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7 incredible ways to make your bay windows the star of your design

Creative ways to put focus on your bay windows in any room

Bay windows make the perfect backdrop for any room

Bay windows have been around for centuries, beginning with mansions of the English Renaissance period in the late 15th century through the early 17th century. The intent of bay windows was to let more light into a room than standard, flat windows could. Because of their long history, bay windows can date a home — but they don’t have to.

If you’re looking to modernize or update your bay windows to make them the centerpiece of the room, there are easy things you can do to achieve a new look. You want to consider how you’ll use the space (reading nook, study space, etc.), as well as the color scheme and decor of the room it occupies. From there, you can play with paint, textures, and decor to give your old bay windows new life.

Contemporary industrial living room dining room

Bay window ideas

If you’ve got tweens or teens or are a student yourself, why not utilize your bay window area as a study space? Place a small desk in the area facing the windows, adding bay window curtains to close off the space when you’re not using it. Complete the look with a small, comfortable chair, lamp, and other decor to keep the area light, bright, and motivating.

Do you plan to use the area for more lounging and reading? If so, you can add a bay window bench with tons of pillows and a soft bench cushion in coordinating colors of the larger room. Add soft curtains if the windows gets a lot of sunlight in case you plan to spend time during the day in your new nook. All that’s left is to find a good book, curl up, and get reading.

Bay window kitchen nook

A cozy breakfast nook or kitchen cabinetry centered on your bay windows is another great way to modernize your space. Because bay windows let in so much light, use it to your advantage to place a kitchen sink in the center. If you have to wash dishes, you may as well have something interesting to look out of! It also allows the cabinets to be angled with the windows, adding more interest to the room.

You can also use the bay windows for a dining space. Either build bench seating around the bay itself or center a table in the area and place small chairs around it. This allows you to use the windows as a place to eat and entertain.

Update your bay windows with paint and stain

If you want to bring your bay windows into this century, find a modern paint color for the walls that surround them, keeping the window frames themselves light and bright. We love the pop of white in this room with soft blue walls surrounding it. If your bay windows have indoor ledges, add a plant or other decor that draws your eye toward the space.

We also adore the use of dark green curtains that showcase the height of the windows, making them the star of the room. This look relies on the natural light pouring in to keep the plants nice and healthy and growing all year round.

Adding bay window shutters

Another way to bring the focus to your windows is through shutters. We adore big, wide shutters because, typically, bay windows are large enough to take the weight of such a design. We love this example with bright mint wall color and light, bright shutters. It gives a classy, elegant look to a bedroom or living room.

All these tips and tricks will have your bay windows going from drab to fab in no time. There’s no reason to hide your bay windows. In fact, it’s often a perfect architectural feature to highlight because of the windows’ natural light, size, and shape. Regardless of the room, bay windows can serve as a meeting point, a natural, cozy nook, and even an entertainment space in the kitchen centered on meals and time with family and friends.

If you need inspiration, look no further than Instagram to see designs of every style — from traditional and modern to farmhouse and everything in between. There, you can get ideas on how to incorporate your bay windows depending on the room, size, depth, and where they sit in your space. There’s no shortage of furniture, color, and decor options as well, so when people walk into your home, they feel drawn to the elegance and sophistication that bay windows can provide.

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Julie Scagell
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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