The bay window is a classic piece of British house design. Dating back to the English Renaissance period, the word 'bay' comes from the French word 'baee', meaning open. Typically found in grand houses and mansion full of decadent furniture, the bay window is now a wonderful feature found in many homes, both period and modern. If you're lucky enough to have a bay window, you'll want to make the most of it. And, although a bay window comes with a host of benefits - more natural daylight, a greater outside view and more space, to name just a few - they can be a tricky area to work with.
1. Build a window seat
A bay window is an excellent spot to create a window seat. This will naturally be a lovely bright area with daylight streaming in from all angles. Perfect to sit and bask in the sun, watch rain or snow falling, catch-up with friends or just relax, a built-in boxed seating area is a classic way to make the most of the space. Add a seat cushion and pile up some scatter cushions for comfort and colour.
Tip: make the most of the space under the seat by adding some hidden storage.
2. Create a social seating area
If you want your bay to have flexibility, you can create a seating area using a couple of charming small armchairs in an accent colour or even a small 2 seater sofa. This way you can move the chairs and rearrange the space quickly and easily. You can create this no matter what size your bay is or whether it's in the living room, dining room or even the bedroom. Simply add a small side table and other accessories, such as a plant or table lamp to help pull the look together.
3. Make a dining nook
In a kitchen, a bay window gives you the perfect opportunity to create a dining area. To make the most of the space, let the size and shape of the bay dictate what table is best - a small rectangle table or a small round dining table should fit. Add four upholstered dining chairs or a small wooden dining bench and you can make good use of the area as a cosy dining space.
4. A space for eye-catching window dressings
You can really go to town to dress the windows especially if you want to create a beautiful frame for a gorgeous view through your bay window. You can use a mix of blinds and curtains - keep with the colour scheme the same as in your room or use the opportunity to introduce an accent colour. Alternatively, white shutters are a classic way to frame a bay window and a look that will never go out of style.
5. Add a reading nook
Whether your bay window is in the bedroom or living room, it makes an absolute perfect spot in which to create a reading nook. You can either arrange an armchair and a small wooden side table for a reading lamp or make a window seat with shelving for books below to make good use of the space.
6. Put nothing in it!
You can just leave it empty - this will give the impression that your room is bigger than it actually is - keep the curtain and blind colours neutral to make the space feel as bright and airy as possible. If you feel it would look better with just a little something there then add a houseplant at the edge- this will help to tie in any greenery outside.
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