If you have a bay window in your home, you are very lucky. You have the option of allowing so much natural light into your room plus you have an interesting focal point. Many home owners feel they must cover every inch of window space but that is not the case. There are many different curtains for bay windows ranging from sheer panels you can insert into the frame of the window on tension rods to more elaborate window coverings. You may think you have made up your mind to do one thing, but have you really looked at all the options that are available to you?
Sheer panels have been mentioned, but are you using these so that your beautiful wood work can be seen at all times? You may want to consider shades for each window that you can roll up to let the light in and let down to insure your privacy. These types of window coverings come in a host of fabrics, textures, weaves and colors. You can use the texture and color to call attention to your wood frames.
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Some decorators like to use more subtle shades to cover the window and then use sheers or other panels. If you have a set of four individual windows, you would have double panels on the interior and single panels on the exterior of the bank of windows. The shades can be in complimenting hues while the curtains for your bay windows can bring together the colors of the walls and your upholstered furniture. The beauty of this idea is that you can achieve any style whether you favor modern/contemporary, transitional/traditional, rustic, country, Tuscan and more!
Another sample of bay window curtainsis viewing your window alcove as a box or little hidden room. You can hang any type of fabric, color, patterned and or textured set of curtains on the top of the room divider and let the curtains fall to floor length. Then you can use tie backs to open the curtains allowing for a generous swag at the top. This does not necessarily have to be a feminine approach. You can make it masculine, feminine or neutral depending on your colors and patterns.
When you look through decorating books or on the Internet you will see bay window curtains where the decorator has used the neutral shades in a tight weave, but has attached a decorative curtain rod almost to the ceiling. Full straight panels are hung from ceiling to floor and are manually opened and closed at will. When they are opened it makes for a nice decorative touch and you can pull off a posh look or more casual one depending on the fabric of your panels. The use of silks and velveteen will create a more formal appearance whereas plaids and checks in blues and greens can give you a French Country feel.
If you are going for a traditional, country or rustic décor, consider using blinds or sheers to cover the windows and then have a custom look to your curtains. In this example you would have a pair of curtains on the outside of the group of windows and have ties backs that would keep the open permanently. The ‘custom’ element would be a one-piece cornice or valance at the top of the windows that would follow the architectural lines. This would resemble a horseshoe pattern or the letter “U”. However, you would not have any breaks in the fabric or cornice. Depending on the materials in your curtains you can make this a cozy country window or a fabulous traditional look.