9 Best Window Treatments for Bay Windows That Add Beauty and Function

Leah Lopez Cardenas
Updated April 18, 2022
A bay window with roman shades and flowers
Photo: Kristina Blokhin / Adobe Stock

Make your bay windows the star of the show

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Bay windows have many benefits and deserve to be properly embellished, but these big and bright windows can be tricky to cover. The right window treatment allows you to preserve your view, add interest, or gently filter the light coming in your bay window. Whether you install them yourself or hire a window treatment pro, try one of these bay window treatment suggestions when styling yours to enhance the overall look of your entire space.

1. Roller Shades

Popular for their minimalistic design, roller shades roll up neatly into the cassette when not in use, allowing you to enjoy your bay window without bulkier window treatments blocking your view.

2. Roman Shades

Roman shades make the already extravagant bay window look even more luxurious. Combining the soft look of drapery with the structured feel of shades, Roman shades work particularly well on bay windows, making your windows look effortlessly sleek.

3. Sheer Shades

Sheer shades are a classy choice for bay windows that provide a soft, filtered glow. Featuring sheer facings on horizontal slats, sheer shades exude a simple elegance, especially when placed over bay windows. Close the vanes for privacy or leave them open for filtered sunlight and an unobstructed view of the outside.

4. Drapery

The exterior of a bay window with closed drapes
Photo: trgowanlock / Adobe Stock

Layered on top of existing window treatments or used alone, drapery helps balance out the straight edges of bay windows. And drapes aren’t as hard to clean as you might think. Sheer drapery panels softly filter light, while giving your room an angelic glow. Blackout curtains allow you to control the incoming light and cut back on glare. Layering drapes over blinds or shades is the best option, as it will improve insulation and also add another layer of design to your windows.

5. Woven Wood Shades

Woven wood shades elevate the look of a bay window by adding a natural accent to the room. They add organic texture and blend in with many decor styles, so you won’t have to change the design of the room to make them fit. Homeowners can add liners to these window treatments to increase privacy and filter light.

6. Shutters

There are many different types of interior shutters made of various materials, but most of them can be custom fit to bay windows. The best part about this window treatment option? They can be closed during sleeping hours, blocking out nearly all light, and opened again during the daytime. And they add resale value to your home.

7. Valances, Swags, or Cornices

A dining room with a bay window with blinds
Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images

Valances, swags, and cornices are used to cover up unsightly hardware and add a decorative element to the top of your windows. Often used in combination with shades, blinds, or drapes, these window treatments come in a variety of colors, styles, and materials to match the rest of your room’s decor.

8. Pleated Drapes

These drapes are known for their pleated design and formal sophistication. Fabric floor-length pleated drapes help insulate windows for better energy efficiency and look great doing it.

9. Layered Window Treatments

Can’t decide which option you like best? Pair up a couple different types of window treatments for a unique custom look. Examples of good pairings may include a valance overtop Roman shades or thicker drapes that offer privacy with a sheer curtain underneath for when you want to let more light through your windows.

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