Kitchen bay windows can add charm and functionality to your cooking space. With their angled sides that extend outward, bay windows create room for extra seating, storage, and natural light. Considering adding one of these elegant architectural features to your kitchen? Read on for our favorite kitchen bay window ideas to inspire your remodel.
Benefits of a Kitchen Bay Window
Kitchen bay windows offer several advantages:
More Natural Light
The extended sides of a bay window allow more natural sunlight to fill your kitchen. Sunlight makes cooking tasks easier and gives the space a warm, inviting ambiance. For maximum sunlight, choose an unobstructed location that faces east, south, or west.
The bay’s projecting form creates a cozy nook for a breakfast table or casual dining spot. Built-in bench seating lined with plush cushions provides a comfortable place to enjoy a meal or morning coffee.
Beneath the bay’s seats or behind its sides, integrate drawer storage for pots, pans, and cooking utensils. Open shelving also works well for cookbooks, dishes, and decorative items.
Added Counter Space
Use the bay’s flat top surface as additional countertop area for food prep and serving. Opt for durable surfaces like granite, quartz, or butcher block.
Position your bay window above a sink or cooktop to provide views of your backyard or other attractive outdoor scenery. Frame the view with curtains or blinds.
Some bay windows can open to bring in fresh air. Casement windows on the angled sides are an ideal option. You can also add windows that crank outward above the bay.
Best Locations for a Kitchen Bay Window
When planning your kitchen layout, consider these prime spots for installing a bay window:
Above the Sink
Let ample sunlight pour over your cleanup zone by placing a bay window over the kitchen sink. Include a window directly in front of the sink for ventilation and views while washing dishes.
Use a bay to create a distinct breakfast nook or dining area. Position it next to the kitchen table or build it into an empty corner. A round dining table fits nicely into a rounded bay shape.
For a major remodel, construct a bump-out bay that extends from your home’s exterior. This location frees up existing wall space in your layout for an uninterrupted workflow.
Having natural light near appliances makes cooking more visible and enjoyable. Bays work well positioned near the stove, oven, fridge, or kitchen island.
Facing the Yard
Take advantage of beautiful backyard views by placing your bay window above the kitchen sink or range. Install blinds to control sunlight as needed.
Adjacent to Entryway
Greet guests with abundant daylight and a cozy banquette by adding a bay off the kitchen beside the entryway. Include plush cushions for relaxing as you put on shoes.
Kitchen Bay Window Styles
Kitchen bay windows come in several classic styles:
This basic style has three sides – one large central window flanked by two angled windows on each side. The angles typically protrude outward between 1 and 3 feet.
For a gently curved shape, choose a bow bay window. Its sides have a soft arc rather than distinct angles. Bow bays with four or more panels feel more spacious.
This bay shape features a 180-degree or rounded semi-circle form. Circle bays don’t have sharply angled corners, giving them a smooth, enclosed feel.
Picture bay windows have a wide, continuous top panel above angled bottom panels. This makes them feel more open and airy than standard bays.
An extended bay has a central picture window flanked by two additional windows on each side. This style combine wide views with extra sunlight intake.
Slanted or polygon bay windows have angled panels that slant inward or outward. Choose slanted sides to fit the dimensions of your existing layout.
For a dramatic statement, install a double bay with a set of windows that jut outward in the center and sides of the wall. Opt for different shapes in each bay.
Kitchen Bay Window Design Tips
Follow these design strategies to make the most of your kitchen bay:
Match Architectural Style
Select a bay shape like rounded, slanted, or arched that complements your home’s existing architectural details. It will look seamless with the overall style.
Include Window Treatments
Dress up your bay windows with curtains, valances, or blinds that layer in softness. Opt for roll-up shades to control sunlight without sacrificing views.
Take advantage of the bay’s recessed space by adding built-in bench seating, storage drawers, or open shelving. Paint or finish built-ins to match your cabinets.
For a unified look, use the same flooring like tile, hardwood, or laminate throughout the kitchen and into the bay window area. This makes the space feel more open.
Add Architectural Interest
Frame out the bay window opening with molding or trim details that match or accent other trim finishes in your kitchen. Add paneling beneath the bay for character.
Include Electrical Outlets
Make your bay window area even more functional by installing electrical outlets. They will allow you to plug in lamps, charge devices, or use portable appliances.
Choose Views Wisely
Position the bay to frame an attractive backyard view or vibrant garden area. Limit views of unattractive objects like AC units, parking areas, or fences.
Provide Adequate Clearance
Leave enough space around the bay window seating area to allow easy access. At least 20-24 inches of clearance is ideal for entering and exiting the seats.
Finish Window Returns
Use drywall and trim to cleanly finish the interior sides of the bay window returns. Built-in storage also helps integrate awkward angled returns.
Best Materials for Kitchen Bay Windows
Durability and easy cleaning are essential for kitchen bays. Consider these ideal window materials:
Vinyl bay windows are affordable, low-maintenance, and energy-efficient. Vinyl resists moisture, rotting, and wear while insulating well. Look for heavy-duty panels.
Wood bay windows offer unbeatable aesthetics and architectural authenticity. Oak and pine suit traditional kitchens. Use engineered wood for moisture resistance and stability.
This composite combines the elegance of real wood on the interior and low-maintenance vinyl on the exterior. Wood-clad windows emulate period design and simplify cleaning.
For incredible durability, choose fiberglass bay windows. Fiberglass resists rotting, warping, and temperature fluctuations while still looking like painted wood.
Aluminum bay windows are a budget-friendly option appropriate for many home styles. Look for insulated aluminum to prevent indoor temperature loss and condensation.
Use glass block windows within your bay for contemporary style and diffused light. Glass blocks also provide insulation and security while allowing in natural light.
Creative Kitchen Bay Window Ideas
Integrate these creative touches into your kitchen bay window design:
Built-In Breakfast Nook
Construct a built-in breakfast nook in your kitchen bay complete with bench seating, cushions, and a drop-leaf table. Add molding and paneling to match the cabinets.
Cushioned Seat Cushions
Make the bay window seating area as comfortable as possible with deep, oversized cushions in moisture-resistant fabrics. Choose patterned cushions for whimsical character.
Storage Drawers and Cabinets
Take advantage of every inch of your bay window by installing pull-out drawers underneath the seat or in the sides. Or, build in enclosed cabinet spaces.
Work open shelves, cubbies, and ledges into the sides of the bay window for displaying ceramics, cookbooks, fresh herbs, and other kitchen items. Opt for glass shelving to maintain lightness.
Enhance your views by mounting window boxes below the exterior sills of the bay windows. Fill them with colorful blooms or trailing greenery.
Cozy Seat Cushions
Line your bay window seat with plush cushions, pillows, and throws for an inviting reading spot that encourages relaxation. Choose durable, stain-resistant fabric.
Window Grille Patterns
Add visual interest with muntin grilles arranged in eye-catching patterns like diamonds, squares, circles, or starbursts. Grill patterns complement both traditional and contemporary styles.
For a Parisian vibe, dress the lower half of the bay windows with cafe-style curtains. Opt for pre-gathered curtains on a rod below the main window treatment.
Make your kitchen bay a productive workspace by furnishing it with a narrow built-in desk. Include drawers and shelving for office supplies and electronics.
Turn your bay into a greenhouse for herbs like basil, oregano, and rosemary. Use wall-mounted rails and hanging baskets to grow greens in the window light. Install a sink for watering.
Fascinating Kitchen Bay Window Seating Ideas
Your kitchen bay window seat can serve many functions. Explore these inspiring built-in seating concepts:
Line the bay with a cushioned bench for soft yet supportive seating. Choose easy-clean slipcovered cushions or classic upholstered tufting. Add throws for coziness.
Corner Breakfast Nook
Use the bay to create a dedicated breakfast nook in the corner of the kitchen. Include a small pedestal table and upholstered L-shaped banquette tucking into the bay’s sides.
Pull-Out Dining Seats
Maximize your bay space with pull-out dining benches hidden below, similar to a breakfast booth. The extendable seats accommodate extra guests.
Place upholstered ottomans in the bay that provide casual seating and flip open for concealed storage. Use for media, board games, or kitchen supplies.
Tufted Banquette Seat
Create a luxurious look and feel with a padded, button-tufted banquette seat lining the bay. Choose a tufted backrest as well for plushness. Add throw pillows to lean against.
Mix and Match Seating
Get creative with a mix of seating options like an upholstered bench, chair, and ottoman that provide choices for relaxing. Arrange by size or style.
Make the bay seating area kid-proof and playful with durable, easy-clean cushions covered in whimsical, child-friendly fabrics. Include interactive textures and bright colors to delight youngsters.
For easy cleaning, use removable bay window seat cushions. Ensure a snug fit by securing cushion covers tightly over firm foam inserts. Opt for a stain-repelling fabric like microsuede.
Farmhouse Style Seat
Give your bay window seat a cozy farmhouse feel with wood plank panels below, crisp white molding, and an extra-wide jute-covered cushion for lounging.
Floating Window Seat
Visually lighten up the space by installing a floating bay window bench. Conceal the seat supports to make the bench appear suspended below the bay.
Inspiring Kitchen Bay Window Decor Ideas
Decorate and accessorize your kitchen bay window to create an inviting vignette.
Dramatic Roman Shades
For contemporary drama, install bold roman shades in rich colors like navy blue, emerald green, or eggplant purple. They controlling light levels while making a stylish statement.
Macrame Plant Holders
Hang macrame plant holders in your bay windows for an effortlessly chic boho vibe. Use them to display trailing ivy, ferns, or herbs with elongated vines.
Woven Wood Shades
Layer natural texture over the bay windows with woven wood shades in materials like bamboo, jute, or reed. Opt for adjustable cords to control the light gap.
Pick patterned curtains like florals, paisleys, or checked gingham to soften the bay window edges and add eye-catching appeal. Avoid heavy fabrics that compete with views.
Cast Iron Plant Stand
Situate a narrow cast iron plant stand in the bay window for displaying botanicals. The metal finish and slender pedestal form maximize views outside.
Window Pane Mirror
Bounce more light around with a window pane mirror on the back of the bay. Choose a framed mirror with mullions that match the window style.
Cozy Throw Blankets
Roll up washable throw blankets to tuck into the bay window seating corners. They’ll be handy for curling up with a book on chilly mornings or evenings.
Textured Throw Pillows
Incorporate pillows in a mix of shapes, sizes, colors, and fabrics like wool, velvet, sherpa, and faux fur to add eye-catching texture. Layer tossed against cushions.
Luxe Velvet Pillows
Elevate your bay with the richness of velvet throw pillows. Opt for jewel-toned colors like emerald green or sapphire blue paired with ornate trim.
Sheer Curtain Underlay
Soften harsh sunlight and add a gauzy filter by mounting sheer curtains behind the main drapes. Layer complementary textures like lace under linen.
Answers to FAQs About Kitchen Bay Windows
Get all your bay window questions answered here!
How much does it cost to add a bay window in the kitchen?
A new bay window for the kitchen often costs $2,500-$5,000 installed. Custom sizes, high-end windows, and structural changes raise the price.
What is the standard size of a kitchen bay window?
Typical kitchen bay windows protrude about 3 feet from the wall and span 5-10 feet wide. However, sizes range from 18 inches to over 6 feet long to fit your exact layout.
How far should a kitchen bay window stick out?
For proper circulation, allow a minimum of 20-24 inches clearance in front of the bay window seat. A 3-foot projection from the wall leaves ample walking room without overwhelming the space.
Should I put a bay window in my small kitchen?
Even small kitchens can benefit from a bay window over the sink or by the dining table. Opt for a rounded bow window or short 18-24 inch bay that fits without cramping your layout.
Can you put a bay window in an interior wall?
Bay windows require a supporting foundation beneath them, so they typically don’t work on interior walls. Focus your bay window plans on exterior kitchen walls.
Do bay windows add value to a home?
Yes, bay windows are a sought-after feature that can add $5,000-$15,000 in value to a home. They appeal to buyers looking for added living space, sunlight, and architectural details.
Should I get casement or double hung windows in my bay?
Casements are ideal because they maximize glass space, ventilate well, and come in shapes to match your bay design. Double-hungs also work but provide less glass view space.
How do you decorate a large kitchen bay window?
Use full-length curtains, roman shades, or plantation shutters to frame large bay windows. Incorporate a built-in window seat with storage below for functionality. Add plants, pillows, and other cozy accents.
How can I make my bay window seat more comfortable?
Use dense foam cushions in a supportive, durable fabric like cotton or linen. Overstuff the cushions for a plush feel. Include back support with lumbar pillows. Layer in throws and accent pillows.
With their architectural elegance and functionality, kitchen bay windows open up a world of possibility. Clever bay window seating, storage, and decor options allow you to maximize both style and living space. Consider a new bay window installation or bump-out addition to give your kitchen an influx of charm, sunlight, and seating space. Use our favorite bay window ideas to design the perfect custom focal point above your sink or kitchen table.
How to Install a Kitchen Bay Window
Installing a bay window in your kitchen can provide extra space for seating, decorating, and views of the outdoors. With the right planning and skills, you can handle a bay window installation or replacement project as a DIYer. Follow this step-by-step guide for a successful kitchen bay window installation.
Choose the Right Bay Window
- Decide on the ideal size, shape, and placement for your kitchen layout and sun exposure. Account for corer trim when sizing.
- Select high-quality windows with durable, moisture-resistant frames like vinyl, fiberglass, or wood clad windows. Opt for insulating glass.
- Choose windows that match your home’s architectural look. Include functional windows like casements or awnings for ventilation.
- Buy a complete factory-built bay window unit for easier installation. Or, purchase three standard windows and components to create a bay.
Prepare the Bay Window Opening
- Measure and mark the bay window opening size on the wall. Include the window, corner trim, and apron under the bay.
- Cut through the siding and sheathing using a circular saw set to the proper depth. Wear goggles for safety.
- Frame in the rough opening with header, sill, and side framing lumber. Secure with 16d galvanized nails.
- Flash the framed opening with adhesive membrane flashing tape to direct water away from the edge.
Install the Bay Window
- Set the prebuilt bay unit into the opening. Leave a gap for trim and expansion. Temporarily brace from underneath.
- Check that the