The bay window design actually dates back several centuries, a testament to the enduring beauty of this timeless style. Its signature three-window configuration—characterized by two angled windows flanking a third one in the center, creating a kind of “bay” in the room—was originally an English innovation, first seen in British manor homes. Bay windows grew in popularity during the Victorian era, and then widely adopted in 20th century America.
Many new homes continue to incorporate this classic style: today, the term “bay window” refers colloquially to any window construction that extends beyond a building’s exterior wall (a “bow window” by contrast, is similar in style, but it typically entails four or more windows creating an arc effect, and runs an estimated 10-15% more in price).
Professional designers and architects have long appreciated the many assets of bay windows. While adding space to a home, they also help maximize natural light. From a decorative standpoint, the “bay” created by three adjoining windows can be the perfect spot for a window seat, an indoor plant, a console table or another other decorative focal point. And in real estate terms, bay windows are regarded as a sure-fire way to add curb appeal. Beautiful windows call for beautiful window treatments. Here are five ways to give your bay windows elegance, contemporary flair and even a welcome dose of practicality!
Cellular (Honeycomb) Shades and Solar Shades both offer many desirable features in one smart product. These shades are quite slim, so they work well with an inside mount, leaving minimal gaps to let light in. Cellular shades are also known for their great insulation qualities; clients will be happy to know their bay window can let in lots of light while still being eco-friendly and energy efficient. And solar shades help diffuse light and protect from UV rays.
Wood Blinds instantly add a high-end look to any interior space, and a bay window setting highlights their appeal. Like cellular shades, wood blinds from come in very slim varieties, with slat sizes of 1”, 2” and 2 1/2” and customized heights and widths. You can customize them further by choosing from an assortment of beautiful stain finishes and paint colors to perfectly complement any decor.
Roman Shades can look glamorous or whimsical, sleek or rustic—and in a bay window their artful effect is multiplied by three! At Stoneside, designers can select Roman shades in five distinct styles, with a choice of 300+ fabrics. Each shade can be lined with blackout fabric for added privacy, and each is available with both a Top/Down and Bottom/Up lift to customize and control the view.
Drapes and Roller Shades, paired together, can give a bay window a hint of drama, while still addressing privacy and light filtering needs. The roller shades offer variable light control, from sheer to blackout— while drapery panels showcase the architectural beauty of the window; their floor-to-ceiling lines can also give the room a sense of added height. Drapes can also be paired with wood blinds or solar shades for much the same effect.
Transitional Shades are a more modern innovation, giving any bay window a decidedly contemporary feel. These shades are constructed of dual layers of fabric alternating between sheer, semi-opaque or opaque horizontal fabric veins; they’re available in an assortment of colors and designs. Because they can filter light so effectively, transitional shades are ideal for bay windows where light filtering needs vary based on the time of day or the season of the year.
Motorization brings another welcome feature: Window treatments can be raised or lowered with a phone, tablet, remote, wall switch or other home automation device. So today’s bay windows can offer all the charm of yesteryear, with all the convenience of tomorrow.
Want to learn more about how the many options for bay windows and other window treatments? Contact us today for a free design consultation.