A bay window is one of the more difficult windows to find a window dressing for. This is due to the fact that in general it can be seen as number of windows joined together that tend to be the dominant window or feature within that room.
This large window area is fantastic at letting in light but this also presents issues in terms of how you control the light that enters the room. The fact that the bay is normally a splay (be it a 3 part or 5 part splay bay or more) means that light can enter the room from more angles than an ordinary window. This light can mean more heat or cold within the room; it can mean that light shines into corners where at times you don’t want it i.e. the TV is situated there; or it can simply be the fact the room is too bright at times.
The other issue is that all that glass means that, should you be in street facing, it is easy for passers by to see into the room and that can be from a number of different angles due to the bay being splayed. So privacy is often the other key issue that consumers face.
What are the solutions when it comes to window coverings that deal with issues of light control and privacy and what are the pros and cons of each.
There are no advantages when it comes to romans, rollers or curtains. The simple fact is that curtains are either draw or open. On the vertical axis you cannot lower or raise a curtain and it is exactly the opposite for Romans. They are either raised or lowered but at least in the case of Romans and rollers you are dressing each window within the bay separately so can to an extent exercise greater control. The problem is ideally you would like to have both functions of curtains and Romans at the same time.
The key advantage for these products is just the pure choice there is in the designs that you can choose and the especially in the case of curtains the fact that ready made curtains are relatively accessible. Fading and cleaning of fabric based blinds is also one of their downsides and needs to be considered when one takes into account the long-term cost of the product
With Venetians you would dress each window separately. The fact is that with Venetians you have the ability to lower or raise the blind and also have the benefit of angling the louvres. This gives you the advantage of being able to control light levels and privacy levels to a degree.
In addition to this there are a number of different materials you can have your Venetians in from a variety of woods, faux woods and metal Venetians such as aluminium and with a range of ready made and cut-down options they can be obtained relatively cheaply. The down side is that they tend to gather dust easily, are difficult to clean and in the case of wooden Venetians the slats tend to be very thin and so susceptible to warpage.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article the design of bay windows brings some unique considerations when it comes to window coverings. Most bays fall under the category splay bays and box bays (also known as 90 degree bay or square bay) and these all consists of a number of windows in close proximity.
The advantage of plantation shutters is that each of the windows can be covered with a window covering that can be operated on both horizontal and the vertical. Each individual window is covered with a panel which is either stand alone or hinged to another panel (allowing it be bi-folded) and the initial panel is hinged to the frame allowing the panels to be folded out of the way of the window. Should you decide to keep the shutter in place you can control privacy and light by adjusting the slats. One of the key advantages of the slats in a shutter panels over a Venetian blind are that the slats can be grouped into sets that can be individually operated allowing you to control the angle of the slats differently depending where they are situated in that window. So should you for example want to have the slat set that covers the lower half of the window tilted at a steeper angle to give you extra privacy while the top set of slats are in the open position, to let in as much light as possible, the this is possible. A Venetian blind does not have the flexibility to achieve this.
This flexibility is available with each window of the bay and this gives shutters the accolade of being the most flexible window covering that you can place in a window. Shutters have a large range of other benefits. Please see the top 10 reasons to buy shutter article for extra information.
Bays vary greatly in their size, the material they are made from, the size of the mullions separating the windows and the types of glazing and glazing bars used. Read our other articles on how best to configure the shutters in your bay window to give you the best combination of practicality and aesthetics to ensure you have the perfect bay window shutters for your home.