Finding The Perfect Bay Window Curtain Rod


Bay windows are beautiful, adding architectural interest and allowing natural light into your home. But if you want to add draperies to a bay, it can be difficult. Narrow spaces for mounting curtain rods, odd angles, and tricky molding all can contribute to difficulties in finding and installing both draperies and decorative bay window curtain rods. However, constructing a custom decorative drapery rod in a bay window can be done with the clever solutions Kirsch Hardware provides in its decorative rod collections, including metal designer drapery hardware

Here are the steps you can take to create a beautiful bay window or corner curtain rod with bay window curtain rod options offered by Drapery Rods Direct:

How to Measure for a Bay Window Curtain Rod

Where do you want to mount your rods--from the ceiling, above the window molding, or do you have to mount on the molding itself? (This should be avoided if at all possible, as mounting rods on the molding can split the molding and it’s difficult to repair the holes.)

Once you have determined where to mount the rods, measure the wall (or for ceiling mount curtain rods, the ceiling) from angle-to-angle across the back window, then measure each side--they can vary!--from edge of wall to angle, or angle-to-angle if you have a bay with more than three sections. Even if all the windows and/or wall sections appear to be the same, measure each one! There may be differences, and you need to take them into consideration.

If you have existing blinds or other window treatments you will be leaving in place, measure how far out they project from the window or wall. You will need brackets deep enough to clear them.

Measure the height of the space above the molding if that is where you are mounting your rods--you want to know if your chosen brackets will fit in the space.

Choose your Draperies

How will the curtain or valance you are installing attach to the rods you want? Will they be stationary, or do you want functioning draperies on your bay window? Will you need rings, and how many? If you are using a rod-pocket drapery or valance, what is the measurement of the pocket? If you are using grommet draperies, what is the diameter of the inside of the grommet? Speak with an expert from Drapery Rods Direct today to find the perfect draperies or curtains for bay windows.

How Many Curtain Panels Do You Need for a Bay Window?

The number of curtain panels you need for a bay window depends on factors like its size, curtain fullness, style, and functional requirements. Consider whether you'll treat each section separately or as one unit, choose curtain fullness for your desired look, and account for how the curtains will overlap and stack when open. Ensure enough panels for full coverage when closed, and select the correct panel width and hardware. While the exact number of bay window curtain panels varies depending on the design and layout of the window, a good rule of thumb is to double the width measurement of the bay window. For example, if the window section is 42 inches wide, you should aim for 84 inches of curtain panels to ensure there are no gaps and the bay window is properly dressed. This guideline helps provide ample coverage and a fuller appearance, but it's essential to adjust based on your specific preferences and other factors mentioned earlier, such as curtain style and stacking. Talk with an expert from the Drapery Rods Direct Customer Service today to find the perfect bay window curtain panels.

Decorative Bay Window Hardware

With Kirsch Wood Trends, Wrought Iron, and Designer Metals collections, your options for custom decorative bay window hardware and corner curtain rod hardware are endless. Each of these collections offers a Swivel Socket (also called elbows or corner connectors) that can achieve any angle from 90 degrees to 179 degrees. (If you need 180 degrees, a straight rod will do!) 

These rods can be cut and spliced to get any length you need for each section of the bay. We recommend that this be done on-site, as it is tricky to get the proper measurement without first taking into consideration the size of the Swivel Sockets. If you want, however, the Designer Metals collection offers Telescoping Rods in three sizes, so all you would have to do is adjust the rod to the size you need.

You will have to place a bracket on each side of the Swivel Sockets, and of course at each outside edge of the bay. Make sure that your selected bracket will fit where you want to mount it, and project far out enough to clear existing blinds, shades, etc. Ceiling mount brackets are available in the Kirsch Wood Trends and Designer Metals collections. Finally, you will need only one pair of finials or end caps to finish off your decorative, custom look!

If you are using rings to attach the draperies to the rod, and you want the draperies to open and close, keep in mind that they will not be able to pass over the Swivel Sockets. You will need to purchase separate draperies for each section of the bay.

How To Buy Bay Window Curtain Rods

If you want Decorative Drapery hardware for your bay window with single curtain rods, you will need the following components:

  • Rods a bit longer than the measurements you need
  • Enough brackets to hold up the rods (one at each end of EACH rod, and if you have particularly wide windows, you may need center supports as well)
  • One pair of finials or end caps
  • Two (or more) Swivel Sockets
  • The number of rings necessary for your particular draperies

Mixing and matching hardware from different manufacturers is, unfortunately, a recipe for disaster. All your bay window curtain rod parts should be from the same manufacturer to ensure that they will fit properly and work well together. A difference of only a quarter-inch in bracket size will cause problems with the fit and operation of your drapery rods.

Metal or wood drapery hardware?

The choice of metal or wood hardware is a personal one. If you want a contemporary look, the Kirsch Designer Metals 1 ⅜” collection offers a wide range of finishes and accessories to work with your particular style. The 1” diameter Kirsch Wrought Iron collection gives an old-world, slightly rustic look perfect for those looking for farmhouse curtain rods or lodge style room. The wide range of finishes in the Kirsch Wood Trends collection can create a traditional, transitional, or contemporary look. 

Corner Curtain Rods

Perhaps all you need is one rod to go around one corner in your room--or even all the way around a room! You can do that with Continental II drapery rods by purchasing rods in the lengths you need, and Flexible Corner Connectors for each corner. Drapery Rods Direct also offers center supports for Continental II rods so you can span a very wide window by connecting multiple rods and supporting them every 48-50 inches.

Create a single or double curtain rod with wood, designer metals, or wrought iron. You can use just one Swivel Socket to get your corner window dressed beautifully.

Feeling a little intimidated? Never fear--the expert Customer Service staff at Drapery Rods Direct are experienced and ready to help you select just what you need for your particular installation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bay Window Curtain Rods

How do bay window curtain rods work?

Bay window curtain rods are the same as other curtain rods, but with the addition of swivel sockets, elbows, or corner connectors to achieve the angles in the bay. If you have a very wide section in your bay window, you may need to cut and splice metal rods together or screw together wood rods to get the span you need.

Where to buy bay window curtain rods?

Of course, Drapery Rods Direct is a great place to buy Bay Window Drapery Rods because of the expert, personal consultation you get with our Customer Service representatives! We can walk you through all the intricacies of getting the look you want in your bay window. Feel free to call us at (800) 251-5009 Monday through Friday, Eastern time, or send us an email at

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