It is intimidating to commit to a specific look when dressing your windows. You have many ideas from which to choose. We have researched and found the best bay window treatments based on styles.
There isn't a wrong way to dress your bay windows. Most curtains panels that work for standard windows will work on bay windows with a little adjustment. Here is a list of recommended styles for you to look at and imagine which one fits your bay windows and surrounding decor the best.
- Romantic Style
- Old World Style
- Mid-Century Modern
- Industrial Style
- Nautical or Coastal
- Scandinavian Design
- Mediterranean Style
- Art Deco
Explore with us as we look deeper into these styles. We will also look at the best way to measure the space to get the correct curtain sizes, the best ways to hang them and decorate without curtains.
When looking at window treatments, think about basic needs such as light infiltration and privacy. Then consider the size and shape of the window. Would it look better with each section framed or the entire window framed? Once you've decided these things, then it's time to window shop.
Best Curtain Styles For Bay Windows
Feel free to interchange these styles to fit your personality. You can easily combine a Romantic Style with Bohemian Decor to make a unique and beautiful window treatment.
Romantic does not mean only feminine. Look for pieces that charm all five of the senses. Think silk, satin, floral, and soft color palettes. Create layers with sheer panels framed by tied back solid print and an overly of draped silk to achieve a romantic style to your area.
The traditional style is orderly and somewhat casual. Typically all pieces are paired and defined. The patterns will be consistent. Below is an example of a standard curtain that can be used on bay windows easily.
Old World Style
Bring old classic style to your windows with panels framing on an adjustable track. Decorating in old-world style provides a warm and inviting ambiance.
Natural shapes and graceful lines characterize the mid-century modern style. Look for panels that have geometrical shapes. Bring your room together in a mid-century modern style with panels like those featured below.
This style is bold and raw. It relies on sharp lines. Use a metal pipe for the curtain rod to really accentuate the look.
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Nautical or Coastal
Nautical (also known as coastal style) reflects a beach house spirit. The colors are primarily whites and sandy colors using blue as an accent color. Bring the beach into your home with style like below.
Scandinavian designs always bring to mind light and airy. A key feature for this type of curtains is a layered look using cozy colors.
Pull the outdoors in with minimal sheer curtains to allow natural lighting. You can layer this look with earthy tones, to provide ample privacy when you want it. Sheers bring Mediterranean breezes to your decor.
Capture your carefree spirit with Bohemian decor. Use rich patterns and bold colors. The primary key to this style is to strive for a messy look on purpose.
This farmhouse style is a modern approach that is cabin inspired. Think French Provence decor when shopping. The palate is similar to nautical that uses whites, blues, and sand colors. Here is an example of farmhouse style curtains.
Art Deco Style
This style originated in France. It is the bold, colorful decor of the early 1900s. Think sharp colors and edges like this mosaic curtain.
How to measure your bay windows for curtains?
When measuring curtains for bay windows, gather a pencil, tape measure, a step stool, and a second set of hands if possible to make this easier. Then decide which hanging method suits your windows. Each technique will need different measurements. Here are the factors to consider to make sure that your curtains will properly fit your bay window.
Bay Window Configuration
Bay windows come in three basic configurations:
- A two-angle bay has one large central panel and two smaller side panels.
- The four-angle bay has one large panel with two or more angled panels on each side.
- The three-angle bay has three or more windows of the same size.
Decide if you are hanging the curtain inside the window frame or positioning it outside of the frame. Verify the distance between the top of the curtain rod and the ceiling. If you have less than six inches of clearance, you will want to use a ceiling bracket instead of a wall bracket because it will be too tight to fit a wall bracket.
Decide if you want the curtain to go to the floor or stop directly below the window frame. To measure, place the tape measure at either the top of the window frame or inside the top corner of the window frame (depending on how you prefer to hang the curtain) and measure down to the desired length. Make sure to write down the measurement as you will need it when you go shopping.
Most bay windows will need individual section measurements instead of a straight line number. To measure the width, place the tape measure at the beginning of the first section, and then go across until the next section. Note the measurement, then repeat for each section.
If looking at a curtain wider than the window frame, mark the position outside of the frame where the bracket or hardware will be installed and start and end your measurements from there.
Number of Panels
Think about the number of panels you will need to get the full effect. When determining the number of panels, make sure to double the width measurement. If the section width measurement is 40-inches wide, you will need 80-inches of curtain panel to complete the look without gaps. The widths of standard curtain panels fall between 40- to 60- inches. Lengths range from 56- to 72-inches.
Best Ways To Hang Bay Window Curtains?
The four favorite ways to hang bay window curtains are:
Flexible Curtain Track
Install flexible curtain tracks on the ceiling, and attach the ball bearing rollers on the track to your curtains. This track allows flexibility in the number of panels you would like, and you can move those panels across the entire track. You will need a valance to hide the track from view.
Bay Window Curtain Rod
These rods are designed to fit three-section bay windows. Bay window curtain rods bend to fit the shape of the window. They are three adjustable sections of the curtain rod connected by flexible elbows. They use mounting brackets that are similar to straight curtain rods. Due to the mounting brackets, the curtains will not move freely as on the flexible curtain rack. However, the flexibility of options and cost more than make up for the lack of movement. These only work if you have a three-window system.
Straight Curtain Rods
If you have a bay area with more than three sections, this option may be best for you. You can install the straight curtain rod above each section. A plus to the straight curtain rods is you can do curtain layering for a look that really pops.
Tension Curtain Rods
For an adorable but straightforward style, install a tension rod inside the frame of each window section. The rod goes across the inside of the window and presses on both sides to stay in place. The best curtain length would be one that stops just inside the bottom of the window casing. Tension rods are great if in a place where you can't drill holes.
Should Bay Window Curtain Touch The Floor?
In general, yes, the bay window curtains should touch the floor. Floor-length curtains add class and a formality to your space. You can allow a little room to vacuum by going a little bit shorter. To read more about curtain lengths, visit our article "Should Curtains Touch The Floor?"
How Can I Decorate A Bay Window Without Curtains?
You don't have to limit yourself to curtains. Many alternatives look good. You can leave the window bare, paint the panes and sills an attractive opposing color to make the window pop, or consider using blinds or stained glass. For more options and information, view our article on "How To Dress A Window Without Curtains." The options listed are considered for a standard window but can easily be modified to make your bay windows pop.
We have covered the best curtains for bay windows in which styles are discussed and that they can be combined. Also included is how to measure, the best methods for hanging the curtains, and how to decorate without curtains. We hope that these ideas have inspired you.
We have more posts on curtains for your reading list. Take a look at "Do Curtains Absorb Sound? Here's What You Need to Know."
For sound control, if decorating windows near a busy area. Learn how to take care of your curtains with "Do Curtains Attract Dust? [And How To Keep Them Dust-Free]."