How To Solve The Curtain Problem When You Have Bay Windows

Bay windows are a bit odd and this means they sometimes pose problems. A bay window is actually just a regular window but the unusual feature is the way it communicates with the rest of the house and its walls.

 Bay Window curtains

It represents a window space projecting outward from the main walls of a building, forming a bay in the room. One of the most tricky things to do is finding the right curtain design for these bay windows.

What are the bay windows?

You can easily recognize bay windows by the fact that they protrude outwards from the wall. They’re recessed into the walls, like a little balcony but very small and not actually separate from the room. The intended purpose for this peculiar structure and design is to bring more light into the room and to increase the surface area of the wall.

Bay windows were first a part of large stone cathedrals in the Gothic era. The cathedrals were large and had a series of smaller chapels and other spaces protruding from the building. These were the windows created for these spaces as a way to bring more natural light inside.

The popularity of bay windows increased during the Renaissance period when they also started to become common in residential structures. They’re still used on many buildings today and their role has been expanded. Bay windows now allow us to create beautiful and cozy reading nooks.

Bay windows and bedrooms go hand in hand. They’re an excellent combo for multiple reasons. This beautiful master bedroom by Talianko Design Group shows how bay windows can be incorporated into a cozy and stylish setting nook with a couple of armchairs and a side table. The windows have shades and there’s also a curtain which can cover them up completely.

21 Ideas To Style The Bay Windows

Master bedroom bay window curtains

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In the case of a master bedroom, bay windows can also help expand the usable floor space even though they don’t add much to the floor plan. The little space they open up can be used to create an additional sitting area like the one designed here by Marcye Philbrook. The curtain rod goes across and as a result the curtain can hide this area as well as block the sunlight.

Traditional living room bay windows

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Here’s another example of how bay windows can physically enlarge a room, not just make it brighter and more open to the exterior. This very inviting living room by Hamilburg Interiors features wallpapered walls and a trim around the ceiling which helps to enhance the windows even more. The curtains match the color of the walls but also stand out.

Bedroom bay window ledge

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Here’s another beautiful and practical way in which you can incorporate bay windows into a bedroom. Here you can see a pair of floating shelves at the top and the bottom of the windows, creating an inner frame. The bottom one can be used as a desk, a table or just a windowsill-like surface. Once again the curtains are flush with the wall and can conceal this section. They’re also light and breezy. Check out Ply Gem for more details and ideas.

Bay Window with seating

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The bay windows also look beautiful in this dining room where they have farmhouse-inspired treatments that only cover up the bottom half section. That leaves the top half exposed so light can come inside but creates a cozy and intimate look at the same time. This inviting setup is created by Kate Jackson Design.

Beautiful bay window treatment

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A small room such as this one can greatly benefit from large windows. The dimensions and layout only allow for a single bay window to fit in here but thats enough to create a cozy alcove. The long curtains frame it in a stylish way and add color and texture to the room. Check out Clare Gaskin Interiors for more projects like this one.

Small living room decor

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As it happens, the best place for a radiator is directly underneath the window which is practical and convenient but also tends to ruin the aesthetic of a room. Still, bay windows can be a way to make the most of the situation. You can hang beautiful and colorful curtains to hide the radiator without sacrificing additional floor space. You can see that strategy being applied here in a design created by Jo Alcorn.

Traditional rustic dining area

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Ideally, the curtain rod would bend to follow the design of the window but, as it turns out, this is quite difficult. A much better solution would be to have three separate curtain rods.

Bay windows valence

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It’s possible to be able to use a single large curtain for all three windows as long as you don’t plan on opening and closing it and simply using it as a window treatment.

Large Bay window

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If the windows are large and go almost all the way up to the ceiling, then you’ll want to use long curtains so you’d need one for each window. They will be operated individually and you’ll have the possibility of covering up the windows entirely.{found on neuarch}.

Living room with beautiful wall art

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But if you wish to only have two curtains, then you’ll have to be creative and make some sort of compromise. Perhaps the bay windows can form a shallow balcony-like structure and the curtains can conceal it.{found on archerbuchanan}.

Amazing views from bedroom

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Bay windows are a really nice idea for the bedroom. They offer the perfect opportunity to include a reading nook or a small seating area and they also maximize the views.{found on sutroarchitects}.

Cozy window reading spot

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If you opt for a single rod that goes around the corners then two curtains can’t be enough. You’ll most likely need three or four, depending on how you hang the rod and attach it to the walls.{found on mollymcginness}.

Transform the bay window spot into a bar

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If the bay windows form a smooth and delicate curve as opposed to an angular structure, then it’s possible to find flexible curtain rods. This seems like a great way to expand a room, even if just a little bit.

High ceiling dining area

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The extra space can become a comfortable breakfast nook with large, floor-to-ceiling windows. The rods can be hidden behind a fake ceiling and the curtains would look extra stylish.{found on risingerhomes}.


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If symmetry is what you’re looking for in your design, then four curtains would be a perfect option for your bay windows. Two would cover the sides and the other two would meet at the center.{found on antoniomartins}.

Wood shutters for bay windows

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Perhaps you can also find a way to reduce the number of curtains to only two, in which case the design would still be symmetrical and also a bit more simplified. It’s a strategy that could work both in the case of traditional and modern interiors.{found on amorybrown}.

Master bedroom with coffee table

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There’s also the possibility to conceal the rods and the upper portion of the curtains and this way to get a fluid and uniform look without exposing all the secondary details and technical elements.{found on hbm}.

Valance for windows

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The valance can definitely make things run smoothly and elegant but keep in mind that it’s a feature that best suits traditional décors. A modern or contemporary home with bay windows would need a more simplified look.{found on chrissnookphotography}.

A cozy spot for kids room

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If long and heavy curtains are not your style, then try other types of window treatments. What if each window has its own separate shade? Then you wouldn’t have to worry about how the curtains are attached or how many you need.{found on atatehilliard}.

Roman shades

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Roman shades allow you to create a clean, simple and versatile look. They also let you control the amount the light and privacy each of the windows offers. They look really chic in this beach house.

Kids teenage room decor 

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Opt for roman shades for the bay windows but also for the other windows in the room if you wish to create a cohesive look throughout. You can have them custom made to perfectly suit the décor you’ve chosen.{found on matpelbuilders}.