How to Add Curtains to a Bay Window

Posted by Emily Wang on 6th Apr 2023

Bay windows are a gorgeous architectural feature on many homes. They allow the natural light to flood the interior space, giving your panoramic views of the outdoors. Often they are accompanied by window seats that give you a cosy place to curl up and watch the world go by. That doesn't mean you want your bay window open to the world all the time, though. It's important to add curtains to your bay windows in order to maintain your family's privacy and shut out the world when you don't want to see it. Finding the right curtains to make that happen can be a challenge, though. Here are some of the most common issues when it comes to hanging curtains in bay windows and how to solve them. 

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Common Challenges for Bay Window Curtains Solved!

What kind of curtain rod should I use?

You can eliminate a lot of the confusion about how to add window treatments to bay windows when you stop thinking of the window as one separate window and instead think of it as three separate windows. This will help with your curtain rod dilemma as well. You can purchase curved curtain rods that will allow you to pull your curtains all the way across your window. However, these curved curtain rods can sometimes be difficult to find and may be more hassle than they are worth, depending on the look that you want to achieve. Instead, you can hang three separate curtain rods in its place; one long one across the centre window and two shorter rods on the side windows.

How many curtain panels should I buy?

The answer to this bay window dilemma depends on a number of factors. First, what kind of look are you going for? If you want to lean more towards the traditional or romantic, then you'll want to purchase at least four panels; two at the outside corners and two at each side of the large centre window. That way you can pull a panel across each of the two smaller side windows and two panels can meet in the middle over the larger middle window. If you want a more modern or minimalist look, opt for two single panels at the outside corners of the window. You'll need to hang a single curtain rod over the window to pull them closed, however.

Should I hang curtains in front of my bay window?

Another option for your bay window is instead of closing your curtains directly over the windows, you can hang curtains on the outside corners of the window, instead. To do this, you'll want to hang a curtain rod straight across the front of the bay window. You'll only need to add two panels for this, as the two will meet in the middle in front of the bay window. There are pros and cons to this window treatment. First, it's not as eco-friendly. If you have drafty windows, the curtains won't be as effected against air leaks. Second, it can make your room seem smaller. When you close the curtains, you'll be blocking off a large amount of square footage to your space. However, hanging your curtains in this manner can create a more intimate space in the window, making it more like it's own little room, which could be ideal for a dining space or even a reading nook. This will come down to your personal taste and how you want to use the room. 

Can I put blinds in my bay window?

Absolutely! This can be an excellent way to decorate your bay window. Roller blinds are an especially great choice because they make the space look clean. You can order custom-made blinds to ensure you get the right fit for each of your windows. You'll hang three separate roller blinds in the window, which allows you lots of options when it comes to filtering the light. For instance, you can close the the middle blind when the sun is too bright but leave the sides open to still allow in a little natural light. Combining your roller blinds with your curtains gives you even more options. 

How do I let in the most light while maintaining privacy?

If you want to keep as much of your natural light as possible but still want to maintain your privacy, consider adding half curtains. These are also sometimes called cafe curtains. You'll hang your curtain rod at the halfway point of the height of your windows, then add a short panel or two. When you want privacy, simply close the panels. You'll still get plenty of natural light from the exposed upper half of the window but it will block the view of most nosy neighbours. If your windows are especially tall, you can hang your curtains lower than the mid-way point and still achieve the same results. It's possible to do this with roller blinds, too. 

Find the Curtains and Blinds You Need for Your Bay Windows

Looking for the right curtains or blinds for your bay windows? We have everything you need! Shop our selection including rods, hardware, and custom-made curtains and blinds in our online store. Place an order for everything you need to complete the window treatments in your bay window! Place an order and we'll make sure you get the best deal on shipping, too. Save on bay window treatments and order from us today! 

If you still have questions, visit our website to find out more. Alternatively, our friendly staff is always here to help, simply go to our contact page to get in touch.

Enjoy this guide? Take a look at our other curtain guides including:

  1. The Types of Curtain Fabrics
  2. 20 Popular Types of Curtains
Emily Wang

Emily Wang

Emily Wang, a highly qualified expert on curtains, has been a valuable contributor to the Quickfit Blinds & Curtains brand. With a Certificate IV in Textile Design Development and Production from RMIT Melbourne, a Certificate in Textile Technology (CFTS-T) from CITA Hong Kong, and an HKDSE Diploma of Secondary Education from St. Mary's Canossian College in Hong Kong, Emily's educational background sets her apart in the world of home decor.

As a Quickfit Blinds & Curtains blog writer, Emily's curtain expertise shines through her articles, establishing her as a trusted resource for homeowners and decorators alike.