How to Choose Curtains for Bay Windows (2020 Guide)

Nov 1

Bay windows are a unique home design feature that allows in fresh air and light. They also make even small rooms appear more spacious as they extend outward.
However, with different geometric shapes and angles to work around, draping them with curtains can be a challenge.
To decide which drapes are right for your bay windows, you first need to first determine their purpose.

What Is the Main Purpose of Your Bay Window?

Before you settle on the fabric, design and fall of your curtains, it’s important to know the purpose of your bay windows.

Decorative Space

Decorative Space

If you’re using your bay windows decoratively, combining sheer and blackout curtains is a great idea. This will give you a view outside while ensuring privacy during the day. Add a bit of drama to your bay windows by using frills, pleats and laces.

Lounging Space

Lounging Space

If you want to use your bay windows as part of a cozy lounge area to read and relax, panel curtains are the perfect option. The curtain panels can be adjusted to any length and you can use any number of them. A flexible curtain track moves them freely across the windows, provides complete privacy, and is versatile enough to match all types of decor.

Storage Space
Are you considering using your bay window for storage? A curtain track is your best option. It allows the curtain fabric to easily glide around the window corners without causing any obstruction.
Another benefit of a curtain track is that your curtain will stay neat and uniform each time it’s pulled across the window. So, even if you use your bay windows as a storage area, the curtains will hang uniformly, whether tied back or fully drawn, to make your interiors look neat.

● What Kind of Look Do You Want?(h-2)

Cozy Look

Cozy Look

To create a cozy look for your bay windows, combine normal and panel curtains. While regular curtains go on either side of the window for decorative reasons, panel curtains cover individual windows for privacy and to block sunlight. This allows you to control the amount of light entering and get creative with fabrics and designs.
Bold Look
One way to give your bay windows a bold, creative look is to choose a solid colour and a decorative print for the curtains. This will give you privacy while adding a fun vibe.
Another is to mix and match curtain materials. For instance, bamboo panel curtains and canvas hanging ones give your interiors a unique and wild feel.
Unobstructed View
If you want sunlight and a panoramic view of the world outside, or are lucky enough to have an unobstructed ocean view, choose white or neutral window curtains. From large sheer drapes and window valances to floor-to-ceiling panels, there’s a range of options.

● 4 Top Curtain Choices for Bay Windows

1. Soft Silk Panels

One of the most traditional ways to give any bay window a classic touch is by adding silk panels. They perfectly complement any height or width of bay windows and have a great fall and texture. To add even more drama and character, use fabric tape or a braid to gather the curtains halfway down.

2. Drapery Panels

Drapery panels look when they extend from the ceiling to the floor in long flowing lengths. When needed they close effortlessly and completely frame your windows to block light on sunny days.
In order to prevent them from looking too short, consider hanging them as high as possible. To get that extra height, raise the rod about two inches below the crown moulding.

3. Valances

Mounting a formal valance is easy and provides bay windows with a beautiful upper frame. This goes perfectly with tall or short windows and is also suitable for windows with shutters. Tie the room together by choosing colour-coordinated curtain fabrics with other decor accessories like rugs, pillows and bedding.

4. Flat Roman Shades

Functional yet elegant, flat Roman shades are the perfect addition to any bay window. They frame the windows but still provide the option for a colourful and decorative accent. They’re also easy to install and clean.
You can find Roman shades in a range of colours, textures and lengths to fit any size or length of bay window.

● Considerations When Choosing Curtains for Bay Windows

One Unit

It’s important to treat your entire bay window as a single unit. By treating each panel individually, you risk making the space look cluttered. While you can certainly mix and match different curtains, you should make sure that they complement each other to create a unified effect.

Curtain Rods

One simple and quick way to decorate bay windows is to use different types of curtain rods. While there’s a range of design options, you need to consider that the rods bend in two places to stretch across the window’s entire breadth. (You can either use two small ones or a long one that bends in two or more places.)
For a more minimalist look, install tension curtain rods inside the window frame. These extend across the inside of the window casing and press firmly against either side to stay in place.


Different fabrics have different textures and falls that will dress your bay windows differently. Some of the most common fabrics are chenille, cotton, jacquard, linen, bamboo, satin, sheer, silk, velvet, voile, muslin, challis, brocade, damask, lace, net, organdy, organza and tissue. These are all available in a wide range of colours, designs and patterns.
Choose heavy fabrics like velvet and satin for complete privacy or lighter ones like linen or lace for an airy feeling and unobstructed view.

Stitching Patterns

Your curtains’ stitching pattern is as important as its fabric, if not more so. Depending on the position of your bay window, it’s important to choose a pattern that adds to the room’s aesthetic and purpose. While full-length curtains are an evergreen style ideal for privacy, half-length ones are also great if you enjoy sunlight.
Now that you can choose the right curtains, achieving your dream bay windows shouldn’t be a chore. However, if you still need expert opinion on your window curtains, contact a window coverings company for expert advice.