Clera Windows + Doors Blog

5 Window Treatments For Bow Windows

Bow window installation provides one of the best ways to add elegance and style to your home’s exterior and create a lovely alcove inside. They let in plenty of natural light and provide a massive view of the outside, which can make the room appear larger, brighter, and more refined, both day and night, especially if you choose the right window treatment.

Bow windows are designed with four or five angled openings. They are very beautiful, but can offer little privacy and let in too much sunlight that may make the interior uncomfortable and damage your furniture, art, and other valuables. Fortunately, there are a few window treatment options that will maximize the enjoyment of your new bow window installation and add beauty to your space, making your windows a focal point for your room.

  1. Curved curtain rod
    Installing a single curtain rod that curves through the entire length of your window is one of the easiest solutions. You will have to find a rod that is big enough to cover the entire window, or get a custom one specifically for your windows.

    Curved curtain rods are not only stylish, but also offer convenience and flexibility as you can fit different curtain designs to match the season. You can, for instance, use a single curtain to cover the entire bow window at once, giving your space a solid and elegant look. If you have padded furniture in that space, make sure to match the curtain design to the upholstery.

    Secure a thick, decorative curtain rod above the window opening so it extends sufficiently beyond both ends of the opening – about 12-inches on either side. This allowance is necessary when you need to pull back the panels completely to maximize natural lighting. The curtains should be hung with an allowance of about 1 ½ times the width of the opening, and allowed to break right at the floor. Very short curtains on huge bow windows will look misplaced.

  2. Floor length curtain sectioning
    If you have a bench or seat in the curved space in front of your window, you may choose to install a straight curtain rod that completely separates that section of the room. This can create an isolated, private area for napping, reading, or just relaxing, as you enjoy the view. Another reason to consider this option is that you completely eliminate the need for blinds, curtains, or shades.
  3. Multiple curtain panels
    If you want versatility, you should consider adding curtain panels for each of the openings in your bow window installation. You can choose a different and unique design for each of the panels, or adjust the lighting for every one of them independently so it matches the mood you want to create.
  4. Stylish sheers
    You may consider installing sheers over each individual window to maximize the amount of light getting into the room. Start by securing separate curtain rods above each of the windows. Try to connect the rods so they create a seamless look above your bow windows. Then attach the sheers to the rods using clips.

    Sheers can also be installed outside the opening, just as you would install thicker panels. This can be done if there is very little space above the windows to install rods; to provide a soft, airy look; or when you don’t want to detract attention from the bow windows with designed curtains.

    Although this option does not offer much privacy, sheers can be used together with curtains to block the view when need be.

  5. Individual shades
    If you feel that curtains or sheers may make the room feel imbalanced, you should consider installing individual shades over each of your bow window sections. Mounting shades outside the window molding will allow for better light control, more privacy compared to sheers, and a complete look.

    To create a seamless effect, the shades should be sized in a way that makes the headers butt up against each other as they are placed across the windows. You can use different types of shades to achieve various effects. For instance, lined shades provide superior privacy, while bamboo blinds add texture and control lighting.

    Installing the shades inside the window’s molding creates a unique, more separated effect.

Control light and privacy with bow windows

One of the biggest reasons why homeowners consider bow window installations is because they let in an abundance of light. But this can be affected to different extents depending on the window treatment used, from sheers to heavy drapery. If you want privacy without installing conventional window treatments, you should consider outfitting the glass with privacy window film. The film is temporary and easy to apply with soapy water, so you can change it when your decorating tastes change. You can decorate the window with a coloured valance or panels installed on the outside of your windows.

Shutters are a great alternative to film. They can be adjusted to maximize light penetration during the day, and closed when you need privacy.

With any of these window treatment options, you can complete the look of your bow window installation to optimize the lighting, privacy, and design of your interior space.

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