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Drapery Hardware For Bay Windows

Written By:  
Published: 04-12-2013
Bay Window present a challenge for curtain rods

Choosing drapery hardware for bay windows can be confusing. There are many options like standard bay window rods from Kirsch, but decorative drapery rods can easily be configured for use in a bay.

Bay windows are a popular design feature found in many homes. They look great from the outside, providing a classy, upscale look to a home’s exterior plus they bring a lot of natural light into the living space. The angular design of a bay window does present a challenge when it comes to selecting the appropriate drapery hardware to use. And, depending on the type of bay window, the choice of drapery style and functionality may be limited. However, there are many ways you can hang draperies or valances in these spaces using both traditional curtain rods as well as decorative drapery hardware.

For fabric valances with a wide rod pocket, Kirsch offers a pre-packaged Continental II curtain rod that’s specially designed for use exclusively in a bay window. This style of basic curtain rod has an adjustable center width allowing it to be used in a bay with a thirty-six to sixty-six inch center with side windows from eighteen to thirty-eight inches. For valances with regular size rod pockets, the Kirsch Lockseam bay window rods can be used. They cover about the same area as the Continental II and are available in both single and double configurations.

If your bay window doesn’t conform to size of a basic Kirsch curtain rod, or if you looking for something more decorative, it’s actually really easy to create your own treatment using wood or wrought iron drapery rods. Most all drapery hardware collections include a component called a swivel socket or hinged elbow. By using these pieces, you can join multiple straight drapery rods together and create the appropriate bay angle with the swivel socket.

To create a bay window treatment using decorative drapery rods, start by installing your brackets. You must support each side of the bay as if it were a single pole. That means, two brackets minimum per side. For a three side bay window, you’ll need six support brackets. If any of your sides are larger than six feet, you should use a center support as well. It’s important to remember that the swivel socket doesn’t actually provide support for the drapery rods. It just joins the poles together at an angle and provides a little stability in the corner. You don’t have to use a bracket to hold up the swivel socket, but the socket itself doesn’t provide support for your treatment.

Order your drapery rods in sizes that are fairly close the width of each side of your bay. For example, if the side windows are around forty-two inches and the center window is about sixty-three inches, you’ll need two four foot poles and one six foot pole. To make sure your treatment fits properly, cut your center pole to size and place it on your brackets. Then, place your side rods, uncut, on the brackets – screw on the swivel sockets and adjust the poles. Mark your side poles and then cut them to size.

A common mistake when hanging bay window treatments is to measure each side of the bay and pre-cut the poles to that size. If you do this, you’ll find that the side poles are probably not the correct size. By “dry fitting” the poles before you cut them, you’ll have the opportunity to make adjustments to ensure everything looks perfect.
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