Bay windows are a beautiful feature of any home. But they can cause a design dilemma when it comes to window treatments. How do you make your bay window treatment work with the other window treatments in the room while making the most of your bay window?
Window treatments for bay windows need not be intimidating. Very often, what works for your other window treatments can be adapted to your bay window treatment. Or you can take your bay window in an entirely different direction and treat it not as a window, but as an extension of the room, creating a separate area for seating or displaying a special object.
Here are nine easy ideas for bay window treatments.
1. Window Seats
Many bay windows feature built-in window seats that may or may not double as storage. Fitted cushions made of matching fabric to your draperies or shades can create a coordinated custom look. If your bay window doesn't have a built-in window seat, consider having one installed. It makes a great reading nook or play area for the kids.
2. Curtains and Swags
A single curtain rod across the front of your bay window with draperies pulled to each side can create a dramatic "stage" effect to showcase special furniture or art, or create a cozy seating nook. If you're using swags on your other window treatments, add one across the front of your bay window as well.
Conversely, a separate curtain rod over each window with a pair of drapes for each will draw the room into the bay. Individual swags can be added to each window or a single swag in front of the bay depending on your personal style.
3. Sheers and Solids
If you want to let in sunlight but block the view from prying eyes, double curtain rods can accommodate a sheer that stays closed with solid panel draperies that can be opened or closed for a black-out effect. This is best done on each window inside the bay rather than closing off the entire bay with a single rod.
4. Café Curtains
Depending on your style, sheer café curtains with a fixed rod at the top and bottom can create a cozy casual effect. This can be done with a single fixed panel over each window or with two panels over each window that can be slid apart to take in the view.
A roll-up shade on each window is another option to consider. Shades come in almost any fabric including colored and boldly printed solids that block-out light and view, or a variety of sheers that can filter light while maintaining privacy and protection from sun damage.
6. Valances and Cornices
Valances are an option that can be added to almost any window treatment for a more finished look. Valances can be installed across the front of the bay or follow the curve of the bay above each window. If your bay window runs full height to the ceiling, a cornice across the front can define a secondary space in the bay for intimate seating.
Wood shutters have made a comeback in recent years for their timeless look, durability and low maintenance. Custom-fitted shutters work as well in a bay window as on a standard window and add a sophisticated touch to any room.
8. Free-Standing Screens
Another option, depending on your personal style, is to place a free-standing screen in the bay. Screens come in many varieties from Chinese-style painted wood screens to open frames holding fixed curtains, hanging beads, stained glass panels or lacy carvings. A free-standing screen can provide a lot of versatility with a range of privacy options.
9. Go Naked!
If your bay window frames a spectacular view with no need for privacy or sun protection, don't be afraid to do nothing. Enjoy the view and let nature provide the decoration.
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