Bay windows protrude from the side of your house and include two side windows and a central window. Usually, the central window is fixed while the side windows are set in a 90, 60, 45 or 30 degree angle. The interior of the window may have a sill where plants or other objects can be displayed. Versatile and attractive, these windows can be installed in bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens.
Bay windows offer several benefits including adding visual appeal, allowing sunlight to come in, and many others. Knowing the benefits can help you decide whether or not to buy a house with bay windows or to remodel your current home.
First of all, these windows increase the visual appeal of your house thus adding to its value. What’s more, the glass reflected outside will give your home a clean, modern look.
Aesthetic appeal aside, these widows allow natural light to enter your home from several directions as well as giving you a panoramic view out.
Because these windows give you the option of opening one or two windows, you can savor the sun and the breeze from different directions.
Additionally, the sill created by the window’s interior allows you to display plants and flowers. The sill can also be used as additional storage space. With a large enough sill you can create a seating area.
It’s true that these windows are often found in Victorian usually homes, but they’re more than suitable for modern houses. Smaller bay windows are often installed in kitchens directly above the sink. This allows for getting pleasant views while doing unpleasant chores such as washing the dishes.
In living rooms and bedrooms these windows make for a nice reading area. Even if you’re living in a modern house, these windows should fit in perfectly.
A big advantage is that bay windows also provide the illusion that the space in the room is bigger than it actually is, essential for creating space and adding breathability to a room. This might not seem like much but the extra space the window provides can make a room seem larger and more comfortable.
To get the maximum benefits however the window must be properly constructed with strong support. A poorly constructed window will sag, and it’s going to make adding a window treatment difficult, so don’t settle for cheap service.
Bow and Bay Windows
Although the terms bay and bow windows are used interchangeably, there are differences:
- A bay window has three openings set at an angle, while a bow window has four or five openings
- A bay is usually comprised of one picture window and two smaller windows at the side. A bow window however, is curved and has a rounded look when viewed from the outside which is why they’re usually called 4-lite or 5-lite.
- Compared to bow windows, bays protrude much farther from walls and provide more floor space inside the home.
- Bow windows let in more light due to their shape
- Bay windows are more associated with Victorian homes while bow windows are more associated with Federal style homes, popular in the 18th century United States.
Window Treatment Options
There are several ways to treat bay windows, but the most common is to treat the window as one or three units. If you’re going to treat it as one unit, you can do so by draping the window with a single curtain on each side of the bay. This design is most apt if you’re using a cushioned siting area or bench in front of the window or if there’s a radiator in the bay space.
If you’re going to treat each window as a separate piece, each one needs to have specific treatment mounted above each window. Although the window treatments don’t have to match, you need to be sure the treatments harmonize.
One of the benefits of treating each widow separately is that you can control the privacy setting of each, and you can highlight certain aspects easily.
No matter which window treatment you go for, you really can’t go wrong as each one is going to bring a different look to your home. And regardless of how you manage the window –whether as one or three – the benefits will still be the same.