Bay Window Curtains

Bay windows are one of the most common window configurations in our homes. What is a bay window? Really it is a group of windows -- 3 or more -- which protrude (often at an angle) beyond the exterior wall. Window treatments for bays offer many decorative challenges and opportunities.

 circular bay window curtain

These Barry Dixon-designed bay window curtains are the most creative use of the space I’ve ever seen. Curtain panels are hung from a circular curtain rod that snugs right up into the bay and then out into the main room. This design showcases the opportunity for a large bay window wall to become a “room within a room.” And the best part is how relatively inexpensive this idea actually can be.


Walker’s Draperies showcase a bay window with a very traditional-shaped cornice treatment that outlines the inverted shape of the bay. The shape of the cornice mimics the window configuration behind it and creates a very dramatic and architectural look. Stationary fabric panels frame out the bay window to great effect. 

 house beautiful london shades

Some of the loveliest bay windows are built with window seats. These exuberant and romantic London Shades are three separate treatments mounted above each window inside the bay. These treatments, made in a handkerchief linen, can be raised and lowered for light and privacy control and have a casual appeal because of their slightly rumpled state. 

 bay banquette

This corner bay window area offers a great spot for a table and banquette seat. The windows are covered with individual bamboo shades for light and privacy control and framed by striped silk drapery panels with rings on a decorative rod. It would be typical for these panels to be decorative only, as a way to save money. However, you might wish to be able to fully close the drapery for warmth or total light-blocking capability, a possibility which is also commonly seen in these applications.  

 bay window roman shade

This bay window features a built-in banquette seat topped with functional roman shades that have been mounted above the windows. The shades can be raised or lowered for privacy and light control. The shade's simple design style allows the striking pattern of the fabric to shine. 

 bay window topper

These swagged window toppers from Yours By Design are mounted on decorative knobs and are a very easy way to outfit a bay window. Bay windows can pose quite a technical challenge when it comes to mounting boards and curtain rods within the architecture of the window. All of this goes away when you use decorative knobs and swag treatments that attach to the knobs by loops.  

 bay window balloon valance

These inside-mount balloon valances add just the right touch of color and softness to this bay window. The valances are mounted on boards that are screwed into the frame atop the windows. Mounting curtains inside the bay (as opposed to above the header framing) results in a simpler overall look. Alternatively, this type of valance may be mounted outside the bay window, for a much more dramatic effect.

Bay window curtains come in all shapes and sizes, from clean-lined and architectural to more dramatic and feminine looks. Curtains mounted in or over a bay window are warm and inviting and soften up a hard and sometimes cold-looking architectural element in a room.

Find a professional handyman for help with installing the perfect bay window curtains.

Updated March 29, 2018.

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