Bay windows are a spectacular sight. From the outside, they are ornamental, decorating the exterior of the home with a three-dimensional frame. And from the inside, the windows provide a small bay -- the perfect nook for sunrise reading or sipping at tea.
Though purely ornamental, bay windows often feel absolutely essential in a living room or parlor. The breadth of the windows allows a generous amount of light, which makes rooms appear larger and more spacious. And they make pretty great hidey holes for miniature spies waiting for mom and dad to come home, too.
So then, what's the treatment? Bay windows are usually very large -- they can cover as much as 10 feet of wall space, maybe more. This means they can let in a large amount of light, which is wonderful. But you should also be able to cover them up relatively easily when you need your privacy. When it comes to this, it's best to go with heavy curtains. Drawing the curtains should cool down the room in summer and adequately keep weeknight dinner just among members of the family.
A Sweet Compromise
Keeping your home life hidden from the neighbors doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the glow of the sun through your bay windows. One way to provide privacy but still let in light from outside is to fashion cafe curtain window treatments. The cafe curtain is fastened halfway down the windows -- the bottom half of the bay windows will be treated, but the upper half will not. Who says you have to go all or nothing?
The wonderful advantage of bay windows is that the opening and closing of the curtains can make a drastic change in the room. Desperate for light? Draw the curtains. To keep that sweet sunset glow in your home, you'll need a tieback -- something to hold back the heavy curtains. Try embellishing with a piece of decorative hardware, like this turquoise stone. Drawing back the curtains shouldn't restrict your style.
Baby, You're So Classic
Sometimes the best thing one can do for the most majestic part of one's home (the bay windows, of course) is to leave them unornamented. Classic vertical shades look sleek and sophisticated over bay windows -- pull it down for privacy, leave it up to people-watch.
All About Formalities
Bay windows themselves look vaguely medieval -- so why not play it up? These formal window treatments are lushly elegant and perfect for a stately parlor. Tea, anyone?
Bewitching and Beribboned
Keep the glamour of the sunset in the room with the shades still drawn. A little ribbon detail on a shade will make all the difference on a classic shade, especially on bay windows. Use a grosgrain ribbon in a color of your choice to add a pop of color.