Americans dropped their hard-earned money on over 6 million homes in 2021 alone. Beyond that, many of them were first-time homebuyers.
First-time homebuyers face new challenges that experienced homebuyers prepare for and expect. For example, first-time homeowners rarely appreciate how much maintenance homeownership entails. They’re often used to a landlord dealing with those problems.
In other cases, they don’t have any experience. Let’s say that you bought a home with a bay window. If you’ve never had a bay window before, you likely won’t have many bay window decorating ideas handy.
If you’re struggling to figure out what to do with your bay window, don’t despair. Keep reading for 10 ideas you can use for your new bay window.
1. Window Treatments
If you don’t have any immediate ideas for the bay window or want to hold off until after you complete other renovations, you can’t go wrong with window treatments. The best part is, you have a lot of options when it comes to window treatments.
Let’s say that you’re looking to exert some control over the amount of light coming in or want to enhance your privacy a bit. Venetian blinds can accomplish both of those goals for you. Of course, Venetian blinds are just about the most basic window treatment available.
Instead, consider Roman shades. Not only do they accomplish the same goals, but they also give you a great opportunity to color-coordinate with the rest of the room.
Of course, you can also pair curtains with Venetian blinds and Roman shades. Depending on the room, you might want lighter fabrics for your curtains to let some light seep through. In a bedroom, though, you should consider blackout curtains to ensure that you still get a good night’s rest.
For a true privacy enhancement, add frosted glass window film to the bottom half of the bay windows. You still get the light but can worry less about nosy neighbors.
2. Sitting Area
A living room bay window makes a fantastic choice for a sitting area. You can set it up in a number of different ways.
You can find a settee or chaise lounge to drop into the space for people to simply relax. If you don’t love chaise lounges, you can opt to put a small, traditional couch there.
If you have a particularly good view, you can set it up as an outward-facing sitting area. Set up a couple of chairs facing the window. You can even drop a small coffee table into the extra space created by the window.
It’s a nice alternative to a living room that always faces toward a television.
A variation on the sitting area that caters to book lovers is a mini library. You start by installing solid wood bookshelves that just come up to the bottom of the windows. That solid wood part is important because you’re going to throw some cushions on top of those bookcases for sitting purposes.
If you don’t relish the idea of sitting on top of bookcases while you read, you can always add a comfortable chair and a small end table. That gives you somewhere to sit, put down a warm drink, and even leave your most recent read out for next time.
An end table can also serve as a convenient stand for a small reading lamp. While sunlight will meet most of your light needs during the day, you may need a bit more help at night.
4. Sink and Counter
A lot of homes include a bay window in the kitchen. It’s a great way to keep the area well-lit, which is an advantage while preparing food. Yet, that extra bit of space often gets overlooked in terms of practical use.
Putting a sink and cabinet in that space is one way you can maximize the value of that extra square footage. Not only do you get a better view while you’re doing dishes, but you also get extra storage space.
By pushing the sink and counter out into the bay window, you also free up space in the rest of the kitchen. You could add an island for more storage and extra counter space.
Plus, the area around the stove becomes less cramped while you cook. While that might not mean much while you simmer some soup, it becomes much more valuable when you prepare big, complex meals.
It also means less crowding when people inevitably wander into the kitchen while you make food, either to chat or ask if dinner is done yet.
5. Breakfast Nook
Another way you can take advantage of a kitchen bay window is with a breakfast nook. You can often fit a small table and a couple of chairs into that space without disrupting the rest of your kitchen activities. that little table also makes a good home for a fruit bowl.
A breakfast nook lets you and your partner enjoy the early morning views while you sip coffee and have bagels. It’s also somewhere that someone can sit and talk with you without getting in the way while you make a meal.
If you want to up your bay window breakfast nook game, consider installing a permanent padded bench and a somewhat bigger table. You can seat a whole family there for simple meals but still default to a more traditional dining room table for bigger meals or gatherings.
6. Window Boxes
With all of that convenient light streaming in from outside, window boxes can make for a pretty and practical decoration choice. For one, you get a bit of nature right in your home.
Try as they might, paint companies can’t quite replicate the colors you get from actual plants. Some small flowers can add a burst of color to your kitchen or living room.
Window boxes also let you grow useful things, such as herbs and even fresh vegetables for your kitchen. If you like cooking, you know that the difference between fresh herbs and dried herbs is a night-and-day experience. Fresh, homegrown vegetables almost always pack more flavor than store-bought options.
7. Window Seat
While many bay windows go in for open floor space, it’s not your only option. You can also enclose that area and create a cushioned window seat. Of course, you’ll want some throw pillows to give the space a little flair.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you can choose fabrics and colors that coordinate with the rest of the room. On the other hand, you can also use that space as a way of creating some visual contrast with different colors and fabrics.
As an added bonus, you can get some extra storage space beneath the actual seat.
8. Office Space
With so many people still doing their jobs remotely, at least some of the time, a home office space is something of a necessity. Of course, if you lack a convenient spare room, that becomes a challenge.
A lot of remote workers found themselves doing their jobs from kitchen tables, coffee tables, and on the couch. While that will do in a pinch, it’s not ideal.
A bay window is a good place to set up a semi-permanent work area with a small desk. If you notice a problem, though, such as a small leak, you’ll want professional home window replacement services. Bay window repairs are not a DIY job.
9. Homework Space
If you have kids, you know that they spend a meaningful amount of time doing homework, often on a computer. While a lot of kids make do on a bed, it’s not ideal.
If your kids have bay windows in their rooms, you can set them up with a small homework space that includes a small desk. It gives them somewhere to sit up straight while working on their computer and completing assignments on paper.
While posture isn’t everything, it never hurts to make keeping good posture a little easier.
10. Holiday Area
There are a lot of major holidays across the course of the year. Enough that you could reasonably use your bay area as a designated holiday area.
It’s an ideal space for a Christmas tree and presents beneath. You get the fun of the Christmas tree without sacrificing a big piece of your living room.
It’s also a good space for things like Easter decorations and baskets. You can spruce it up with patriotic decorations around the Fourth of July.
When Halloween rolls around, you can decorate the inside and outside to make it fun for your kids and the neighborhood.
Bay Window Decorating Ideas and You
Deciding which bay window decorating ideas you’ll use depends somewhat on you and somewhat on where the bay window is in your home. If you have a kitchen bay window and you’re big on cooking, you’ll likely want a counter and sink setup in that space.
If your bay window is in the living room and you work remotely all the time, you may want an office area there. For people with kids, turning it into holiday central can prove fun for them and you.
Looking for more decorating tips? Check out the posts in our Home & Garden section.