9 Best Bay Window Treatment Ideas for Your Home

A bay window in a living room with flowers and a book.

Bay windows are architectural gems that open a room to the outdoors. Like any gem, they need a great setting to truly shine.

Many standard window treatments don’t do bay windows justice. They can’t fit the angles and curves of these convex creations, or they block too much natural light.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for dressing up bay windows and making the most of their unusual shape.

What’s So Special about Bay Windows?

Bay windows first gained popularity during the Victorian era. They were a means to showcase grand homes with their intricate designs and expansive views.

They fell out of favor during the mid-20th century as architectural styles shifted towards more straightforward designs. Their ornate features and intricate detailing seemed old-fashioned to Bauhaus-inspired sensibilities.

Today, homeowners once again recognize the elegance and charm of bay windows and have found new ways to incorporate them into their homes.

9 Bay Window Treatment Ideas to Elevate Your Space

Bay windows have odd shapes and angles; their larger surface area means more sunlight and drafts can leak in.

They require precise measurements, so custom window treatments are a must. Custom treatments can fit any window size or shape. They also provide better insulation and light control.

Every treatment listed below starts with exact measurements of every window panel (we recommend a professional for this). Please note that every system can be automated.

1. Custom Sheer Curtains

Sheer curtains soften a bay window’s sharp angles and create a dreamy, romantic effect.

  • The curtain track should follow the contours of the bay window to ensure a seamless fit. This usually involves a flexible or angled track bent to the shape of the window.
  • Next, consider the drop length of the curtains. They can skim the window sill, fall to the floor, or even pool at the bottom for a luxurious look. The length should be consistent across all panels for
  • For optimal light control and privacy, pair your sheer curtains with a secondary, heavier curtain or a blind. Layering lets you enjoy the ethereal glow from the sheer curtains during the day and draw the heavier drapes at night.

2. Cafe Curtains

Cafe curtains are a charming pick for bay windows, lending a cozy, casual vibe.

  • These curtains only cover the lower half of the window, keeping the top half free to invite sunlight. They’re an excellent choice for bay windows with pretty views or at street level that need more privacy.
  • Measure height from the sill to the desired endpoint. Typically, this is halfway up the window, but you can adjust the height to suit your preference.
  • Cafe rods are usually installed inside the window frame, but bay windows may need to be wall-mounted due to the window’s shape.
  • For a breezy, light feeling, choose sheer fabrics in light colors. Create contrast and visual interest with a patterned fabric that matches your room’s color scheme.
  • Pairing cafe curtains with a matching valance or top treatment can dress up the exposed window and unify the overall look. However, if you prefer the simplicity of the cafe style on its own, it still works wonderfully for a casual, welcoming atmosphere.

3. Custom Roman Shades

Roman shades are especially well-suited for bay windows. Their gentle folds, when lifted, add texture and visual interest.

  • Your fabric choice will accentuate the shades’ classic beauty, which can complement or contrast with your room decor. Lighter fabrics allow more sunlight to filter in when the shades are down, while darker, heavier fabrics offer more privacy and light blocking. You might also consider a fabric with a pattern or richer texture.
  • As for length, Roman shades can skim the window sill or fall to the floor, adding height to the room and drawing the eye upward. As with sheer curtains, the length should be consistent across all panels.

4. Custom Roller Shades

The streamlined design of roller shades offers a clean, minimalist aesthetic, never competing with the elegance of bay windows.

  • Opt for a fabric that suits your room’s aesthetic and practical needs. Blackout fabrics provide maximum privacy and light control, while lighter materials allow more filtered light into the room. Consider the fabric’s opacity, weight, and color to balance aesthetics and function.
  • The length of the roller shades should be consistent across all panels. They can fall to the window sill for a tidy look or extend to the floor to create an illusion of height.
  • Consider an automated control system for your roller shades. This allows for easy operation and optimal light and privacy control at the touch of a button, a handy feature for hard-to-reach bay windows.

5. Custom Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are a fantastic choice for bay windows. Their unique honeycomb design traps air, providing excellent insulation and enhancing energy efficiency.

  • The cellular shades are available in various opacities, from sheer to blackout, to control privacy and light filtration based on your needs.
  • You can customize these shades in a smorgasbord of colors and textures. They can match or contrast them with your room’s decor.
  • The shades can sit on the window sill for a clean, casual look or drop to the floor for a dramatic effect.
  • Given their intricate design, we recommend an automated control system for your cellular shades. This feature lets you easily adjust the shades anytime, regardless of their accessibility.

6. Custom Venetian Blinds

Custom Venetian blinds offer exceptional privacy and light control and a timeless look. These classics have been around almost as  long as bay windows!

  • Choose Venetian blinds made from a material that complements your room decor. Wood blinds add warmth and texture, particularly in traditional or rustic settings, while metal or plastic blinds fit well in modern or industrial-styled rooms.
  • Wider slats offer a clean, modern look and a clearer view when open, while narrower slats suit a more traditional aesthetic and provide more privacy when tilted.
  • The blinds can sit on the window sill for a classic look or extend to the floor for a bolder statement.
  • Consider motorization to let you raise or lower the blinds with a voice command or automatically adjust the slat angles.

7. Bamboo Shades

Bamboo shades bring a natural, organic vibe to your bay window. They’re environmentally friendly and add a touch of zen-like tranquility to the room.

  • Bamboo shades come in various shades and weaves; light filtering and privacy vary according to the weave. You can have them lined for additional light control and privacy.
  • You can emphasize bamboo’s natural color for a more eclectic look or choose stained or painted shades to better coordinate with your room’s color scheme.
  • While bamboo shades are easy to raise and lower, consider an automated system for larger or hard-to-reach bay windows.

8. Custom Solar Shades

Solar shades protect against harmful UV rays while preserving your view of the outside.

  • These shades are essentially sunglasses for your windows. They come in different opacity levels, allowing you to control how much light comes in without blocking your view. You can enjoy natural light without the glare, heat, or UV damage.
  • Lighter colors reflect more light and heat, while darker shades provide a clearer view and absorb heat.
  • With their modern aesthetic, solar shades blend seamlessly with various decor styles. You can choose a color and fabric that complements your home’s interior.

9. Custom Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters offer a combination of elegance and practicality. These sturdy, built-in window coverings provide superior light control and privacy, while their beauty enhances the visual appeal of a room.

  • Plantation shutters are typically made from wood or faux wood. A natural wood finish gives them a warm, rustic look, while a painted finish has a clean, contemporary appearance.
  • Choose larger slats for less obstructed views when open and greater light control when closed. Smaller slats offer more privacy.
  • Consider a split tilt feature, which lets you independently move the top and bottom slats for greater light control and privacy.
  • An optional motorized system enables you to adjust the slat angle and open or close your shutters at the touch of a button.

Where to Find These Window Treatments

Now comes the hard part — deciding where to buy these window treatments or even knowing where to find them. You can try your luck online — we wish you the best with that, because bay windows can be tricky — or you can call us at Aero Shade in Los Angeles.

We’re LA’s most trusted and experienced purveyor of custom window treatments, with a clientele that includes prominent architects, award-winning designers, and Hollywood celebrities.

We offer free, in-home, no-obligation estimates and guarantee top-quality products and a perfect fit.

Call us today. 323-457-2835.

FAQs: More about Bay Window Treatments

Q: Can I combine different window treatments for a more customized look?

Mixing and matching various treatments like curtains, blinds, and valances can create a unique and personalized appearance for your bay windows.

Q: Are motorized blinds worth the investment for bay windows?

We think so, especially if you have large or hard-to-reach bay windows. Motorized blinds offer convenience and are a modern solution for efficient light and privacy control.

Q: What’s the best fabric for curtains in bay windows?

Lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton or linen work well for bay window curtains. They allow natural light while providing a soft and elegant drape.

Q: Can I install window treatments myself, or should I hire a professional?

Installation complexity depends on the chosen treatments. While some, like curtains, are DIY-friendly, others, such as built-in blinds, may require professional installation for precision.

Q: Are there energy-efficient window treatment options for bay windows?

Yes, cellular shades or insulated curtains help regulate indoor temperatures, reducing the need for heating or cooling.

Q: Can I use different window treatments for each bay window section?

Absolutely! You can mix and match treatments for a unique look. Just remember to maintain a cohesive theme.

Q: What window treatments are best for a kid’s room?

Consider cordless or motorized options for child safety, like cellular shades or plantation shutters. Also, fun patterns and colors can make them more appealing to kids.

Q: Can I use window treatments to soundproof my bay windows?

While no window treatment can completely soundproof a window, heavier fabrics such as velvet or blackout curtains can help reduce noise. Cellular shades also dampen noise, as do shutters.

Q: What window treatments offer the best insulation?

A: Cellular shades and insulated curtains are excellent choices. They help retain heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.

Q: How often should I clean my window treatments?

It depends on the material. Dust blinds and shutters regularly, while curtains usually need a wash every few months. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q: How durable are solar shades?

Solar shades are made to last. They resist fading and damage from the sun; regular cleaning prolongs their life.

Q: Can I use printed or patterned window treatments for my bay windows?

Yes, you can. Printed or patterned treatments can add vibrancy to the room. Just be mindful of your overall decor.

Q: What’s the advantage of motorized blinds or shades?

Motorized window treatments enhance convenience, accessibility, and safety. They’re perfect for hard-to-reach windows, homes with kids or pets, or just those who love a bit of tech in their homes.

Q: Do I need professional measurements for my bay windows for treatments?

For a seamless fit, we recommend professional measurement, especially for built-in treatments like plantation shutters.

Q: How do bamboo shades hold up over time?

With proper care, bamboo shades can last for years. They’re resistant to heat and moisture but may fade over time if exposed to direct sunlight.