Window arrangements that protrude from the side of a building are, by and large, known as bay windows. They offer several advantages:
- They look great.
- They’ll allow more natural light into your home.
- They provide a pleasant space for you to bask on a summer’s day.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of a bay window however is its versatility. It can be arranged just about however you’d like, and you won’t be as limited by the room’s existing dimensions as you would be when installing a flat window.
Styles of Bay Windows
The term ‘bay window’ can be applied to a wide range of structures.
- There are traditional bay windows, which consist of three windows arranged at 90, 135 or 150 degrees to one another.
- There are ‘bow’ style windows, which consist of a longer, shallower arch of four or more panels. There are ‘oriel’ style bays, which typically sit on the first floor, where they hover above the porch, supported by brick corbels.
- Then there are ‘circle’ bays, which protrude up to six feet from the building to form a large glass cylinder, often capped with a little cone-shaped roof.
While the more traditional design is by far the most popular, there is tremendous scope for variety within it. Different styles of bay window will benefit from a different style of decoration. Generally speaking, if you’ve got more space to play with, you can risk grander decor without overwhelming the room. If your window is smaller, then subtler styles will generally be better suited.
Best Uses for a Bay Window
When you’re thinking about how to dress up your bay windows, it’s often best to think about how you want to use the space.
You might install a home office into your bay window. You’ll have a little space for a computer and a chair, along with a few drawers in which to keep essential supplies. From a health perspective, natural light is a godsend when you’re staring at a screen all day, and a bay window will provide plenty of it.
Tucking into your morning eggs in a breakfast-nook is a great way to start the day. All you need is a small table and a few chairs. Colour the area in pastel shades for best results, and keep a supply of salt and pepper to hand. A bay window of this sort also makes an excellent place to keep potted herbs, particularly if it’s near to the kitchen.
As we’ve mentioned, bay windows offer a fantastic place to unwind. If the sun is in the right position, it can function as a miniature conservatory – and you’ll have plenty of natural light by which to read, write, or do a crossword puzzle. Using colours that aid relaxation is a good idea – consider incorporating pale blues and greens into your décor.
Bay Window Treatments
The treatments you choose for your bay window will, of course, influence the way it looks. Choose the right set of blinds and curtains and you’ll have a fantastic centrepiece for the entire room.
Unfortunately, choosing window treatments for a bay window offers something of a challenge. By their nature, they are larger and more complicated than ordinary casement and sash windows. If you’re prepared to spend a little time hunting for the right options, and to dig into your pockets when you find them, the results can prove well worth it.
It’s difficult to find curtains capable of sliding across an entire bay window. A single long rail that follows the curvature of the window will be expensive. A better solution comes in the form of a succession of smaller curtains, each covering a single panel. Thick curtains have several key advantages: they’re able to retain heat and repel noise, and they’ll keep light out of the room when drawn. As such, they’re great in bedrooms.
Roman blinds are a popular choice for bay windows for good reason. While the panels that make up the window might be at slightly different angles horizontally, they still allow you to pull a vertical bind down over each one. This will remove the need to have curtains bunching at every angle of each window, which means more light will be able to enter into the room.
By the same token, venetian blinds make an excellent match for Bay Windows, particularly in office spaces. They can be collapsed into the top of the window just as easily as they could be on a traditional window; the only problem is that you’ll need to draw them panel-by-panel. Wooden blinds offer a unique aesthetic that curtains can’t replicate.
A valance is a purely decorative curtain designed to cover the very top of a window. They can be used in isolation where privacy isn’t a concern, and they can be used in conjunction with venetian blinds where it is.
Considering getting new bay windows for your home? Talk to us about our bespoke range.
Want to know more about bay windows? Read our other articles ‘What’s the Difference Between Bay, Bow and Garden Windows?’ and ‘The Pros and Cons of Bay Windows’.