Bay windows and bow windows add character to any home. They also increase available floor space, because they project outwards anything from 10° to nearly 50°. And they add the amount of daylight that filters into your house. But their window treatments make difference too.
You can install trim that blends into the surrounding walls. Or you can pick something with a pleasant contrast. Some contractors prefer a simple, store-bought option, so they’ll trim the widow with whatever came in the box. Other homeowners prefer something elaborate. Let’s look at some viable window treatments for bay (and bow) windows.
1. Crimson Swag
There’s nothing red in this room, but the crimson color-code is implied. The window treatments, lampshade, seat frames, and floorboards all have hints of reddish-brown, while the wall is a peach-fuchsia fusion. The three panels of the bay windows are parted by bits of wall, while the windows themselves are arched. They have both horizontal shutter blinds and swag drapes.
2. Comely Cottage
This cozy cabin restaurant has bay window seating for couples that want an extra touch of romance. The bay windows have gathered valances with six triangular flaps and decorative tassels. The windows are treated with sheers for privacy and trimmed with vertical timber panels above below, and in between the three glass double-hung window panes.
3. World of White
Sometimes, the glass panels of your bay windows touch each other. Other times, there are bits of timber, brick, drywall, or plaster between then. In this case, your bay window treatments are all white. The padded benches below, the window casements, the walls themselves, all white. The zebra-striped cushions add some contrast. But otherwise, this is a high-maintenance space!
4. Black, White, and Gray
Stark whites are ideal in terms of light levels. But they need near-constant cleaning to keep them spotless. So this no-munchin bay window makes a compromise. The frames are white, but the window is treated with white sheers and dark gray curtains. The bench is padded in velvety gray as well, and the walls above and below the bay windows are a pale shade of gray.
5. Brick Pyramids
Exterior window treatments for bay windows can be subtle or dramatic. For many people, it’s the only view they’ll get of your home, so make it a good one. This home has a red brick wall grouted in white for contrast. They bay roof is a reddish-brown pyramid to match.
6. A Touch of Shade
Many men think women fuss too much about color. But a simple shade in hue can make all the difference. Look at this example of window treatments for bay windows. We’ve seen it before – but in white. By simply making the padded bench gray, the mood of the whole room has shifted.
7. Outside In
We often forget how the yard affects our window treatments for bay windows. In this case, you can see the balustrade railing, the grassy patches, the parking lot, and even the neighbor’s cars through the glass. So they all form part of the window trim. Inside, the five-lite bow window is framed by a reddish-brown wooden window sill and peach-colored paint on the walls.
8. Clutter-Free Kitchen
If your bay windows are located in the kitchen, the surrounding furniture and appliances form part of your kitchen window treatment. This house has no drapes or soft furnishings. But the floor is glossy stained wood while the furniture and appliances are a mix of wooden surfaces in glossy white, clear glass, metallic, and high-end plastics. This creates an air of linear luxury.
9. Flanking Bays
For large colonial homes with massive front halls, bay windows are a nice touch. This house has two on its front brick façade. Each one is hemmed in by brick and roofed with red metal sheets. The portico between the bay windows adds character and creates a warm welcoming embrace. It makes you want to walk towards the house, which seems cozy, a home that enjoys guests.
10. Asymmetric Angles
Not everyone likes their homes symmetrical. So when you’re assessing window treatments for bay windows, consider this house. Instead of two bay windows, it uses a single five-lite bow window at the front of the house. The roof has a longer lean-to, balancing out the visuals of the home. The bay window is roofed in gray slate and surrounded by red brick.
11. Streets of Colors
As a construction expert, you may build several identical houses in the same cul de sac. But you also understand owners (and renters) want their homes to be distinct. In this row of houses, the builder painted each bay window a bright color. Some of the windows are transom, others are double-hung. Some have siding, some are smooth. But they all sit on a backdrop of red brick.
12. Inverted Expectations
The past few windows we’ve looked at had red exterior brick. This window flips the script, with brick on the inside trim. The brick is white-washed, framing the bay window nook. The front of the nook has a translucent drawstring fabric drape. Behind the curtain, a cozy sofa, lush throw pillows, and a pretty view of greenery. A table sits in front of the drapes for work or meals.
13. Wooden Window Treatments
We’ve talked about the power of color. In this rendered sketch, all the window treatments for bay windows are wooden. But they’re different tones of wood, and each creates a slightly varied ambiance. There’s black stain and clear stain, which leaves the wood matte and raw. Or you can choose reddish-brown, tan, or white paint, depending on the mood you’re aiming for.
14. Juts and Scallops
It’s not just bays and bows that project from the edge of the house. In this home, the front door projects outwards as well. Both the doors and the windows have decorative fascia, with scallops and window grids. The front door and the window projections are roofed in gray slate while the exterior walls of the house are basalt and brick, both mortared with subtle gray grout.
15. Rich and Curvy
The wooden element in this space is intense. The room is filled with reddish-browns and deeper mahogany toes, from the wooden floors, cabinets, and crown moldings to the half-circle table and the leather chairs. The five-lite bow window creates a cozy circular nook behind the arched entryway. And the view beyond the windows will brighten any business meeting.
16. Simple Seating
As you continue to explore window treatments for bay windows, it always helps to start with a sketch. This drawing offers one of the simplest treatment options. Paint the wall behind the window in a bright color. Install a padded bench below the window, and add storage drawers below the bench. Colorful accent pillows will soften and brighten your bay window seat.
17. Browns and Grays
When you think of stone houses, you’re probably picturing the stoic grays of textured basalt. But you can add color without going synthetic. The exterior walls of this house are colorful quartzite, wit its cheerful light browns and yellows. The bay window is framed in gray concrete and roofed in dark slate. This creates a pleasant visual contrast that brightens your bay window area.
18. Lodges and Landings
On occasion, your bay window is so arresting that it doesn’t need much additional window treatment. In this lodge, the large bay windows have multiple black munchins that give them structure and character. So a simple wooden sill at the bottom is all the dressing they need.
19. Vintage Vision
This home looks right out of a fairy tale. The steps leading to the front door are inviting. And while most of the wall is red brick, the stone immediately bordering the wooden door is gray. Here, the treatment for the bay windows is subtle. The window is encased in white frames and roofed in gray tile. The curve above the door plays well with the bay window’s shape.
20. Sliding Bays
Because of their shape and structure, bay windows rarely have horizontally sliding glass. But if the windows have no concrete surfaces between them the windows can be angled to ensure the glass slides along the corners and can turn at the angles. This is the case here. The black framing stands out against the wall, drawing more attention to your projected bay.
21. Munchin Madness
The munchins that separate window panes are often made of metal. But they can be wooden too, as we see here. The options are clear stain and white paint. And the timber bay window treatments are pre-made, including the sill. Just add glass and secure it firmly in place.
22. Traditional Bay
Technically, this isn’t a bay window, because the sides are set at right angles. But it forms a bay-window-like projection, so you may deem it a worthy window treatment idea for bay windows. The munchins are wooden and the house is pale gray stone, almost white. The distressed wooden trim below the bay window mimics drawers and adds character to this Turkish home.
23. Simple Kitchen Dining
Here’s another computer sketch to get your brain buzzing. In this sample, the rear wall is a distinct gray while the pale wooden floors match the seats on your dining table chairs. A round table completes your kitchen niche. Around the bay window, white casings are complemented by the white timber panels that cover the lower half of the wall.
24. Shades of Sunshine
The primary purpose of window treatments for bay windows is light. The glass allows daylight into the room, and your trim and treatments should enhance that effect. The bay window here uses yellow cornices and a yellow padded bench to heighten the incoming rays of sunshine.
25. Bay with a Modern Touch
Twin bay windows don’t need a door between them. There are other ways to break up your visual line of sight. For example, these two windows are both backed by red brick and roofed with red tile. But the concrete molding detail creates a pretty counterpoint for the brick. And the horizontal shutter slats behind the glass are also a nice distraction from the brick patterning.
26. Hop and Skip
The first thing you’ll notice about this house is the cute purple door. Then you might notice the mixed exterior siding. Beside the bay window, red brick contrasts the white window casings and the white bay roof. The red brick skips a section of white siding then rejoins the red brick that frames the garage. The horizontal siding is a catchy contrast to the brick patterns and colors.
27. Screened In
For fans of traditional architecture, this Japanese window treatments for bay windows may be appealing. Instead of a curtain, the bay window projection is tucked behind a rice paper screen. The window sill extends into a wooden table adjacent to the window. Pale timber casements frame the window on the other side of the screen, opening out to snowcapped views.
28. Wood and Light
The natural backdrop behind this five-lite bow window is all the dressing it needs. That seascape is beyond breathtaking. To avoid spoiling the natural ambiance, the floor-to-ceiling glass has subtle brushed nickel framing. The floor is wooden, and recessed ceiling lights let you enjoy the mesmerizing view outside daylight hours. You can tint or mist the glass is you feel too exposed.
29. Luxurious Bays
This bay window treatment can easily make it your favorite part of the houses. It oozes elegance. A gilded chandelier, beige snakeskin armchairs, elegant sheers, and drop-down drapes fill the space. The windows are framed in reddish-brown wood that’s echoed in the stool and lamp.
30. Red Arches
Depending on how you use them, circles can open up spaces or close them. In this case, the arches allow you to extend your bay window beyond the ground floor. The pyramid bay window roof stretches to the upper floor. An arced glass window above the door continues the curvy house motif. The windows have white frames and munchins against red brick.
31. Subtle Swag
Of course, the curves around your bay windows don’t always have to be dramatic. This house uses the gentles curve above the front door and the upper floor window. These curves mimic the almost-curved roofline of your bay window roof. The house exterior is an array of neutrals – dull grays and gravelly browns made of wood, brick, and tone. They give this home a rustic feel.