How to Hang Curtains on a Bay Window
  • March 15, 2024
  • decor-eloquent
  • 0

Bay windows are a beautiful architectural feature that allow more natural light into a home. However, their unique shape with multiple windows and angles can make hanging curtains tricky. This complete “How to Hang Curtains on a Bay Window” guide will teach you how to properly measure, select curtains and rods, install them, and add decorative touches for your bay windows.

How to Hang Curtains on a Bay Window
How to Hang Curtains on a Bay Window

Assessing Your Bay Window Area

Before purchasing any curtains or rods, you need to thoroughly measure your bay window area. Note the width, height, and angle measurements for each individual window pane using a steel tape measure.

Record your measurements and sketch the layout of the windows. This allows you to determine whether you want to cover each window separately or use curtains across the entire bay window for a unified, seamless look.

Considerations for each approach:

  • Individual window treatment.
  • Allows mixing and matching curtain styles.
  • Can showcase window shape.
  • More challenging to coordinate.
  • Full bay window coverage.
  • Easier to create cohesive look.
  • Softens window angles.
  • Needs wide curtain panels.

Choosing Appropriate Bay Window Curtains

The curtains you select need to fit the bay window properly based on your measurements and preferred approach.

For individual window treatments, buy curtains for each window’s height and width.

If covering the full bay window space, you will need wider curtains panels, likely 96-144 inches wide. Make sure to account for the extra width needed to cover the corners and angles of the bay window so there are no gaps:

  • Add at least 2-3 extra inches per window pane width.
  • Allow more if there are wide angles and deep corner spaces.

The length should extend a few inches below the window sill for best proportions. Selected curtains may come in various lengths and widths suited for bay windows.

Curtain FeaturesIndividual Window PanelsFull Bay Window Coverage
WidthFit specific window width       Wider panels (96-144′′+)
LengthTo sill or floor To sill or floor
Number of Panels1 per window  3+ panels
ConstructionAny     Pinch pleat or grommets recommended

Selecting Proper Bay Window Curtain Rods

Rods are necessary to hang any curtains. With bay windows, you can again treat each window individually with multiple smaller rods, or use one expansive rod across the full bay window area.

For the unified approach, look for:

  • Expandable rods that can extend across large widths like 144 inches.
  • Corner bay rods designed to angle across corner windows.
  • Sturdy metal material that won’t bend or sag.
  • Diameter of 1-1.5 inches for large curtains.

Using multiple smaller rods allows flexibility in covering only some panes. But getting perfect alignments across the corners can be tricky.

When installing any rod, read reviews and manufacturer instructions to verify it can handle the span length you need without sagging over time.

Installing Bay Window Curtain Rods

Once you select the proper rod(s), it’s time to mount them correctly above your bay window area.

Tools Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Power drill
  • Heavy duty screws

Step-by-Step Installation

  1. Measure and mark where curtain rod brackets will go using your pencil and tape measure. Hold brackets in place to visualize positioning.
  2. Use a level to ensure rod will be straight and not slope down on any side. Adjust bracket location if needed.
  3. Pre-drill holes into wall studs where brackets will go using a power drill.
  4. Insert screws through bracket holes into wall studs. Tighten securely so rod and curtains can be supported.
  5. Slide rod through curtain rod brackets. Tighten screws on brackets around rod to keep firmly in place.

Installing bay window curtain rod brackets into wall studs provides the most secure support. Heavy rods and curtains in a bay window put extra downward force in the center, so anchoring brackets to studs prevents eventual sagging.

Hanging Bay Window Curtain Panels

With rods installed, you can dress your lovely bay windows with the curtain panels!

Use clip rings, velcro, grommets, tabs, or other attachments to connect your curtains to the rod. Covering an entire bay window, make sure patterns coordinate and lengths match from panel to panel.

For the smoothest look, ensure your panels glide smoothly over corners and fully cover angles. You may need to make small velcro attachments between panel edges at uneven spaces for full coverage without gaps.

Finishing and Decorative Touches

You successfully hung curtains over your bay window space, but consider adding final embellishments too:

  • Tiebacks: Attach tiebacks to create swag styles at window edges.
  • Curtain pulls: Add pulls for easy opening and closing.
  • Valance: Mount a decorative fabric valance over the rod for a pretty header.
  • Sheers: Layer airy sheers behind main curtains.
  • Blinds: Add roll-up or faux wood blinds for light filtering.

Getting creative with your finished bay window treatment allows you to further highlight these special architectural gems!

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Hang Curtains on a Bay Window?

What if my bay windows have different heights?

If your bay windows have varying heights, you can either customize each curtain to the specific window height or use one long continuous panel across the entire bay window. For the continuous panel, the height will be dictated by the tallest window. This could leave extra fabric dangling below the shorter windows if the height difference is significant.

Should curtain rod brackets for bay windows be anchored to the wall or ceiling?

Wall mounting is best for safety and stability. Ceilings often cannot support the weight of large curtain rods loaded with panels. Screwing deep into wall studs provides the most secure anchoring for bay window rods which see added stress across the spanning angles.

What curtains work best for bay windows?

Look for pinch pleat or grommet curtains when covering a full bay window area. The pleats and grommets allow the panels to stack neatly and slide smoothly over the corner angles. Curtains with bumpy embellishments or very full constructions can catch on corners.

How do I measure for bay window curtains inside a corner angle?

Use an L-shaped ruler to measure diagonally corner to corner rather than trying to situate a tape measure perfectly across the angle. Or measure each wall segment independently then add them together for the full corner-to-corner length. This helps determine panel width needed to cover recessed angles.

Can I use a motorized curtain rod system for bay windows?

Motorized rods which open and close curtains automatically at the touch of a button generally don’t work for bay windows. The mechanisms struggle to move the curtains smoothly over uneven angles. Plus the rods used are rarely long enough. Manual operation or pulley systems are better bay window curtain options.

Hanging curtains for beautiful bay windows requires a careful measuring, calculating, and installation process to account for their unique shapes. With the right rods, panels, and arrangements, you can stylishly dress your bay windows and control the light entering your space.