25 Airy Bay Window Ideas to Light Up Any Room

bay window ideas

Tyler Karu Design + Interiors / Photo by Erin Little

A bay window is a central window or group of windows flanked by additional windows that jut out from a building's walls and create a "bay" inside a room. Curved bay windows are a variation that are known as bow windows.

Bay windows add scene-stealing character to any room as well as a luxurious amount of natural light. A hallmark of Victorian architecture, they also add interest to a building's exterior. Bay windows make a statement and often serve as a natural centerpiece in a room, often by highlighting a pretty view. But they can also take on a supporting role depending on a room's decor and function and create a backdrop for everything from a reading nook to a dining area to a bedroom home office.

Check out these bay windows in every room in the house for ideas on how to celebrate and elevate this architectural feature, with ideas for paint, window treatments, furniture layout, and more.

  • 01 of 25

    Set a Table for Two

    bay window ideas

    Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    A round white tulip table and a pair of natural wood Scandi-style chairs are nestled in the floor-to-ceiling bay windows of this home library from Emily Henderson Design, providing abundant natural light and a pretty view of the outdoors.

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  • 02 of 25

    Build a Window Seat

    bay window ideas

    Design by Kate Marker Interiors / Photo by Stoffer Photography

    The dark green paint on the walls of this home library from Kate Marker Interiors has a calming effect that invites relaxation and gives definition to a cozy window seat that is built into a recessed bay window that provides views and a stream of natural light.

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  • 03 of 25

    Add a Bedroom Lounge Area

    bay window ideas

    Design by Marie Flanigan Interiors / Photo by Julie Soefer

    In this spacious primary bedroom from Marie Flanigan Interiors, a seating area in front of the bay window provides a space to relax and unwind that isn't the bed.

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  • 04 of 25

    Go Victorian

    bay window ideas

    Design by Emilie Fournet Interiors / Photo by Rachael Smith

    In this London Victorian manor house living room designed by Emilie Fournet Interiors, a curvy vintage loveseat is positioned in the bank of bay windows, which are left free of curtains to allow a maximum of natural light to pour in. Medium-toned gray paint on the walls and window frames makes the feature stand out.

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  • 05 of 25

    Keep It Open

    bay window ideas

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Photo by Christy Q. Photo

    This San Francisco condo living room designed by Cathie Hong Interiors has a bank of modern bay windows with a large central pane-less picture window and trim painted in the same bright white as the rest of the room. A stylish reading chair and a book tower create a place for reading and recharging.

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  • 06 of 25

    Paint Them Black

    bay window ideas

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Erin Kelly

    Soft textures, layered textiles, natural elements, sculptural lighting, and a neutral palette make this living room from Leanne Ford Interiors feel cozy and relaxing, while a painted black bay window with black grid panes add a graphic touch.

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  • 07 of 25

    Add a Banquette

    bay window ideas

    Design by OreStudios

    The oversized bay windows in the spacious breakfast nook of the eat-in kitchen above, designed by Seattle-based OreStudios, allows natural light to flood the space and shows off a spectacular view. The wrap-around banquette and generous proportions create a comfortable seating area while a simple white Danish-style pendant light anchors the space without blocking sightlines.

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  • 08 of 25

    Hang Curtains

    bay window ideas

    Design by Jess Bunge and Styled by Emily Bowser for Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    This bedroom home office designed by Jess Bunge and styled by Emily Bowser for Emily Henderson Design is nestled in a large rounded bow window. Sculptural furniture, an antique chandelier, and floor-to-ceiling drapes in a pale salmon pink create an elegant space that takes full advantage of this lovely architectural feature while adding function to the room.

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  • 09 of 25

    Hang a Bubble Chair

    bay window ideas

    Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images


    In the London flat of interior designer Sarah Vanrenen, white floors and walls are livened up with mustard, gold, and pink accents and a hanging bubble chair designed by Eero Aarnio in 1968 allows light to flow through the bay windows while adding a fun place to chill.

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  • 10 of 25

    Install a Breakfast Nook

    bay window ideas

    Tyler Karu Design + Interiors / Photo by Erin Little

    Tyler Karu Design + Interiors created a charming breakfast nook in the shadow of a bank of black gridded bay windows in a renovated 1790 house in Falmouth, ME. A round table echoes the curves of the space, while high-back Scandi style chairs echo the window trim.

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  • 11 of 25

    Gather Round

    bay window ideas

    Design by Kate Marker Interiors / Emily Kennedy Photography

    Kate Marker Interiors turned an oversized bank of bay windows into a grown-up conversation corner with comfortable armchairs around a small round table.

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  • 12 of 25

    Make It Playful

    bay window ideas

    Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    In this Scandi-inspired playroom from Emily Henderson Design, a play kitchen is set in a floor-to-ceiling bay window flooded with light and decorated with garlands.

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  • 13 of 25

    Install Patterned Window Shades

    bay window ideas

    Design by Kate Marker Interiors / Emily Kennedy Photography

    While it can be tempting to leave the blinds off a bay window out of fear that it will detract from the natural beauty of the design, in a room where privacy and light control are concerns, installing stylish window blinds can enhance the architecture. In this spacious bathroom from Kate Marker Interiors, Roman shades with a bold gray-and-white pattern add coziness above a large garden tub.

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  • 14 of 25

    Add Natural Blinds

    bay window ideas

    Timothy Buck / Unsplash


    If you need light and privacy control but have a more low key style, install simple blinds like the natural toned ones in the bay windows of this light and airy San Francisco Victorian bedroom that blend in with the wood tones and hanging and floor plants of a cozy reading nook.

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  • 15 of 25

    Make History

    bay window ideas

    Design by Brexton Cole Interiors

    This historic row house living room from Brexton Cole Interiors has cozy bones with its bay windows and original moldings, plus a cozy mix of vintage and antique furnishings and a velvet couch.

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  • 16 of 25

    Hang a Hammock

    bay window ideas

    Image Source / Getty Images 

    Bay windows are beautiful on their own, but decorating and placing furniture around them takes finesse. In this fun use of space, a generous bay window becomes a dedicated sun-soaked spot for an indoor hammock perfect for napping no matter the season.

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  • 17 of 25

    Add Shutters

    bay window ideas

    Design by Emilie Fournet Interiors / Photo by Aucoot

    This Victorian house in London designed by Emilie Fournet Interiors has a bank of bay windows, with interior built-in wooden shutters that are painted in the same dark gray of the window trim, and can be closed for privacy or to block out harsh rays in the summertime to lower the indoor temperature without raising the AC.

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  • 18 of 25

    Mix Painted and Natural Wood

    Bay window dining room

    Westend61 / Getty Images


    The tall bay windows in this spacious dining room create an air of grandeur that do a lot of the interior decorating work on their own, but a saturated peacock blue accent wall, a vintage rug, a large warm wood table, and plenty of books and plants ensure it feels like an inviting spot to gather for a meal. Accenting white paint on the window bay with natural wood trim on the windows adds contrast and warmth.

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  • 19 of 25

    Enjoy the View

    bay window ideas

    Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    This spacious bathroom from Emily Henderson Design has a large soaking tub that is positioned to take full advantage of the leafy view from the bay windows, and include discreet white shades that can be pulled down at night.

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  • 20 of 25

    Contrast with Dark Wallpaper

    bay window ideas

    Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Tessa Neustadt

    In this dining room from Emily Henderson Design, a long rectangular table set for a crowd floats in the center of the room, in front of a large bay window that allows light to flow through and stands out against the patterned black-and-gray wallpaper.

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  • 21 of 25

    Add a Bubble Light

    bay window ideas

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Josh Franer

    This San Francisco living room designed by Leanne Ford Interiors has a bank of bay windows with a carved wood surround that creates room for a seating area with two vintage chairs, while a bubble light hung in the middle of the room adds personality without blocking the light.

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  • 22 of 25

    Add Built-In Seating

    bay window ideas

    Design by Kate Marker Interiors / Emily Kennedy Photography

    Kate Marker Interiors added a u-shaped built-in banquette beneath a large bow window that hugs its curves and provides room to host a crowd.

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  • 23 of 25

    Anchor the Couch

    bay window ideas

    Jessica Nelson Design / Photo by Carina Skrobecki Photography

    Jessica Nelson Design backed a warm cognac leather sofa up against a large bay window that is roughly the same width, allowing natural light to flow in for afternoon reading sessions.

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  • 24 of 25

    Keep It Simple

    bay window ideas

    Design by Caroline Andreoni Interior Design / Photo by Sophie Lloyd

    This Parisian bathroom from Caroline Andréoni Interior Design has textured pink walls, daisy patterned penny tile flooring, plenty of built-in storage, bright gold-toned brass accents, and a simple curved bow windows over the soaking tub that provides natural light.

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  • 25 of 25

    Brighten It Up

    banquette seating ideas

    Bee's Knees Interior Design / Photo by Kyle J Caldwell

    Bee's Knees Interior Design installed a custom banquette with bright upholstery in shades of green and blue, a natural table, and a gold-toned metal pendant light that anchors this bay window dining area.