Bay window curtain ideas

by Victoria Robinson

Product Manager

Published: 26/10/2018

Updated: 18/04/2023

Discover how to dress your bay window with curtains

Bay windows are an architectural feature that can add charm and character to any room. However, their unique shape can make it challenging to find the right window treatments.

Curtains are an excellent option for dressing bay windows, as they can add elegance and warmth to the space, while helping to control levels of natural light and privacy in your room. Let's talk you through the options and give you some top tips on how to make the most of your bay window with curtains.

1. Choose your colour, pattern and lining

Your first decision about your made-to-measure curtains is likely to be the colour of your fabric and whether it's plain or patterned. We have hundreds of beautiful colours and styles to choose from.

Have a think about if you want to minimise the amount of light coming into your room. If so, a heavier fabric like velvet would be a wise decision, and a blackout lining would further help to reduce the light and heat loss too. Adding blackout blinds will create an even cosier finish and provide privacy. This is extra important if your bay window looks out onto a pavement.

Conversely if you wish to maximise the light, choose light and airy Voiles for daytime privacy.


Discover blackout curtains

2. Curtain pole or track?

When it comes to choosing whether you have a curtain pole or a curtain track, your local advisor will help you decide.

Curtain poles are a decorative choice, available in stunning metallic, wooden or painted finishes, to coordinate with your curtains and accessories in your room. They can be fitted at flat, bay or bow windows.

Curtain tracks are ideal if you would prefer minimalist looks. If you don't want to see the track, position your curtain header so that is obscured. A curtain track is more practical for a curved bay, as it has flexibility to bend around the curve. 

Discover poles and tracks

3. Choose your style of curtain header: pencil or pinch pleat, eyelet or wave?

A major benefit of choosing made-to-measure curtains is that you choose everything so you get exactly what you want. This includes your curtain header, which is the top piece of the curtain that attaches to the curtain pole or track. Different headers affect the way curtains look at the window. The most traditional type is a pencil pleat curtain. This creates regular gathers for a uniform appearance, and is a good option for a curved bay as it helps achieve a smooth finish around the curve. For more formal styling, try a pinch pleat curtain. This gathers the curtain into a structured fold for a smart, tailored look. Other options include contemporary eyelet or wave curtains.


4. Layer up to help keep your room cosy

Windows are responsible for up to 20% of a home's heat loss. You can help manage this heat loss by layering curtains over blinds or shutters, and make a real feature of your beautiful bay. To maximise light, try combining curtains with wooden or metal venetian blinds. These slatted blinds allow light to filter through while offering supreme privacy control. Roman blinds add an extra layer of luxury and cosiness, as well as giving you flexibility to further combine plain and patterned fabrics to suit your interior style.


5. Consider Voile curtains for a light and airy feel

Sheer Voile curtains create the illusion of light and space, so are a perfect choice for rooms which are overlooked as they offer daytime privacy.

If you need night time privacy too, layer your Voiles over a blind, or use in combination with a heavier curtain. This will also create texture and interest at your window. 


Discover Voile curtains

6. Decide the curtain length for your bay window

If your bay window doesn’t have a window sill, we recommend full length made-to-measure curtains.

Top interior designers often fit curtains that are slightly over-long, as this gives a full and luxurious effect when the curtains puddle on the floor.

If you've got a radiator under your window you might choose to have dress curtains and a blind so you're not blocking the heat.   

Adrift Ink Wash Voile Curtains in 3 sided bay window with 2 tan orange armchairs

Other ways to dress your bay window

From box bays to bows, each shape is unique so it’s important to choose a window dressing that will fit perfectly. Here we show you how to make the most of this incredible period feature in your home with our made to measure blinds, curtains and shutters.

Watch the video

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