18 Bay Window Curtain and Shade Ideas to Brighten Up Your Space

Dining Room with roman shades and curtain panels on a bay window

Kate Marker Interiors

A bay window is a beautiful architectural feature that floods a room with lots of natural light and creates a lovely focal point. A classic bay window is made up of three sections, with the two side windows being angled and therefore creating an alcove of sorts. When it comes to window treatments, there are countless options available, from custom and ready-made curtain panels to sleek roman shades featuring fun colors and patterns.

Keep reading to learn about 18 bay window curtain and shade ideas to brighten up your space.

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    Cafe Curtains

    Cafe curtains on a bay window in a breakfast nook

    Becca Interiors

    Use cafe curtains to add a cozy, cottage-inspired look to your bay window. They allow for plenty of natural light and don't block the full view out the window, but provide enough privacy for a kitchen or bathroom.

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    Individual Roman Shades

    Bay window with three individual roman shades with a sitting area in front of it

    Blakely Interior Design / Photography by Andrea Pietrangeli, Bowler Lane Films

    For a sleek and modern look, use roman shades on your bay window. This style of shade is a great way to add color and pattern to a room—the shades are easy to operate by simply pulling the bottom to lower them and quickly releasing them to roll back up.

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    Blackout Curtains

    Sheer and blackout curtains on a bay window

    Elenathewise / Getty Images

    Keep your bedroom light and bright during the day, but create complete darkness conducive to a good night's sleep by using blackout curtains. Since a bay window consists of three adjoining windows, you may need to use more than one panel on either side depending on the window's total width.

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    Floor Length Curtains

    Bay window with floor to ceiling curtain panels

    Kate Marker Interiors

    Elegant floor-length curtains help visually extend the height of the room, creating a sense of space. Give your bay window a grand, sophisticated finishing touch by hanging floor-length curtains that help frame the three-part window.

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  • 05 of 18

    A Combination of Blinds and Curtains

    Dining Room with roman shades and curtain panels on a bay window

    Kate Marker Interiors

    For a layered look, pair woven shades and floor-length curtains on your bay window. This combination doesn't just help maintain temperature and light levels when both window treatments are shut—it creates a more interesting, textured aesthetic that adds an extra decorative touch to the room.

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    Woven Wood Shades

    Woven wood blinds on a bay window in a breakfast nook

    Kate Marker Interiors

    Woven wood shades are an excellent way to add a textural element to your bay window that allows its architectural features to shine. They are available in countless different shades and allow light to filter in to keep your space bright and airy.

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  • 07 of 18

    Pinch Pleat Curtains

    Pinch pleat curtains on a bay window in a bedroom

    Kendall Wilkinson Design

    Add a touch of sophistication to a bedroom or living room by hanging pinch pleat curtains. The pleated detail at the top is a classic choice that'll instantly dress up the bay window and create a timeless space.

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  • 08 of 18

    Mini Blinds

    Bay window with wood blinds on each of the three windows

    Carole Gomez / Getty Images

    For a simple and inexpensive option, install simple mini blinds on your bay window. Custom window treatments can be a high expense and if there is a built-in seat or shelf under your bay window—this is also a great way not to block it with heavy drapery.

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  • 09 of 18

    Sheer Curtains

    Sheer curtains on a bay window in a bathroom with a freestanding tub

    Becca Interiors

    Sheer curtains are a lovely choice when you need a little bit of privacy, but still want lots of light to filter in. They are also an excellent choice when you're looking for window treatment pairs—you can layer these with more substantial full-length window panels to give you options for daytime and nighttime.

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    A Single Roman Shade

    Striped roman shade on a bay window

    Becca Interiors

    To create a uniform look, install one long roman shade instead of individual shades on each of the three windows. It's a more traditional approach that's well-suited for a historic or older home.

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    Tie-Back Curtains

    Curtains with tie backs on a bay window with a sofa in front of it

    Andreas Von Einsiedel / Getty Images

    Keep window panels from blocking your bay window and add a decorative feature by hanging tie-back curtains. Tie-backs come in various styles and materials, sometimes matching the panels, and other times being embellished with tassels or ribbon.

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  • 12 of 18

    Double Panel Curtains

    Floor length window panels on a bay window

    Michelle Berwick Design

    A bay window tends to be wider than a standard-size window, so its final width may require you to double up on curtain panels for each of the individual windows. Keep this in mind when measuring and purchasing curtains.

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    Puddle Length Curtains

    Puddle curtains in front of a bay window

    Andreas Von Einsiedel / Getty Images

    Bring in some drama with puddle-length curtains that literally "puddle" on the floor due to their excess fabric. Use this style of curtains to draw attention to and turn the bay window into a focal point of the room and add a designer-style touch.

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    Roman Shades Mounted Outside the Frame

    Roman shades in a bay window in a colorful living room

    Dekay and Tate

    When it comes to roman shades, you can either mount them inside or outside the window frame. This outside mounting method produces a slightly more traditional look. If you have highly detailed window molding you'd like to showcase, mount your shades inside the frames to allow the woodwork to shine.

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    Light Filtering Curtains

    Floor length curtains on a bay window in front of a sitting area

    Whittney Parkinson Design

    To keep a room bright, go with light-filtering curtains. This refers to the fabric weave and the fact that it's loose enough to let light through, which means that the curtains will be thinner and more lightweight than room-darkening or blackout panels.

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    Window Scarf Curtains

    Window scarf curtains on a bay window overlooking the ocean

    VWB photos / Getty Images

    For purely decorative purposes, window scarf curtains bring in a traditional elegance. They also don't block natural light from coming inside and allow window molding to be on full display.

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    Apron Length Curtains

    Red curtains on a bay window with book shelves underneath

    Wavebreak / Getty Images

    Apron-length curtains are perfect for a bay window that features a built-in seat or bookcase underneath it as their length doesn't awkwardly hang over or block the built-ins.

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  • 18 of 18

    Window Shutters

    Rocking horse in front of a bay window with white shutters

    moodboard / Getty Images

    In a historic home, you will often encounter shutters on a bay window, either on the top, bottom, or entire window. They add old-world charm while allowing for both privacy and natural light.