Clera Windows + Doors Blog

The Best Curtains For Your Bow Windows

There are many reasons why homeowners would consider bow windows installation besides their architectural statement. They let in plenty of natural light and give your space a graceful feel, which is why they are also known as show windows. With the right window treatments, you can control this abundance while highlighting the elegant features.

Bow windows, however, pose a bit of a challenge when it comes to finding the right curtain design. Like bay windows, they project outward from the main building columns, but with one or two extra windows/openings compared to the standard three openings in bay windows.

This makes it harder to find four or five matching window treatments to cover the entire width of the window, or at least a manufacturer who’s willing to create custom coverings for your window. But having a bit of trouble finding a suitable window treatment should not keep you from enjoying the aesthetic merits of specialty shaped windows.

If you are considering installing bow windows, your manufacturer or merchant can recommend a number of great window treatment options that will offer light control and privacy without detracting from their character.

Beautify bow windows with custom curtains

Custom curtains offer softness and beauty that makes your bow windows appear more beautiful than with other window coverings. There are different curtain styles you can choose depending on the look you want to achieve and their position. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Single Large Curtain
    The biggest challenge with installing curtains in bow windows is finding a curtain rod that follows the design of your window. Homeowners can skip this hassle by simply installing one large curtain for all four or five window sections. This is a great idea if you don’t wish to open/close your window covering at all, so that it serves a singular purpose as a decorative window treatment.

  2. Classic Centre Split
    With this design, the curtain consists of two pieces that meet at the centre and open by drawing in the opposite direction. Each separate curtain is wide enough to cover half of the window width. The curtains are hung on a single rod running all round the window, through the angles of the bow. This style allows you to use pinch pleats to give your window coverings a sophisticated look.

    Alternatively, you can install four curtains, with two positioned to cover the side windows while the other two meet at the centre.

    For easy installation, consider mounting the curtains on the wall outside the bow window so the view is framed. But for greater design impact, consider installing the curtain in the alcove using an angled or custom-curved rod.

  3. Centre Split Variation
    If you cannot find a single rod that will go round the entire length of your window sections, but still wish to use two curtains that open to the opposite ends, then you can use a bit of creativity and compromise. Consider creating a shallow balcony-like area (in the section covered by the window extension) and then install curtains to conceal that area so it appears like a flat wall.

    The enclosed arc area can have a small table, desk, or bench to serve as a relaxation area or a reading nook or seating area with a great view of the outside.

  4. Separate Curtains
    This style requires you to install different rods for each of the window sections, so you have four or five separate curtain units. This option is ideal for homeowners who have trouble finding an angled or curved rod that suits their design plans. With this arrangement, the window covering for each section can be tied at the centre or stacked to one side to let in light.

    Separate curtains are particularly ideal for large windows that reach as high as the ceiling. You can install long curtains that cover the window entirely and operate individually.

  5. Combination Of Curtains With Blinds And/Or Shades
    Incorporating blinds or shades with your curtains, using either of the arrangements mentioned above, can help to increase the functionality of your windows.
  6. Adding A Valance
    You may consider concealing the curtain rods and upper section of the curtains with a valance. This style gives your window covering a fluid and consistent look without exposing the technical and secondary elements. It also deceives the eye in regard to the perceived height of the actual window.

    You can opt for either a continuous or separate valance. The latter is usually preferred when there is a minimum of 2-inches between each window section to create space for the placement of curtain hardware. The same spacing is necessary between the rods for proper valance placement.

Other Window Treatments For Bow Windows

Bow window installation is becoming increasingly popular as homeowners look for creative ways to expand their space to accommodate more function. Curtains are great window coverings for your windows, especially when going for esthetics because of the wide range of design options. But if you don’t like long and heavy curtains, you can try other window coverings, such as separate shades or blinds.

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