Saturday, July 14, 2012

Privacy Treatments for Bay Windows

I'm going shopping today with my friend who has just moved into a new house.  She has two awesome bay windows on the front of her house that we are going to work on finding a solution for.  One is upstairs in her master bedroom and I think that one will be a little easier.  She's also got one downstairs off of her living room/dining room area.  The way she has the space set up, her dining room table is in front of the bay window and the living area is towards the back of the space away from the window.  She needs privacy from the street view but doesn't want to sacrifice all of the great light these windows let in.  But there's another hitch to the situation - it's a rental so we don't want to spend too much money on something that she isn't going to be in really long term.  So, I've done a little research to brain storm possible ideas for her before we head out on our shopping expedition (which will possibly include Target, TJ Maxx, Pier One, Crate and Barrel or Bed Bath and Beyond - hopefully not all of them!).

I think my friend has an idea of some kind of a shade that will cover the window from about half way down from the middle to the bottom leaving the top exposed to let light in and then hang curtains around.  I have really struggled to find images of what that would look like.  I think the closest thing I found was this:

I think that a more attractive option could be found than that but so far I haven't found any images of what that would look like.

Here's a similar idea but done with shutters and then curtains on the outside which I really like.

We could just use shades with no curtains.  These options look very neat and clean and have great texture.  She'd have to roll them down at night but int he morning you can still see light coming through even when they are closed.

So, there's also the idea of shades that roll down from the top but that are still covered by curtains.  I really like this image below with the valance but it may be more than we are interested in getting into given the rental component.  Still, this is just brainstorming after all...

All of these options look really classy to me - I think this may be a possibility for her bedroom.  This next idea combines that with another layer of privacy and light control but adding blinds underneath the shades:

It is hard to tell exactly what is going on with the window treatments in this next image because of the bright light but I think the way they hung the curtains enhances the height of the space, would provide privacy when needed and looks really elegant.  Good idea for her bedroom:

This next idea is no where near ideal nor my favorite look but I'm just throwing out options here, people.  You can get a product comparable to contact paper that is for window privacy.  I was blown away by the insane varieties of this product and the way in which people have used it.  They range from simplistic to intricate and frankly, absurd looking.  I know she isn't going to choose any of these options but I couldn't resist.

Who in their right mind would want to look at that all day?  Certainly not I.

Okay, then there's an option of sheers with more substantial curtains flanking the window.  This is a real possibility given what I think our options might be out there.

While we are brainstorming and trying to think outside the box, what about this idea of placing a large screen in front of the window in the dining room.  A decorative screen could look neat behind the dining room table, would block people from seeing in but leaving the light exposed at the top.  Just an idea...

And this brings me to my last suggestion.  Now, you have to ignore the hideousness of the treatments in this picture and just listen to my idea.  If you take rods and place them half way up the window and we cover them with panels half way down and then curtains on the outside, we could have a feasible option.  Not frilly, country looking curtains like these, but something sleek and tailored.  This idea really has my brain spinning because there are lots of cool directions you could take it depending on the fabric.

So, who knows what we'll come up with but at least now we are armed with some ideas.  I'll keep you posted.  Does anyone else have good ideas for privacy and light treatments for windows?


  1. All great ideas! You've probably already found a solution for your friend and made some purchases as you posted this the day you were going shopping. Having just seen the post now, my comments most likely won't sway any decisions but I figured it was worth mentioning... We have a privacy issue in our apartment with our living room and dining/ kitchen area as well. Both areas have large windows that look out onto my apartment building's courtyard. When people walk by to and from their own apartments, they can see all of our business up close and personal. So, I opted for shears covering each window (which of course allows all the light to come in) and curtain panels on the outside. It looks nice (and was a cheap option for a rental). However, I will say, it works during the day but when it gets dark if you have the lights on inside the apartment, anyone outside in the courtyard can see quite well into the apartment. So, if I don't want people to see what we are eating for dinner or watching on TV, I still have to shut the blinds. We have those ugly apartment rental vertical blind strips, luckily the shears cover them nicely, and I guess they do come in handy when we want privacy at night. So, figured it was worth mentioning that in my experience, the shears work during the day but don't provide any privacy at night unless you have blinds to shut.

  2. I best prefer, the window treatment on the 7th photo. Window decals are pretty to look at, but if there comes a time that you don't want that part of the window covered, then you can't do anything about it anymore 'cause there's already a decal there. So, if you want privacy and don't want to sacrifice the great view outside, then I'd go for number 7. The setup of the blinds and curtains are beautiful! They're just perfect for a living room bay window.

  3. There are certainly many treatments that can be used to provided style and privacy to a bay window. I actually like the 9th photo for her master bedroom. You can also use that idea for her dining area by adding some bamboo blinds for privacy purposes. Anyway, what solution did you come up in the end?

    Ashlee Starns

  4. I do agree with Terry! Window treatments on the 7th photo are nothing but love. The color, the curtains, and the shades made the whole room so beautiful. Since the curtains have patterns already, you don't need to put more fixtures in the room so it won't look cluttered. Sarai Loftis

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  6. Excellent article with beautiful pictures. Windows are really very helpful to get protection and provide you with more options over the light that comes into a room and provide privacy.
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  7. I have the exact same bay as in the last photo. I've been struggling with a solution as well. I need privacy as it faces the street, need light coming in as the home is dark, and to further complicate, i have 2 cats that like to sit and look out the window. My best solution would be blinds along the bottom, but the cats would be pawing at it to see outside. I think I will go with blinds with pattern in them, however the bay gives complications in measuring so the cassettes at the top won't collide with each other. It seems I will have to go the custom route, which is very expensive....I'm trying to stay under $500 which is proving to be difficult, even buying blinds online and on sale!

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