, though, and I can really see them working in my bedroom. Thanks for reminding me to get my window dressing done!

  32. I like the first photo. Very beautiful, but I want it close during night time. The options cited are very nice. Great post!

  33. Roberta says:

    Oh my goshhh!!
    Im living in my “new” house for almost 4 years and still dont jnow what to do in the bay window space and how and where to put the blackout.. Husband complains about it!!
    I give advices in friends homes and for myself is sooo dificult!!!
    Who could help me with that?
    I can send pics and u girls do a small draft and take a puc of it and send me???
    Thanksss. Roberta from rio brasil

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