Decorate a Bay Window Properly

Edited by estrella sacragon, Anonymous, Eng, Lynn and 12 others

Because they make your home more elegant and more interesting, every home should have a bay window!

Estrella sacragon bay window.jpg

Bay windows can make or break the overall look of your room, because their unique shape also makes them very difficult to decorate. If you place a couch or other piece of furniture in front of these windows, it can take away from the window's beautiful impact. A bay window that is over-decorated and screams for attention can definitely overwhelm a room. There is a very fine line between decorating and over-decorating a Bay window, which you'll find out when you are faced with the decision – what to do with that window? So how do you enhance your bay window so it will add beauty and value to that lovely nook in your home? Here are some tips:

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How to Decorate a Bay Window

  1. 1
    Have the Right Window Accents.
    Bay windows definitely have architectural and aesthetic appeal. You really don't need to add too many window accents such as lace, curtains, blinds, etc., because bay windows are beautiful on their own. If you aren't overly concerned about privacy, you might just want to keep your bay window as is, so the light will pour into your room. On the other hand, if you need privacy, there are some simple things you can do. Consider installing shades if you must. You could choose something simple but elegant - rolling or Roman shades. Stay away from Venetian blinds because their horizontal lines might make your bay window look too "busy".
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  2. 2
    Consider Café Window Panels.
    You can try placing a pressure bar halfway up the window and hanging a cute curtain panel on it. By doing this, you allow some light to flow through the window's upper portion and still achieve the privacy you need. Try not to hang swooping valances, large and heavy curtain panels, or ornate treatments unless you want your room to look extremely formal.
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  3. 3
    Decorate With Furniture.
    You can enhance your bay window by adding the right pieces of furniture. A sofa, an armoire, or any other large piece of furniture won't be suitable, as they can easily block the light from entering through the window. Go instead for a small, but comfortable, piece that you can place in one corner of the window. A side round table complete with a plant and a floor lamp make great additions to achieve a cozy reading corner that will not distract from the aesthetic value of the bay window. To create a breakfast nook, simply add two cute chairs.
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  4. 4
    Accentuate with a window seat.
    One of the best things you can do to decorate your bay window is put up a window seat. You can do this by adding a bench, a cushion, and completing it with some throw pillows. Although window seats are fairly expensive additions, you can actually create an improvised one out of your inexpensive cabinetry. Window seats not only improve the look of your bay window, but they also provide additional seating and more storage for your room as well.
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Bay windows are perfect for your home. Designing this place is not as hard as you think. Whether you use your bay window as a cohesive part of your home or you simply want to leave it to stand on its own, bay windows will certainly add some flair to the overall look of your home.

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Importance of Decorating a Bay Window: Ideas and Benefits of Having a Bay Window

According to interior designers, having a stunning house entails a lot of work. One of the things that homeowners pay a lot of attention to is maintaining the interior of their home. They also try to stay up-to-date with various interior design trends. Although it seems as if designing a home requires a lot of money, it's still possible for homeowners to stay within a relatively low budget without compromising the quality of work, and the finished look.

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There are a lot of homeowners who incorporate a bay window into their home, which not only adds a beautiful design element to the interior of their home, but accentuates the exterior look of the house. Primarily, bay windows are incorporated into house designs because of their beauty and the amount of light they let into the house.

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Bay windows are available in various shapes. There are simple rectangular bay windows, those that are polygonal in shape and bay windows that arch at the top. An Oriel window is a style of bay window that projects from the wall of a house or building, but does not extend to the ground. It's important to make sure the shape of their bay window complements the style of the home, both inside and out.

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Perks of Having a Bay Window

Bay windows are not only meant to improve the aesthetics of a particular room, but they increase the value of your home, and improve the efficiency by adding passive heat in the winter.

Because a bay window protrudes from the structure's outer wall, it gives the illusion the inside of the house is larger than it actually is. Although it does give the room the bay window is in a bit more space, there is also the added bonus that the recess of the bay windows tricks the eyes into believe the entire wall is farther out than it is. Primarily, the space for the bay windows can be used for storage or sitting, and it will modify the ambiance within the room.

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The shape of the bay window will also modify and enhance the window itself. Typically, regular windows only have single, simple glass panels. However, the bay window has three or more glass panels, which are linked together at different angles. The light comes in from different angles, and thus, they reflect against one another. Due to the element of light, the inside of the structure feels more open, more welcoming, and of course, brighter.

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Ideas to Accentuate the Beauty of Bay Windows

  1. 1
    Homeowners may incorporate silk panels.
    In fact, this is one of the most conventional methods of enhancing the aesthetics of bay windows. However, to have a little panache, according to well-respected Jessica Nixon, a designer, homeowners can apply a braid or fabric tape to the inside portion of every panel. Adding two silk colors is also a clever idea - one is for the drape's body, and the other one (or two) is for the silk panel's bottom or top portion.
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  2. 2
    Similar to a valance, a top treatment is also a clever solution to make the inside of the structure more inviting and fun.
    Homeowners can utilize shutters that have a fabric valance at the top part, which can be complemented by a seat cushion and throw pillows.
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Fun and Exciting Bay Window Concepts

For those who are planning to incorporate a bay window, listed below are some of the fun and exciting bay window treatments. With these simple tips and tricks, homeowners will never go wrong. After all, these tips have come from respected and renowned interior designers.

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  1. 1
    Hang 'em High.
    According to several interior designers, like Jessica Nixon and Amy Bubier, it's an excellent idea to incorporate drapery panels, particularly on the bay window's return walls. As recommended by Amy Bubier, homeowners should incorporate a frame around the bay window, and not damage or clutter the view so unique to this style window. It's important for homeowners to select the appropriate fabrics. According to Jessica Nixon, hang the drapes high, in order to avoid the drapes appearing short. The rod can be raised two inches above the top frame, specifically at the bottom of the crown molding. This gives an elongated, elegant look to your windows.
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  2. 2
    Roman Shades.
    For those homeowners who want to make their bay window appear up to date without compromising functionality or elegance, they should consider Roman shades. According to interior designer, Amy Bubier, it's nice to utilize Roman shades. When Roman shades are pulled up, the blinds gather in neat-looking pleats, and when dropped down, the offer a lovely window covering, and are available in many textures, patterns and colors.
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  3. 3
    Hinged Elbow Rods.
    To safe you time hunting for the right kind of curtain rods for your Bay Window, look at hinged elbow rods. As recommended by Wimberley Earp, another great designer, hinged elbows, which swirl – like an elbow joint and allow you to change the direction of the curtain rod – perfect for Bay Windows. For the window seats, homeowners can incorporate ceiling-mount brackets. As Wimberley Earp says, the kind of rod that homeowners choose should suit the room's theme or style, so the homeowner should ascertain the effect they're looking for.
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  4. 4
    Window Seats.
    Interior designers agree that a Bay Window offers a perfect opportunity to incorporate a window seat into your room. The shape of the Bay Window is ideal for creating a window seat. The window itself, is like an alcove begging for a window seat. Not only do window seats offer spare storage beneath the sitting area, they can be made beautiful and unique depending on the textiles you use for the seat cushion, and the decorative throw pillows you add. Roman shades also add a lovely backdrop to the window seat.
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  5. 5
    A Chaise Lounge or Fainting Couch.
    If you can't afford to have a carpenter make a built in window seat, and if you can't make it yourself, a good alternative is to purchase a chaise lounge or fainting couch. Their size makes it perfect for a Bay Window, and adding throw cushions in interesting colours and/or patterns, will create a lovely reading – relaxing area in your home. You can purchase these new, but some of the more interesting ones can be found at flea markets or estate sales.
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  6. 6
    Stained Glass.
    Many Bay Windows are designed with two windows in each panel; a small window at the top, and a longer window below the smaller window. Many older homes with Bay Windows, these top windows where stained glass, while the longer window below, was not. Although it's expensive, you could commission the top windows from a stained glass artists, and choose a more contemporary design.
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Questions and Answers

Can I put a sofa in front of a bay window?

Yes, you can put your sofa in front of bay window, but make sure the back of your sofa is not higher than the ledge of your window. That should be considered, so you can ensure that your sofa doesn't block the outside view. After all, one of the reasons why one would choose having a bay window is to see the beautiful outdoor view and to increase the natural light flow into your house.

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The good thing about putting your sofa in front of your window is that it makes it seem that anyone is welcome in your house. Almost everyone will be enticed to sit beside the window to view the beautiful landscape outside.

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Simple sample of sofa in front of a bay window.

The advantages of having a bay window in the house is to make it more pleasant and comfortable, allowing the beautiful natural view of the outdoors, inside the house. Putting a sofa in front of a bay window enhances the feeling of comfort inside your home with the added beautiful view of the surroundings. It makes us feel closer to nature. Just make sure that the backrest of the sofa is lower or equal to the ledge of the bay window to allow maximum view to the surrounding and allow light to fill the room. So, yes, put a sofa in front of your bay window to enhance its comfort and beautifying effect making it one of our favorite comfort zones to relax and enjoy the view.

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Bay Window Decorating Ideas.

Consider the location of the bay window.

A bay window will be look more gracious and presentable when you put or add some decoration to it. It can become a lovely place where you can relax. Here are some ideas for decorating a bay window:

  1. 1
    Consider the place before you add decorations.
    Bay windows can be found either in private bedrooms or in a living room. If it is in your bedroom, to make you more comfortable, it's better to cover it with a curtain to provide privacy. If it's in a "sala", leave it uncovered or hang a short curtain only to let the light flow inside your house and allow you to see the wonderful view outside. You can decorate it with frames, different figurines or any small collectible items.
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  2. 2
    You should base your design on the style of your bay window.
    You should think of a decoration that enhances your window. Large furniture will be applicable for a huge window, and small furniture is used in a small bay window. The shape and color of window should also be considered when designing your bay window.
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  3. 3
    Where you place the furniture is one of the most important things to consider when you're designing or decorating your bay window.
    You should use furniture that works well in that area. An example is placing a flat, round table near the sofa, to create a reading corner that will not result in distraction from the impact of your window. Adding tables make it looks great especially, when it is in front of your bay window.
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  4. 4
    We have so many seasons to consider in decorating our windows, whether you change it to reflect the weather or to represent different holidays, such as Halloween or Christmas.
    The effect of transforming the window according to the of seasons, is most easily done by changing the throw cushions on the couch/chaise lounge, etc.
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How you decide to decorate depends on your own tastes and preferences. No one should convince you to do what you don't want to do. The above ideas are just suggestions, but ultimately, you should do whatever your heart desires.

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Bay windows are great addition to our homes. It refreshes any room, adds warmth and comfort. Below are some of the most common factors to consider when decorating bay windows:

  1. 1
    Location.
    If you are building a new house, or adding a bay window to your home, the location of the bay window is very important. The best choice is where there is a wonderful view waiting to be invited into your home, and the area inside, that gets a lot of natural light. Since the main purpose of having bay windows in the house is to have a natural view of the surroundings, both inside and out, it wouldn't be a good choice to put the window on a wall that faces the side of the house next door.
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  2. 2
    Bay Window Design.
    The design of the window will have a lot of influence on its beauty. A good example is the Angled bay, for its aesthetic design which brings the most sunlight into the room and creates the feeling of spaciousness.
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  3. 3
    Bay Window Size.
    Size does matter when making a bay window. It should be in scale with the size of the room; not too small and not too large.
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  4. 4
    Bay Window Color.
    Cool and light colors works best when painting the bay window area, as color can enhance the look of bay windows.
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  5. 5
    Curtains.
    Choosing the right curtains for your bay window is also crucial in creating a beautiful. Curtains should also be in cool and light colors and should be not too thick, allowing the light to pass through the fabric.
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  6. 6
    Furniture.
    Furniture also enhances the beauty of bay windows. Smaller furniture works best in bay windows. Larger furniture should be avoided as larger pieces not only block the natural view and light, but they overpower the window.
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  7. 7
    Plants.
    Hanging or potted plants also work well in bay windows, giving them a natural look, connecting the interior, with the natural greenery of the exterior. Smaller plants are best to adorn bay windows.
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The above decorating ideas are some of the most common factors to consider when enhancing the natural beauty of bay windows, and improving the comfort and beauty of the room.

What furniture looks good in a bay window?

There's a lot of furniture, and other items, you can place that will complement your bay window. The furniture that you place in front of your bay window should enhance its appeal in the room. It should also enhance the coziness of your house, and it should not occupy most of the space in the window area. When choosing the furniture, make sure it doesn't block the light entering your house. Take a look at the following examples below.

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  1. 1
    Couch.
    Also known as a sofa, this is a piece of furniture that can be used for sitting. It may or may not have an armrest. As a decoration, you can add pillows and use certain fabrics or leather covers to make it look presentable. The beauty of your bay window will be more appreciated when you put a sofa in front of it - a place to sit and enjoy the view.
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  2. 2
    Set of chairs with table.
    This furniture is commonly used in front of a bay window to give you a space for conversation reading books and having breakfast or tea. Choose a small table and no more than two chairs – a bistro set would work perfectly.
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  3. 3
    Piano.
    If a piano fits into the bay window area, you will create a beautiful place to play the musical instrument, and a beautiful look to your room. Imagine playing for your guests with the beautiful outdoors as your background.
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  4. 4
    Oval Table.
    An wooden oval table will make your bay window more attractive, especially if you place a vase with fresh flowers in the center of the table.
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  5. 5
    Island Light.
    Put this in your ceiling and it will add beauty to your bay window. It's an elegant fixture that provides direct light in your room. It also gives a classical, cool feel because of its antiqued marble glass and flat scroll arms.
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  6. 6
    Pot Lights.
    If you don't want any light fixtures hanging in your bay window, consider pot lighting. The lights are recessed into the ceiling, and allow light, with an unobstructed view.
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  7. 7
    Hanging Planter.
    You can hang plants in your bay window. The bay window will look fabulous with a hanging planter, and the plants should get plenty of sunlight. #Ceramic Finials. These shapely finials will add visual interest to your bay window. You can put them on your table, or use them at the ends of your curtain rods.
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  8. 8
    Pillows - A bay window can be improved by adding colorful and interesting throw pillows.
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Smaller furniture doesn't block the window, but still allows you to sit within the bay window area, enjoying the view. Try a small bench with a padded seat, or even a couple chairs facing the window with a table in-between. Make the bay window the focus of the room and arrange your furniture to face the window so you can enjoy the view.

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I'm looking for something to put in the window like a vase or something.

A plant, or a dish - anything. What would you suggest?

Putting something in your bay window will add to its overall appearance. Just make sure the item complements your window bay style and not overwhelm its charm.

Consider a plant or flowers, provided you'll take the time to maintain them. If you're too busy, consider silk flowers, or fake plants, or try things that have different heights. How about a beautiful lamp in the center with a few hard cover books between bookends or an ornate bowl filled with sea shells, or marbles or river stones – something you like to collect. Choosing just a few items with varying heights will make it interesting. A good rule –uneven numbers work better than even numbers. Eg: 3 things – the lamp, the books, the bowl.

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Choosing the right decorative material can be tricky, especially if you're looking for something that will perfectly compliment and enhance your window. Below are some tips for you to choose the correct decorative material for your window:

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  1. 1
    Plants.
    Living or man-made plants are very common window decors. Choose small indoor plants that will not overwhelm or block the view of your window. Plants that that clean the air, like the Spathiphyllum and the Peace Lily, are good choices. Small hanging plants are also best to place in a larg window, like a Boston Fern.
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  2. 2
    Hanging objects.
    Hanging objects are also one of the most commonly used window decors. One of the most renowned hanging object decoration is the faceted crystal ball. These small faceted crystal balls greatly enhances the window by giving off vibrant colors which energizes the room and it is also widely practiced by Feng Shui experts.
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  3. 3
    Curtains.
    Light-colored curtains are also best for windows to allow light to pass through.
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  4. 4
    Furniture.
    Putting a couch or small desk will make the window feel more comfortable and relaxing.
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In general, when decorating a bay window, try to avoid putting large objects or dark colored objects because they will reduce the natural light, and obscure the view of the window, making it less attractive.

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When do bay windows look out of place?

Window bays would look out of place when:

  1. 1
    The design of the window conflicts with the architectural design of your house.
    If you have a modern house and your bay window bay has a classical design, then the bay may look out of place.
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  2. 2
    Though contrast and irony can be interesting, if it is not well thought out, and there is no other type of irony in your house, people might look at it as a design failure.
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  3. 3
    It may seem pointless, but some people really do have a bay window facing a blank wall.
    Often this happens when the house is built without a next-door neighbor. Eventually, a house is built next door, and suddenly the lush green view is replaced by a brick wall, and perhaps a wall with windows, giving the neighbors a view right into your living room. Thinking ahead could have avoided this problem.
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Bay windows makes the house to look more beautiful and comfortable. But there are also things that can make it unattractive. Below are some factors that make bay windows look out of place:

  • The Type And Size Of The Bay Window. The window should be in scale with the room. A larger room can handle a larger window, and for a small room, the other way around.
  • The Location Of The Bay Window. The best locations have the most interesting views and where the sunlight will pour into the house. Avoid putting a Bay Window in a wall that faces the house next door, or in a place where the view will be blocked by a large tree, garage, outbuilding, etc.
  • Window Coverings. Curtains will make the bay window look beautiful, or unappealing. Avoid dark, heavy curtains that will make the area look dram and gloomy, and instead, use light-colored curtains to allow the sunlight to penetrate into the living space.
  • Furniture. Furniture also makes the bay window look better or less appealing. Putting large furniture in front of the bay window may hinder the natural view and look out of place. Instead, use smaller furniture like a sofa or bistro table and chairs.
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See more questions like this: Where to place furniture in the living room with a huge bay window

Is a short table placed in front of a bay window a good idea?

Yes, this is perfectly fine as it won't take up too much space, or take away from the view of the bay window.

Yes, I think a short table with a couple chairs would be an exceptional idea. Any kind of rocking chair or even a loveseat would work well with a small table. This will still keep the focus on the window, and the rest of the furniture in the room can be arranged accordingly. Even if you don't want to sit in front of the window, a small table in front of it can provide a very nice place to set some plants or flowers to liven up the room.

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What type of couch can you put in front of a bay window?

It doesn't matter what kind of couch you put in front of your bay window, as long as it's not too large or tall for the space. Center the couch to avoid throwing off the view or look of the room. Look at a chaise lounge or a fainting couch, as they are smaller than a conventional couch.

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If you want to sit in front of the bay window without blocking it completely, look for a two-person love seat. If you are not concerned with blocking the view form the window, you can obviously go with any couch you want, but a big couch isn't recommended. Something smaller, a padded bench will work better.

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I have a very similar window like the one in this article, only it has 4 windows. What window treatments would be best for privacy?

Each window does not have individual molding. There is molding around the entire window space.

Wide Venetian blinds would be your best bet for this type of window. You can choose either wide horizontal blinds or the vertical ones. They should be able to cover the areas that do not have a molding.

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You can also use a curtain. Try solid colors for the middle panels, and then do the accents on the sides.

Roman blinds may also be ideal, although it is usually difficult to find really wide ones. You would have to have them customized to your needs.

What is the difference between a bay and a bow window?

Decorating my living room, I don't know what to put in front of the window.

The difference between bow windows and bay windows:

  • Bow Windows: 4 to 5 smaller windows grouped together. They are usually wider than bay windows and have a seamless curve.
  • Bay Windows: 3 windows consisting of a large picture window framed by two smaller windows on each side. Bay windows allows more space on the interior of a home because it angles out further than bow windows

Either window can be decorated with the tips above in this VisiHow article.

How do you hang curtains on a bay window?

Is there a special kind of curtain or drapes that works best for bay windows?

It depends on your decorative preference. If the window is located in a living room or dining room, Top of the window to floor curtain lengths look best. Some even start the curtains just at the bottom of the molding giving the windows the illusion of more length. However if you have a sofa in front of the window you can use shorter curtains. You can individually rod each window or buy a bay window curtain rod but they are a specialty rod item that will need to be ordered. Also, if there is a small window at the top, with a longer window below, you can leave the top small windows without curtains, allowing for more light.

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I have a large window, and don't know what it's called.

It's a large middle window with a thinner window on both sides - set into the wall, with a one-foot deep shelf at the base I don't want to spend to much money. What is the best thing to put on that window? It's in the front of my house so it has to look good from the outside as well.

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What's a good paint color for a bedroom with small bay window? I want the bay window to be an accent wall or at least paint it a different color?

I have yellow gold furniture with creamy beige ceramic tile. I want to accent it with bronze/wood accent pieces and I want to put two wicker/rattan chairs in front of bay window. I have tried: I painted three walls water chestnut, but the room looks bland I personally like color and I don't want to go to dark because the room will look too small. The only light is the fixture in the ceiling fan. The paint looks like the entire room is in shadow. I think it was caused by: I really want to keep it in southwest theme, and I want the bay window color to pop with the wicker chairs.

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