How to dress a bay window – ways to overcome awkward layout with blinds, curtains and shutters

Bay windows can be awkward to dress, but these stylish window treatments will create a stunning focal point in any room
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  • Bay windows are a beautiful feature in any room, but dressing them can be tricky business. While the architectural detail is an attractive addition to add interest to a room it presents an awkward shape for dressing with curtain ideas and blinds.

    Here are our top ideas and designs for dressing bay windows – which work in any room and space.

    How to dress a bay window

    Combine Roman blinds with curtains

    bay window blinds

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Katie Lee

    Choose a Roman blind for each bay window dressing, and measure them to hang slightly over the frame of the window to ensure the entire glass is covered and there are no gaps at the edges of the blinds.

    Go for a large scale pattern for the blinds to create impact and team with a plain curtain in a toning colour. Roll-up Roman blinds are a simple solution for bay windows, while the curtains can either add extra privacy and warmth, or can simply be a decorative addition, framing the window for a smart finish and without the need to be drawn.

    Use cafe-style curtains or shutters at the bottom of the window

    Cream bedroom with shutters on bay window

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith

    For an informal effect, hang pieces of  light fabric or shutters  at the bottom half of the bay window, allowing light through the top half, but also creating privacy – especially important in a bedroom. Hem the panels of fabric and hang them on a flexible net curtain wire, so they can be gathered at the side if you need more light. Interior designer reveals what not to do when choosing curtains – from measuring to styling, for more inspiration.

    The overall look is laid back yet contemporary, and bring the look together with other natural elements around the room, like linen cushions and pale furniture.

    Hang a curtain at each window

    bay window with curtain panels

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Tim Young

    Curtain poles for bay windows can be expensive and tricky to fit around curves and bends, so fitting a separate pole at each window is a good option. Hang a pair of curtains at the middle window and then frame each side with another curtain. This will create an extremely sophisticated look, bringing the focus to the bay, and tie back hooks fitted high up will allow the curtains to be gathered in an attractive swag of fabric.

    Finish the look with a narrow pelmet around the top of the window in a dark fabric to draw the eye upwards and create a sense of space.

    Hang curtains across the front of the bay

    blue and grey loving room with bay window

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith

    For a simply, fuss-free look, hang a thin wire rail across the front of the bay window and use a light muslin or linen curtain to create privacy without blocking out the light. If you have a desk area or storage in the bay window space that you want to hide, then this curtain can act as the ideal screen, keeping the rest of the room clutter-free.

    Combine panels with curtains

    Lightly patterned fabric screens are a neat way of diffusing light and creating privacy at a bay window. Fit the screens on a sliding rail, which is designed to fit around the curves of the bay. Combine with a curtain at each side. These curtains only need to be drawn at the sides of the bay, and can be fitted onto a simply rail, fitted at the top of each side window.

    Choose a bolder patterned fabric for the side curtains to create an eye-catching frame around the bay.

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