Inspirations For Bay Window Dressing

Every apartment or house poses a unique set of decorating challenges.  Are bay windows one of yours?

One of the things Mark & I loved about this house was all the natural light from the two bay windows in the dining room and a third in the adjoining living room.  Bay windows bring great light into a room and can make it feel larger.  However, while our windows flood the house with light, all our bays have window ledges (and in one case, a cabinet) built into them like a window seat.  Also, in the dining room one bay protrudes from the wall, and the other one is part of the floor plan - see the difference at the ceiling?

The one on the left could easily be dressed with a rod and panels, but the window on the right has six angles to wrap a rod around.  Six!!

Since I was intent on hanging panels on my windows, as opposed to roman shades or not dressing them at all, I scoured magazines, Pinterest and Houzz for eons, looking for inspiration on how to work around my obstacles.

There are so many ways to dress a bay window beautifully.  From placing panels between each window, hanging a rod across the top of the window or having it wrap with the window bay, or adding bamboo shades - there are lots of options to choose from.
{eileen k boyd/lonny mag}


{canadian house and home}


I love, love, love bamboo shades and white curtains!!




I really wanted to hang panels on rods, but considering all the angles of my back window, in the end I opted for the unorthodox route of hanging my dining room curtains on retrofitted cabinet knobs.  I don't have that continuity of the rod wrapping the window, but at least I was able to flank the windows with panels.  

Sometimes you've got to work with what you've got!

Having curtains in our dining room has really changed the whole feel of the room - even the feel of the house.  As soon as you walk into our house from our garage (unfortunately, the entrance that everyone seems to use the most) the view extends through the kitchen into the dining room, and something about having the windows dressed in here just makes our still-in-progress house feel a bit more "done".  

By the way, have you ever wondered what the difference is between a bay and bow window?  
A bow is just a variation of the bay….. the next time your busybody neighbor that talks too much and thinks he knows everything brings the subject up, you can shut him right down with the cold hard facts!

For more window dressing ideas, visit my Pinterest board!


Kelly @ View Along the Way said...

Perfect solution! I wish I had the bay window curtain dilemma. :)

Ange said...

The dining room curtains look great Lisa! I love how you used the knobs for the curtains, genius. :)

Sam @ The Junk House said...

We have a bay window in our bedroom that I've never quite figured out how to dress. Right now I have regular curtains on all the windows, but it's way too much. I pinned this for inspiration when I decide to change them up.

pam {simple details} said...

Brilliant idea for your challenging windows! We have 3 bay windows sans window treatments because 1) I love the light. 2) The options are non-existing. But you've inspired me to take another look with this helpful post! I love the view from your garage door! :)

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

i am totally dying over that first inspiration pic- it's stunning!

Calypso In The Country said...

I love how yours turned out. We have a bay window in our dining room and I used four panels and the rods that have that bendy piece to hook them all together.

Suzy www.savedbysuzy.blogspot.com said...

I love your solution of using the knobs...you always come up with such great ideas Lisa! I agree that curtains or some type of window dressing helps to make the room feel "done." Loving the stencil!

Dana Frieling said...

Sorry this comment is unrelated to your post, but I think I figured out a solution to our no-reply problem. I'm testing if it worked by leaving you a comment. Will you reply and let me know? It worked when I tried it on one of my own posts. I'll forward you the sol'n if we're in the clear. Fingers crossed!

Lisa at Shine Your Light said...


Seema Persaud, House and Home Web Promotions Editor said...

Great inspiration shots. Please feel free to link back to us at http://houseandhome.com

Thanks so much,


Urban Orchard Interiors said...

Great post Lisa and so perfect for me right now! We have 2 bay windows at our house and in our dining room I hung the rods in each window. Not very well apparently as one recently fell down (!). I haven't decided what to do with the one in the boys' room but these are some great inspirations. Love your window transformation! I am playing catch up after not blogging much the last week or so with the end of summer/beginning of school. Looking forward to more of your posts!


Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles said...

So many options! We've lived in one home with a bay type window and I ended up cutting a wood rod and making it work by making the fabric cover the cut ends. I love you curtains so much and think your hanging solution is simple, economical, practical, and pretty!


Love the curtains in your DR.....they really warm up the space and you picked a perfect solution to hang them!

Gina said...

Hi Lisa! I love this idea..can you tell me what you mean by retrofitted cabinet knobs? How do you attach them to the wall? Thank You

Gina said...

oops..sorry I just found the link on how to hang!