Reader request – bay windows

Posted on Thu, 23 Sep 2010 by KiM

I hear fairly often from readers that they don’t know what to do with window treatments for bay windows. I frankly hate bay windows unless they come with a gorgeous century old Victorian house. Otherwise they are typically 80s non-descript nightmares. I received a request for each of these scenarios recently:

Just closed on a new house, and though we will not be renovating for some time (while hubby finishes his Masters) a certain level of charm is required :))) We have a total of 4 bay windows (minto makes ugly bay windows, just a side note) that begin about a foot below the ceiling, not always centered on the wall and DON’T take up the whole wall. in my mind they look too deep, too low and very very awkward. I was wondering if you have any pictures of fresh, clean and not too too spare ways of decorating these. I find many people either go overboard with curtains or go very sparse with just blinds. I am hoping to have roll up blinds for privacy, but can’t decide on what to do for the charm factor 🙂” – Nat

Could you give any ideas on how to dress a bay window in a living room of a period/Edwardian house? I have been searching for it for a while but I am finding difficult to find anything…. ideally something not to heavy looking, so that the living room does not look any smaller.” – Susana

I went through my stash of living rooms photos (thousands) and found the following that included bay windows. Now, some of these window treatments are a little odd or impratical, and some I don’t really like, but it’s all I had. I am a fan of either sheers like the first photo, or wooden blinds with curtains at each edge similar to the James Merrell photo. Hope this helps ladies!!

Living Etc.
Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi
Shoot Factory
Light Locations
Kwinter & Co.
Guido Barbagelata
Oak Management
Light Locations
James Merrell
Markham Roberts Inc.
Homes & Gardens
Living Etc.

Steven Gambrel Selina Lake
design*sponge Frank Roop
Caroline Beaupère Andreas Trauttmansdorff
Living Etc. John Janik
jj Locations Andreas Trauttmansdorff

iselin says:

Oh, I love this!

Thank you for sharing these images for inspiration! I have a 1920's stone house with a large bay window in our living room. It took me the longest time to figure out how to hang curtains there. If I ever redo the window treatments, I'm going to reference back to this post. You can see my solution on my blog here:

I'm not a big fan of bay windows either however I love some of those images you found. We had a bay window in our bedroom many moons ago in a 1920's Queenslander – I think they are easier to deal with in a bedroom. They certainly are a decorators challenge.

Millia says:

quite cool, I like them. 🙂

Tiffany says:

love these ideas for windwos!


priscilla says:

I think it's a good selection of images for what to do with a bay window. Or, you could do what I have done in the dining room's bay window of our 1920s house… nothing!
Rather, first let the bushes outside the bay window get severely overgrown (this may take up to 20 years, so have patience), then do nothing.
Seriously, does this mean I'll have to address this issue now? It does, doesn't it.

priscilla says:

Sorry, I got wrapped up in myself there, Ballard Designs has some decent looking panels on ridiculous sale, if you can use the color/size they have. They are the Charlton Bordered Panels in butter and caramel or white and caramel.
Good luck.

wow this is kinda eye soothing…..i really wish i had a living room like one of this photos…really2 love the deco 😉

kris says:

Amazing! All these window treatments has made me fall in love with bay windows.

oregonbird says:

Bay windows are so demanding — one of the rudest architectural tics. Refusing to be pushed around is the only way to go — I love the Shoot Factory, Frank Roop, and Janik solutions, especially given the additional problem of the windows being non-centered. Modern and off-kilter are the way to go. Removing all the surrounds and melting the windows directly into the walls works well to avoid drawing attention to a problem feature, and a window film/cafe curtain combo works beautifully with that approach, giving you light, privacy and low-key personalization.

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