A bay window is a central window or group of windows flanked by additional windows that jut out from a building’s walls and create a “bay” inside a room. Curved bay windows are a variation that is known as bow windows.
Bay windows add scene-stealing character to any room and a luxurious natural light. A hallmark of Victorian architecture, they also add interest to a building’s exterior. Bay windows make a statement and often serve as a natural centerpiece in a room by highlighting a pretty view. But they can also take on a supporting role depending on a room’s decor and function and create a backdrop for everything from a reading nook to a dining area to a bedroom home office.
Check out these bay windows in every room in the house for ideas on celebrating and elevating this architectural feature, with ideas for paint, window treatments, furniture layout, and more.
Set a Table for Two
A round white tulip table and a pair of natural wood Scandi-style chairs are nestled in the floor-to-ceiling bay windows of this home library from Emily Henderson Design, providing abundant natural light and a pretty view of the outdoors.
Build a Window Seat
The dark green paint on the walls of this home library from Kate Marker Interiors has a calming effect that invites relaxation and gives definition to a cozy window seat built into a recessed bay window that provides views and a stream of natural light.
Add a Bedroom Lounge Area
In this spacious primary bedroom from Marie Flanigan Interiors, a seating area in front of the bay window provides a space to relax and unwind that isn’t the bed.
In this London Victorian manor house living room designed by Emilie Fournet Interiors, a curvy vintage loveseat is positioned in the bank of bay windows, which are left free of curtains to allow maximum natural light to pour in. Medium-toned gray paint on the walls and window frames makes the feature stand out.
Keep It Open
This San Francisco condo living room designed by Cathie Hong Interiors has a bank of modern bay windows with a large central pane-less picture window and trim painted in the same bright white as the rest of the room. A stylish reading chair and a book tower create a place for reading and recharging.
Paint Them Black
Soft textures, layered textiles, natural elements, sculptural lighting, and a neutral palette make this living room from Leanne Ford Interiors feel cozy and relaxing. At the same time, a painted black bay window with black grid panes adds a graphic touch.
Add a Banquette
The oversized bay windows in the spacious breakfast nook of the eat-in kitchen above, designed by Seattle-based OreStudios, allow natural light to flood the space and show off a spectacular view. The wrap-around banquette and generous proportions create a comfortable seating area, while a simple white Danish-style pendant light anchors the space without blocking sightlines.
This bedroom home office, designed by Jess Bunge and styled by Emily Bowser for Emily Henderson Design, is nestled in a large rounded bow window. Sculptural furniture, an antique chandelier, and floor-to-ceiling drapes in a pale salmon pink create an elegant space that takes full advantage of this lovely architectural feature while adding function to the room.
Hang a Bubble Chair
In the London flat of interior designer Sarah Vanrenen, white floors and walls are livened up with mustard, gold, and pink accents, and a hanging bubble chair designed by Eero Aarnio in 1968 allows light to flow through the bay windows while adding a fun place to chill.
Install a Breakfast Nook
Tyler Karu Design + Interiors created a charming breakfast nook in the shadow of a bank of black-gridded bay windows in a renovated 1790 house in Falmouth, ME. A round table echoes the curves of the space, while high-back Scandi-style chairs echo the window trim.
Kate Marker Interiors turned an oversized bank of bay windows into a grown-up conversation corner with comfortable armchairs around a small round table.