south florida impact windows and shuttersThe bay window is a 3-opening window that protrudes outward and dates as far back as the Gothic era or around the 16th century. It evolved from the Romanesque architecture and contrary to popular opinion, gothic does not refer to dark or haunted. The original purpose for Gothic architecture was to “bring in the sunshine.” Architects created small, private rooms in churches that protruded from the main church building and then added windows to allow the light in. Thus, the original bay window was born.

Today, aside from being a natural source of light, bay windows are added to enhance the design of a house and make a room look bigger and more spacious. Bay windows can also increase the value of your house and has become a smart way to improve your energy consumption since it brings in natural light.

Bay windows are sometimes referred to as oriel windows when they are supported by brackets. Many oriel windows are found on the upper floors buildings but there are cases of oriel windows used on ground leves. A bow window is different from a bay window because it has a rounded look and has 4 or 5 openings.

Different Bay Window Styles

The style of the bay window can be differentiated by its shape. The box bay window is rectangular with flat front and sides. This style is very common in Europe.  The other styles are the bow bay and the circle bay.

The bow bay window or bow window has a semi-circular shape with at least 4 glass panel sides. This style is common in England and buildings typical of the Federal period (1780 to 1830s).  The circle bay window is more circular compared to the bow window and often decorated with crown moldings.

How to Plan and Decorate a Bay Window in 2017

Before you make the decision to install bay windows, there are a few factors to consider first:

  • Bay windows are common in living rooms and bedrooms but over and above this is the need to be aware of the natural view and position of the sun on different times of the day
  • When planning a bay window, avoid going out of scale to the size of the room
  • Light colors and small furniture work best with bay windows

If you want to put a sofa in front of the bay window, make sure the sofa is low enough so you get to enjoy a full view. Another option would be to install a built-in couch