Curtains for Victorian Bay Windows

Bay windows were firstly standard in palaces and great houses of the Renaissance era. They were rounded, built to extend over a series of floors and a dome at the top. In recent times, any protruding window of any shape or number of appearances on the floors of a building is regarded as a bay window.

Why call them Victorian bay windows? Bay windows became quite popular in the Victorian era. They were carved with angled or canted bays. As time went by, particularly at the end of the 19th century, flatter, squarer bays had been introduced to terraces and rows of urban houses and were popular. They were designed to increase the amount of light penetrating a confined area; they are preferred because they don’t take too much space. In addition, they add to the artistic and beauty of houses with flat facades.

Curtains for Victorian Bay Windows
Source: PinterestCurtains for Victorian Bay Windows

Now, while bay windows lend style and luxury to a room, they are one of the few windows that pose a challenge to window dressing. So often, folks struggle to find the best solution to dress their bay windows, which brings us to the question:

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How Do You Dress Bay Windows With Curtains?

Sometimes, ideas are hard to come by, and that’s why we often seek help on the internet to pick the perfect styles of what we want. This section is our guide on how to set up an ideal curtain-dressed bay window.

What do you need to know?

The Right Length

Full-length curtains are best for any bay window except for those that have a sill. When you use slightly longer curtains than the required length, it gives off a luxurious effect. For windows with sills, however, you have the advantage of flexibility on your side. What should you do? Within the recess, paying attention to the window’s curve down to the sill’s length, you can fit in a measured length curtain. On the other hand, if you prefer the curtain outside the recess, ensure it’s full-length and double the windows’ blinds; these factors give you more privacy, and you’re able to control the intensity of sunlight when the curtains are opened.

Dress Bay Windows with Curtains
Source: Pinterest – Dress Bay Windows with Curtains

Type of Curtain Rail

We seek sophistication and elegance; hence, a metal curtain pole styled decoratively will create such finishing. For curved bays, though, you should instead use curtain tracks; they are designed such that they can bend around the curve. Perhaps you want the path to be invisible; placing your curtain header over the track will do the trick.

How Do You Want Your Curtain to Drape?

How a curtain drapes at the window is significantly dependent on the type of wrinkle used. For instance, a pencil pleat curtain, the most conventional type often used, creates a uniform appearance when you gather the curtain, and it’s best for a curved bay because it adds a smooth finish around the curve. Another example is the pinch pleat curtain, which is a more formal styling, and creates a structured fold – smart and tailored – appearance when you gather the curtains.

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Type of Fabric

Fabrics and moods are not independent of each other. That is, the mood you desire for your room is significantly determined by the type of fabric you select for the curtain. For example, you’d observe that most country houses with large windows often use heavy brocade fabrics; you can use this type of fabric to create a luxurious feel.

Velvet curtains, due to their gorgeous texture, are, however, the most elegant style. For instance, if your room is small, a sheer voile curtain will create a spacious and brighter lit feel. Interestingly, you can use voile combined with a heavier curtain or simply as layering fabric over a blind. On the other hand, if you’d prefer a natural feel, linen and cotton fabric are most appropriate because they are fresh and crisp.

Matching Blinds

You can give your bay window more exquisiteness by matching your curtains and blinds. You can create different looks with diverse matching styles. For instance, matching your curtains with metal or wooden Venetian blinds is a light maximizing technique that filters light through and maintains your privacy. On the other hand, Roman blinds provide coziness and luxury with the flexibility (where you can combine patterned and plain fabrics for interior designs).

Matching Blinds
Source: Pinterest – Matching Blinds

What Curtains Are Best for Bay Windows?

Having discussed the factors of style and look you need to consider before choosing your curtains, let’s narrow it down more and talk about the types of best-used curtains for bay windows.

Drapery Panels

When using drapery panels to dress a bay window, it’s done by mounting them along its return walls, and they are often full-length. Drapery panels frame the windows and provide a clear view. In addition, they close efficiently when you need them close.

Flat Roman Shades

Privacy is essential to many people. We want to view the outside space without unnecessary exposure. Flat roman shades hung to frame the window is best suited for this. This type of shade is easy to mount and clean. Roman shades come in different lengths, textures, and colors, and they should fit any bay window in the house, regardless of the length and size.

Flat Roman Shades
Source: Pinterest – Flat Roman Shades

Soft Silk Panels

If the intention is to shade your bay window; update its appearance, regardless of the height and width, soft silk panels are great for such. They add a dramatic and contemporary effect to your window and allow the curtains to be gathered halfway using fabric tape or braid. Like the flat roman shades, they provide you a classic appearance style and a clear view of the outside without exposing the inside.


A valance is a decorative framework designed to hide certain curtain features at the top of a window. In a nutshell, valances deal with the upper frame of bay windows by adding beauty to them. They are easy to mount and are perfect for windows with shutters. Also, the beauties added by valances don’t discriminate between short and tall areas.

Bay Window Hardware

Why mention hardware? Well, you can’t hang a curtain without its rods. Just like dressing bay windows can be challenging, finding the right rod that works may pose more challenges even when you find the right curtain to suit your desire. To make up for rod issues, famous designers’ suggestions have been to use hinged elbows that swivel, allowing for continuous rod application. While determining the rod best suited for your bay window, do not become oblivious to other vital issues like your window seats and the eventual finishing you want to achieve, lest your room turns out odd.

Bay Window Hardware
Source: Pinterest – Bay Window Hardware

Window Seat

A renowned designer, Dave Stimmel, opined that textile or fabric Roman Shades combined with seat cushions and decorative pillows are his favorite. So, you can’t afford to leave out necessary hardware such as the window seat; it adds a touch of perfection to your dressed bay window. You can play around with different colors and styles to affect your desired finishing.

Bay windows are beautiful and elegant in themselves, but they are made perfect with curtains. Curtains add a dramatic touch to the design; you can choose to go with bright, contemporary, or bold with your window dressing. Whatever finishing you desire, play your combinations right and enjoy elegance and luxurious style in your room.

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