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Ideas To Decorate Your Bay Windows

May 6, 2008
Bay windows, or window spaces that project outward from the main walls of a building and forming a square or polygonal "bay" in a room, can add great elegance to a home.

They are usually associated with Victorian architecture and can give the illusion that the room they're in is larger than it actually is. This type of window can also increase the flow of natural light to a room and provide views of the outside that would not normally be available with an ordinary window.

However, while having its advantages, you may have trouble trying to figure out how to dress them up and make them more of an integrated part of the rooms they're in, being that they essentially "stick" out from the rest of the room. Here are some ideas to help you bring your bay windows "back into the room."

If you wish to emphasize your bay windows with a clean-lined, contemporary style, drawing attention to each individual window with its own custom-fitted Roman shade will help to accentuate the window's linear quality. You can choose between a soft Roman shade, one which has soft, overlapping folds when the shade is lowered, and a flat Roman shade, which has no folds when lowered.

At the same time, the shade's permanent pleats help to add a horizontal element to balance the window's strong vertical linear nature. You can choose whether you want to mount the Roman shades inside the window frame to emphasize the architecture of the window or if you want to put the Roman shades outside the window frame to present a tailored look to the window.

Another way to utilize your bay windows is to have them complement, but not compete with, other elements in your room, such as your bed or furniture. You could embellish the bay windows by creating a cornice (a decorative box frame that is often made of wood and is attached directly to the wall above a window in order to conceal hardware) and cover or paint it. You could also add some short curtains that cover the lower half of the window if you wish to have more privacy and less light coming into the room.

You could also make the bay windows the focal point of the room by using a valance (a decorative panel of fabric used often at the tops of draperies and curtains to conceal hardware) to help unite the bay windows into one unified group, which makes them the focal point of a room. This is often a great idea if you have many romantic elements in a room, as the presence of the bay windows often adds to the romantic elegance of a room, especially if the valance matches or tastefully blends with the furnishings of the room.

Another way to add romance to a room with bay windows is to use accordion shades (shades that look much like accordions and can be either raised from the bottom, lowered from the headrail, or both,) and have layers of spring-colored fabric over the bay window. This not only adds more color to the room, but their soft form gives the architecture a softer appearance. The accordion shades help to control how much light and privacy the room has at any given time.

As you can see, you have many options to help make the bay windows an integral part of the rooms they are in. You can either incorporate them with the rest of the room's furnishings or make them stand out and be the focal point of the room. While they can initially be challenging to work with, with just a little ingenuity and imagination, your bay windows can transform the room they're in into a more elegant and inviting room.
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