How to Dress Bay Windows
You have many choices in dressing your banks of bay windows. They can be light filtering, room darkening, cafe style or you can use blinds, shutters or shades of any sort. Choosing custom window treatments gives you the most choices for all of your windows.
Window Treatments for Bay Windows
Bay windows are an architectural delight in any home or office. They allow ample light into a space to brighten it and this in itself, makes the area cheerful. Your views to the outside world are expansive and can be breathtaking with featured landscaping or water features. In the evenings, you want to be able to close your bay window treatments for privacy. You have many great options for dressing these specialty shaped windows when you choose to go with custom window coverings.
#1. Streamlined with Shades and Sheers
Any type of shades work well in bay windows. They can protect your privacy when pulled down and they are neat when they are raised. Shades usually mount inside the window casing for a simple and tidy appearance. Each of the panes of the bay windows will have their own shade in it. You can go for Roman shades or roller shades and choose from literally thousand of different fabrics and designs. Shades in a solid color are always a winner in any setting. However, if you want something more than just plain Jane window treatments, you can consider a solid color shade and sheer drapery panels in a coordinating color on top of the window casings for a large impact. This combination gives you flexibility and when the shades are lowered, you can have soft visual interest, privacy and light control. When the shades are raised, the fabric hides discreetly it the headrail.
#2. High Impact Solutions
Blinds and shutters are the highest impact window treatment styles available. They enhance and highlight the visual aspect of your bay windows. You have choices of shutters in hard wood and faux wood so you can customize the color that you have them painted or stained. To make shutters appear as if they are a structural part of your windows, stain them the same color as your window casing and molding. You can also use a rich and deep contrasting stain to increase your visual interest.
If you choose to go with blinds, you can choose from the smaller slats in mini blinds in aluminum or metal vinyl in several neutral colors to blend in with your surroundings. You may like the larger 2-inch slats for larger windows though because if your bay windows are quite sizeable, the vertical mini blinds will just appear too busy. Make sure that you choose the cordless horizontal blinds for safety purposes. They don’t have ugly cords hanging down or becoming a tangled mess. Instead, you just lift or pull down slightly on the center of the bottom rail to open and close them or to adjust them to any height you wish.
#3. Beautify Your Windows with Custom Drapery
If you want your windows to be decorative, then you should consider custom drapery and layering treatments for the utmost in beauty. You can choose commercial drapery fabric that offers both beauty and softness to soften the straight lines of the window casings. You can just use drapery panels by themselves as a stand-alone window treatment or you can pair them with blinds, shades or shutters for the ultimate in timeless appearance.
When layering treatments, it’s best to choose your base layer first. It can be blinds, shades, shutters or custom drapery panels mounting inside the window casings. Then add a second layer of drapery panels on top of the first layer. You can use any color or pattern with blinds, shutters or shades as your first layer. If you started your first layer with drapery panels, it’s best not to mix and match patterns, but perhaps use a solid color for the first layer and a coordinating pattern for the second layer.
#4. The Ultimate Bay Window Combination
If you want the bay windows to be a focal point in any room, choose your first and second layer of window treatments and then add a cornice at the top. The cornice is a decorative cut of wood that is covered with fabric of your choice. It hides the hardware, drapery rods and stacks of window treatment products underneath it at the top of your windows.
#5. Some Examples that Work Well
Silk panels in your bay windows work really well to beautify your space and soften the lines. The outer panels on each side should most likely have tiebacks so you can open them partially and let them flow softly down to kiss the floor. The best length for drapery panels as a stand-alone window treatment is full length to the floor. You can also mount the drapery rods at the ceiling height to add lots of dramatic aesthetics to your bank of windows. When using single silk drapery panels, consider a solid color with a wide band on the top or bottom of each panel in a contrasting color.
Roman shades and drapery panels together can be hung in different manners for different appearances. It’s a designer secret that most don’t realize, but if you hang Roman shades inside of each of the window casings and then have a full-length drapery panel on each side of the bank of windows, hanging on a continuous drapery rod across the front flat area of your windows. you get three distinct appearances in one. You can close the drapes and the entire bank of windows disappears behind them. You can also open the drapery panels and use tiebacks on them to make a sort of frame of your bay windows and either raise or lower the Roman shades in each window for two more distinct appearances.
Specialty bay window hardware is available as drapery rods that are angled in the same manner as the bay windows. This allows you to use the hinged elbows to allow for a continuous rod application and an added benefit is that these drapery rods are usually highly decorative.
Bay windows are an interior designer’s dream. They can convey many different feelings in a room from clean lines to elaborate and beautiful. You have many choices to dress any bay windows you may have.