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Bay window curtain ideas

Discover how to dress your bay window with curtains

Emily Booth one of the writers at Hillarys

by Emily Booth

In-home Advice Expert

Published: 26/10/2018

Updated: 11/10/2022

Choosing curtains for your bay window is an excellent decision and will create a fantastic focal point. Add layering with blinds or shutters to help reduce heat loss and create a warm and welcoming look. Your expert local advisor will talk you through the options and give you top tips on how to make the most of this beautiful feature.

1. Choose your colour, pattern and lining

Think about the mood you want to create in your room when you’re selecting fabrics. A heavy velvet fabric, for example, will look and feel sumptuous at your window. These fabrics are traditionally used in country houses with impressively large windows, but can translate well into any home where you want to create a luxurious and decadent feel. We also offer other stunning fabrics including Jacquard and woven fabrics in a dazzling array of colours.


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2. Would you like a curtain pole or track?

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

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3. What style of curtain heading would you like?

A huge benefit of made-to-measure curtains is that you choose all the style options, so you get exactly what you want. This includes your curtain heading, which is the top piece of the curtain that attaches to the curtain track or rod. Different pleat types affect the way a curtain drapes 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.


4. Mix and match your curtains and blinds

One of our favourite bay window curtains idea is to make a real feature of your window by mixing and matching curtains and blinds. You can successfully combine curtains with all types of blinds to create different looks and styles. 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 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. 


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6. Which length curtains 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.

However if your bay window does have a window sill, you have more flexibility. You can either fit curtains within the recess, following the curve of the window to the length of the window sill, or you can fit them onto a pole outside the recess. If you choose to fit outside the recess, it’s worth doubling up with blinds on the windows themselves. This will give you extra privacy and control over sunlight when your curtains are open.  

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