Bay Window Curtain Styles

Updated April 17, 2017

Bay windows give an illusion of greater space, provide extended views of the outdoors and increase the flow of natural light into a home. Consequently, some people choose to leave their bay windows bare to show off the unique shape of the window and maintain the extent of the view. But if you prefer to dress your window there are many options. Standard curtains and blinds often do not fit bay windows so it may be necessary to shop around for suitable window dressings, or have them custom-made.

Window Valance

Adding a window valance to a bay window adds interest and embellishment but does not restrict the view or cover too much of the window itself. This is a perfect style choice for an ornate window, for example one with engraved wood or stained glass. A window valance can be chosen to match other furniture within the room, such as a floor covering or sofa, to achieve a harmonious look.


A pelmet along the top of a bay window can either match or contrast with the curtains, or stand alone for a more subtle touch of texture and colour. A pelmet looks smart and tidy and also allows you to use a plain curtain track along the top of the bay window, since it is hidden by the pelmet. If you feel a pelmet is too heavy for your taste, a softer look can be achieved by wrapping or draping a scarf along the curtain pole - perfect for a summery look.


The right choice of curtains can flatter a bay window. For a different look, use two pairs of curtains; one pair hung centrally with one curtain on each side of the bay. Choosing an appropriate fabric and colour for your size of window will ensure that the curtains highlight, rather than detract from, the window. For an opulent look, allow enough length on the curtains so they gather on the floor. A holdback for each of the four curtains, attached around two-thirds of the way up the window, means the curtains can be draped across the top section when drawn open.

Blinds and Shades

Blinds and shades can be a good choice for a bay window as their simplicity does not overpower the natural beauty of the window style. There are many options including wooden blinds with wide slats, fabric roman blinds and natural bamboo blinds. Wooden blinds can be painted in a colour to match your existing decor, or in a contrasting colour to make them a focal point of the room.

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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."