Whether round, square or octagonal, bay windows are always a tricky space to dress. This is due to the limited space, depth and not wanting to obscure the view through the window, anything too heavy, tall or chunky can totally dominate this space, if you are not careful.
The key is finding the right balance, through using flattering shapes, being careful not to over clutter, but at the same time adding interest using accessories and creating a designated nook within the room. I am going to share my top 3 style tricks on how to get the perfect bay. Starting with my most recent discovery and by far the most flattering shape for a octagonal/square bay, armchairs with a curved frame.
The origin of a bay window dates back to between the late 15th and early 17th centuries, they were usually found in grand houses and were typically used at the end of a hallway for hosts to receive guests. Very different from todays use, where they are used to provide an extra surplus of natural light and utilised in many different ways, these include daybeds, reading nooks, a bench, storage unit, built-in shelving and even dining/kitchen banquettes.
I have always been a fan of seating within a bay window, somewhere to sit, relax and watch the world go by. I usually go for armchairs or a chaise long in these spaces, however the octagonal bay in our living room, never felt quite right until I discovered the Isaac armchairs by Love Your Home. I already had an Isaac chair in the corner of our dining room and love how it completely rounded off the sharp edges in this space. Having also previously used them in clients homes too, I am familiar with how their soft statement shape blends so well into any space, even the centre of a room. On working with Love your home to style a bay, I knew these would be perfect to create a little reading nook.
Formula one, using two Isaac chairs, the foot rest, a side table and a standing lamp. The curve of the chairs and foot rest instantly soften this space, but the key here is that they don't obstruct or over power the window and who could have asked for a better height!
Style with cushions to soften, a standing lamp/tall plant and side table to add a variety of heights, a rug to give texture and create more of a nook feel, some books and a magazine stand to show exactly what this space is to be used for. Rugs in any space really help section an area within a room, bring it all together at the same time as adding texture and drawing you into the space. Choosing the fabric was easy, Love Your Home has an amazing selection, however I had my heart set on the gorgeous textured Artisan Weave (boucle style) fabric for these chairs, teamed with a Whisper velvet trim on the cushions, to tie in with a similar tone on our existing sofas.
My second favourite formula has to be a window seat, they work so well in smaller spaces adding much needed storage and seating all in one. As they are made to measure you know they will fit. A window seat also works really well in bay windows that are limited in furniture due to size. You can also add drawers in the bottom section or have lift up panels under the seat cushion. Curtains are tricky here, as they would have to go straight across the whole bay. So I would recommend blinds or shutters.
(Images from Pinterest)
Style with cushions, add a throw. I also think its nice to add a bit of pattern either on the main seat pad or using the cushions.
Formula three a chaise longue or a small low armed sofa these work best in a larger bay area, however you can create a similar look using an upholstered style bench.
(Images 1 &3 from Pinterest, 2 Love Your Home)
To style, add further levels using a standing lamp or a tall plant to one side. A side table and a rug to cosy up the space along with cushions and a throw. Curtains work really well with this look, softening the space and adding a touch of luxury.
And thats it, my top three bay window formulas. I am extremely delighted to have finally found a winning look for the octagonal bay, the combination of all the items mentioned have really helped create a space you are drawn to take a seat in.
Enjoy the window dressing!
Paid Collaboration with Love Your Home