Decorating a bay window ledge is a privilege.
Windows can be architectural pieces of harmony and beauty, which is even truer for bay windows.
Decorating windows with passion and creativity offers not only an outlet for your artistic expression but a great chance to significantly add to the beauty and ambiance of your home.
Below, I show you how to decorate a bay window ledge.
(FYI: for simplicity, I use ‘ledge’ and ‘sill’ interchangeably throughout this article.)
How to decorate a bay window ledge
You can use plants –real or artificial– in various pots and vases to decorate the ledge. You can also use the ledge as a shelf for knick-knacks, scented candles, mattresses, cushions, or anything else that tastefully adds to the beauty of the space. Complement your choices with either pleated curtains or Roman shades and, space permitting, furniture that suits your personality.
1. Decorate with potted plants
Variety is the secret to decorating bay window ledges with plants. The first step is to have a variety of plants.
Different pots create a unique and interesting space when arranged artistically.
The great thing about potted plants on the bay window ledge is that they give off an air of nature indoors, and many people find that relaxing.
Tip: you can “cheat” a little here. If you are not naturally a plant person, absolutely nothing stops you from using artificial plants.
Nowadays, imitation plants are so realistic that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart from the real thing.
2. Decorate with furniture
Use comfy cushions that fit snugly on the window sill as a basis for offering family and guests an informal seat with a view.
Try to avoid using just any old cushions here, as this is a perfect opportunity to show off your design skills.
Instead, use vibrant colors that match the décor and go for attractive and arresting materials that grab the attention.
3. Decorate with curtains
Window curtains allow you to make big, bold statements about your personality, so don’t miss your chance.
Match whatever accessories decorate the bay’s ledge with your chosen window’s curtains, bearing in mind the following ideas:
Roman shades are used in both traditional and modern bay window designs. They provide protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
Roman shades work beautifully with potted plants especially, providing an air of sophistication that other curtain types really can’t achieve.
Pleated curtains are highly versatile, and the great thing about them is that they fit virtually any window shape. Once folded back, they take up relatively little space and help to offer a better view.
If you’re lucky enough to have a great view, then this type of curtain can even let you match it with exterior colors.
For example, against a view of a forest or extensive greenery, use rustic-looking curtains.
Tip: if you use potted plants to decorate your bay window ledge, combining them with matching curtains can create a unique and amazing space.
4. Decorate the window sill itself
Some adventurous folks like to decorate the window sill itself.
They paint wildflowers and other designs directly onto the sill while adding an assortment of knick-knacks onto the ledge they use as a shelf.
Good to know: although there is nothing inherently wrong with this method, it is a more static approach than the others.
Clearly, changing the design isn’t easily done, and so once made, the chosen design will probably have to do for a long time.
I think painting, carving, or altering the ledge is something that would suit a bay window in a property belonging to a hyper-trendy person.
For me, that approach is unsuitable for an older person or a family and would appear a bit kitschy. But maybe that’s just my personal preference.
5. Place furniture in, near, or around the window
There are many options when decorating the window sill by placing furniture near it. Furthermore, the furniture in a bay window says a lot about your personal style.
For example, the chosen furniture could be stiff and utilitarian for a practical, no-nonsense person. It could be delicate and girlie for the ultra-feminine.
The furniture could even be overstuffed, fluffy, and filled with warm colors for a family with young kids.
The important thing here is to feel at home that you’ve built for your own style and tastes, rather than to just please visitors.
It’s a me-first approach, but when it comes to your own home, what’s wrong with that?
6. Upgrade or replace the window sill
Sometimes, it’s necessary to replace the window sill because it has aged terribly or deteriorated somehow (e.g., buckled wood, chipped masonry, etc.)
However, bay window-sill replacements can be quite costly, so you might want to consider other options, such as applying corrective and preventative measures.
The environmentally conscious will want to employ reusable wood for this purpose.
Tip: To extend the life expectancy of the new window ledge, lacquer, and polish the wood, or if it’s concrete, give it a good lick of (non-stick) paint.
In short (except for stone), always cover a new surface with a layer or two of something.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Decorate a Bay Window Ledge
Are scented candles appropriate in a bay window?
A long-established trend in home accessories, scented candles come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. By all means, keep them as bought or, better yet, placed in creatively-designed candle holders. Candles tend to emit soft but strong energy, warmth, and welcome. Scented candles deliver even more by emitting subtle, sweet scents that fill the air. Using scented candles on a bay window ledge is even more incredible when you’re entertaining guests, say at a dinner party.
Can I use my bay window for seating?
You can use a bay window ledge for seating. Do not stuff furniture next to your bay window as you’d probably end up squandering a lot of space. Instead, lay down a mattress that’s specifically designed for the space and add some colorful cushions to it.
Afterword: How to decorate a bay window ledge
To decorate a bay window ledge, use one, or more in combination, of mixed potted plants, cushions, curtains, furniture, and harmonious lighting.
A variety of pots and flowers will help create and boost a nature-type ambiance. In contrast, cushions and furniture add a homely, welcoming atmosphere.
Use Roman shades to give off an air of easy sophistication or pleated curtains to add a stylized touch that’s all your own.
Finally, harmonize lighting and other decorative items.
Use the result to set off the bay area when it gets dark so that the window offers a night-time experience that’s cleverly different from the daytime one.