Bay Window Covering Ideas

Written by cathy welch
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Bay Window Covering Ideas
Bay windows jut out from a building's exterior. (bay windows image by L. Shat from

Bay windows are defined as a unit of three or more windows set at angles to each other on an exterior wall. Bay windows add square footage to your home, but can be difficult to dress. Whether your bay window area can be walked into or houses a shelf, bench or desk, you must first determine whether you want to unite the multiple windows as one unit or highlight each as individual units.

Treating Them as One

Treat your bay window area as one unit by running a balloon valance across the top of the three or more windows. Run a valance across the wall, using side panels to visually declutter your decor. Leaving the individual windows undressed and adding side panels on the wall creates a clean, polished look. Add window treatments mounted at ceiling height to bring a sense of loftiness to your space.

Place a set of floor-length shutters on each side of the bay area. Pull shut at night to provide privacy.

Bay Window Covering Ideas
Side panels can unite the bay window area. (Interior of the modern room image by A-L-N-O-O-R from

Treating Each Window Individually

Bring attention to your window mouldings and your bay's architectural attraction by treating each unit as a stand-alone window. Mount roman shades inside of each window unit. Attach roll-up blinds of fabric or natural materials such as bamboo, rattan or linen.

Fit matching shutters into each window to bring unity to the space without covering the mouldings. If you don't want to highlight mouldings, add a single side panel on the wall and one between each set of windows. In this case, the curtains will cover the walls and the blinds, shades or shutters provide privacy. For a bay window that needs less covering, sheers soften the amount of light coming in while giving a sense of privacy.

When no privacy is required, adding only a short valance or no treatments at all creates a light, open and airy feel in the room.

Bay Window Covering Ideas
Blinds can be used in bay windows. (venetian blind. image by guiney from

Bay Areas with Seats, Shelving, or a Desk

Keep any window treatments added to a bay window with a bench seat, shelving or desk to a length that won't impede the function of its furnishings. Side panels on a furnished bay window can be damaged by leaning against them while sitting on a bench or soiling the fabric while working at the desk. In this case, a short valance and draw-up shades work well.

For a bay area with a bench seat, add a seat cushion and pillows to create a cosy atmosphere.

Bay Window Covering Ideas
Bay windows can be peaceful places. (The woman sits on a window sill and reads the book klo image by Mykola Velychko from

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