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How to Hang Bay Window Curtains: 6 Expert Tips

curtain covering bay window

Bay windows are one of the most gorgeous additions to any home, adding truckloads of curb appeal, a panoramic view, and a bit more space in your house.

One of the first challenges people run into with bay windows is the curtains. Because of their unconventional shape, bay windows are a bit harder to dress than regular windows. Don’t fret, though! We’ve got you covered. Let’s check out the handiest tips for hanging curtains on bay windows below.

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The 6 Tips for Hanging Bay Window Curtains

1. Bay Window Rod

The most obvious choice is also the easiest and most effective one. Bay window rods are specifically designed with three connected yet separate and adjustable sections, which are connected with stretchy elbows. The bad news about these is that they’re only available in three sections, so bay windows with more segments will call for a different solution.

2. Tension Rods

Tension curtain rods are very popular because they don’t require drilling, instead fitting inside your window frame. You make the rod smaller to fit it, then ramp up the tension until the rod fits snugly. Finally, add your curtains!

Tension rods are handy because they require no power tools or brackets, but they can be finicky and fall down a lot if you don’t tighten them enough. Tension rods are also very affordable, which is important to a lot of folks.

3. Straight Curtain Rods

dining table near the bay window
Image By: urfin, Shutterstock

This method requires a bit more work, but you can use any straight curtain rods you have lying around. Install brackets for each window segment, then install one curtain rod at a time until you have a rod that spans the whole bay window. Depending on your window, curtains, and rods, you may need to install one rod, thread the rod into your curtain, and do the following segments separately until the curtains are finally hung.

4. Use Extra Long Rods to Create a Reading Nook

If you love nothing more than curling up with a good book in a secluded spot, this is for you. Measure the total length of the bay window from wall to wall, then buy an extra-long curtain rod that extends that far.

These are installed with brackets like normal curtain rods, but they’re too long to repurpose for other windows later on. You can make a cozy little reading nook, dress the window up with art and decorations, or do anything else you can imagine!

5. Curtain Tracks

curtain hanging on a curtain tracks
Image By: Christine Bird, Shutterstock

Metal curtain tracks are one of the best ways to hang curtains, but they’re expensive and a headache to install. The track is installed on your ceiling, and ball-bearing rollers are where you attach your curtains. Moving your curtains is as easy as tugging them to either side.

Not all curtains are compatible with tracks. If yours isn’t, you may be able to use a heading or pleating tape to add pleats that will make it work.

6. Frame the Window

By this, we mean that you can use alternative curtain styles that will help frame focal points in your window or home. Valances are a popular choice to frame the top of the window without obscuring views or limiting light, and pelmets help cover up the hardware.

The biggest downside to this one is that people can look into your house. If you don’t mind that, just framing your windows with valances or other minimal curtains is a great way to let in some light.

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Bay windows will always turn heads, but most people don’t know how hard it is to hang curtains on them. On the flip side, you have a lot of options: tension rods, curtain tracks, extra-long rods, and more. Choose whichever method will look the best in your home—as long as the price is right, of course!

Featured Image Credit: inter reality, Shutterstock


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