Bay Window Treatments - Your Questions Answered
What options do I have?
Bay windows make a beautiful and unique accent to any home, but using the wrong window treatment will only diminish their natural appeal. On the other hand, the right bay window treatments will highlight, illuminate and bring the sparkle out of your window.
First of all, why would a bay window require a different set of rods, curtains and blinds than any other window?
Well, bay windows are unique with their three dimensional, three window design as the additional angles make it hard to find headings. Curtain rods and poles can be used, but they must be bought and installed individually in three different sets. This tends to throw a lot of designers off track. It's best to stick to simple window treatments because decorating a bay window with multiple blinds or curtains will appear fussy and overly complicated.
What are some possible solutions?
There are, of course, a few options for bay window treatments; some people find success with a curved track that follows the angling of the window. A single or double set of curtains can then be drawn across the continuous track. Be prepared to use power tools or to enlist extra help when choosing this option, for bending the metal curtain rod into the same shape as the window can requires a bit of manpower and/or expense.
Another suggestion is to use three separate, solid shades that gather up into themselves at the top of the window (a solid shade is better than a set of mini blinds because it appears less 'busy').
As for curtains, simple swags or Roman curtains are the best option because they can be easily affixed to each individual window. If you prefer to have long drapes, plan to install a curtain rod or pole across the top of the bay window on the wall facing into the room. A curtain scarf looped on and around a decorative curtain pole is a good solution; cap the ends of the poles with carved finials and voila! A simple yet decorative solution.
Where can I find further resources?
For more information, visit your neighborhood local fabric and craft store to discuss curtain and material options. Hardware can be found through your local home improvement superstore and any window treatment department will carry enough a variety of blinds and shades to choose from.
Some recommended reading includes Black & Decker's The Complete Guide to Doors & Windows, which explains all the different pieces of window hardware, making it great for investigating different options for your bay windows (Creative Publishing International, 2002).