How to Decorate a Bay Window

We all love a bay windows (all that light!), but just can’t figure out how to decorate it. It’s one of those window treatment mysteries.

Not to me!

Hang your curtains up high, spanning the entire bay window!

Hang your curtains up high, spanning the entire bay window!

The above rendering is my MOST popular Pin on Pinterest! Many thousands of people have repinned this to their own boards!

It illustrates how nice it looks to just hang a long curtain rod up high over the bay window and then flank the whole shebang with drapery panels.

No need to overthink this or add lots of fussy window treatments. A long rod, 3 brackets (one for the center support please), finials and, of course, a pair of drapery panels.

The same idea works for french doors and sliding glass doors:

Hang the rod up high and flank those french doors with drapery panels!

Hang the rod up high and flank those french doors with drapery panels!


To get a little more technical, look at the type of header on this last photo. That’s a grommet header.

Here’s a close-up of the grommet header style.

Here’s a close-up of the grommet header style.

A grommet header means the fabric continues above the rod for an inch or two, bringing the eye up a little farther.

So now the doors (or windows) look gorgeous and they also look taller!

Wait, one more benefit of grommet headers - they allow you to adjust the width of each drapery panel to be as wide or skinny as you like. Puh-leeze make them nice and wide. Extend your drapery rod a minimum of 6” beyond your window frame, if you have the space. 8-10” is even better.

One more tip before I go - If you don’t have much wall space on either side of your bay window, french doors or sliding glass doors, don’t waste any of it with big finials. Use end caps instead and let the drapery panels be the star of the show.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

decorate_bay_window_decocco_design

“A” shows a finial on the end of a drapery rod. It’s a beauty by Paris Texas Drapery Hardware and takes up 5” of wall space. What if you don’t have 5” of wall space to spare?

Use something like “B.” It’s called an End Cap (this one by Urbanest) and it takes up 1” of space. See the difference? When you’re tight on wall space, the finial doesn’t matter. What matters is your curtain.

Here’s another option for your curtain rod:

Short rods will work on a bay window or any wide window where you’re not going to close the curtains.

Short rods will work on a bay window or any wide window where you’re not going to close the curtains.

Two short rods - usually 18-24” long—will work the same way as one very long rod. This rendering was for this project that I completed about a year ago. We put roll-up solar shades in each window for privacy. The drapery panels were to frame the whole view. The result was fantastic!

I hope you’ll think about flanking your bay window with a pair or good looking, lined curtains. You’ll be amazed at how terrific the whole room will look!

With sparkle and texture,

Anne