Types of Bay Windows with Style and configuration

Bay windows are a beautiful architectural feature that can enhance the look and feel of any home. Bay windows were initially created for decorative purposes, but as time passed, architects discovered their multi-functionality. Not only do they add charm and character, but they also provide additional space, natural light, and panoramic views.

Throughout history, the bay window has remained a steadfast and timeless trend in home design. From the late 15th century onwards, bay windows have consistently adorned homes of various styles, offering a touch of elegance and architectural sophistication.

If you’re considering adding bay windows to your home or simply want to learn more about them, this guide will help you understand the different types, styles, and configurations available. These advantages have led to the widespread use of bay windows in households worldwide.

Types of Bay Windows

Bay windows have been in existence for over 500 years, and although they have undergone some modifications, they have remained relatively unchanged. With the ability to incorporate various window styles, adjust angles, and incorporate architectural details, there are numerous design options to suit individual preferences. However, despite this design flexibility, there are only four main types of bay windows.

Canted bay windows

Canted bay windows have a classic shape that is commonly seen in bay windows. They usually have a flat front and angled sides and are typically found on the first level of homes and buildings.

Box bay windows

Box bay windows and canted windows have a lot in common structurally. The only difference is that with box bay windows, the side windows meet the front window at a 90-degree angle, giving it that box-like shape.

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Circle bay windows

Circle bay windows are indeed unique and have their own special category. They stand out because of their larger panes of glass on the three sides of the bay, as well as additional panes above the windows. When it comes to intricate moldings and ornamental details, circle bay windows typically take the lead among all other types of bay windows.

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Oriel bay windows

Oriel bay windows, which were first popularized on mansions during the English Renaissance, are the oldest form of bay windows. They are built into the side of a home and can be found on any story of a home or building since they never touch the ground. To provide structural support to an oriel window, a decorative bracket or corbel of wood, stone, or masonry is usually placed underneath the windows.

Bay Window Configuration

When it comes to having a bay window, you have the freedom to choose how you want to set it up. If you’re just focused on aesthetics and letting in natural light, you can go for three fixed picture windows that are the same size. Alternatively, you can opt for a larger middle picture window with two smaller fixed windows on either side.

Lots of homeowners want their windows to do more than just let in light. They choose to have a big picture window in the middle, flanked by two smaller windows that can actually be opened. This way, when you want some fresh air, you can open those side windows and let airflow in from different directions. It’s a great way to keep your home well-ventilated and cool.

The most common options for bay window configurations are double-hung windows or casement windows. With casement bay windows, you have the convenience of opening the entire panel simply by turning a crank. You have full control over how much or how little you want the panel opened to let in the breeze.

On the other hand, double-hung bay windows offer ventilation in a different manner. Although you can only open half of the window, you have the option to open the top, bottom, or both sashes to ensure proper air circulation.

When choosing the right bay window for your home, consider factors such as your home’s architectural style, the amount of natural light you desire, the available space, and your personal preferences. Additionally, consult with a professional window installer or designer who can guide you through the process and help you select the best option for your needs.

Different Styles of Bay Windows

If you head to a historic district in your community, you’ll probably notice bay windows as a prominent feature in the design of century homes. They have a strong connection to traditional architecture but are also highly sought after in modern home construction. There are various types and configurations of bay windows available, allowing you to customize them to match the unique characteristics of your home’s architectural style.

Victorian Bay Windows

Victorian homes are known for their beautiful architectural details, including ornate oriel windows. However, the defining feature of Victorian architecture is the classic canted bay window. These windows became popular in the 1800s when building codes changed, allowing homeowners to extend windows beyond their walls.

The straight front and angled sides give Victorian bay windows an iconic look, and they are so picturesque that the row homes in San Francisco are nicknamed “Postcard Row.”

Tudor Bay Windows

Small oriel windows can add charm and character to two-story Tudor-style homes. These windows are often adorned with wooden brackets that match the exposed timbers on the rest of the building’s exterior. Casement windows were commonly used in Tudor architecture, often grouped together in pairs or threes. Adding a casement bay window would be a beautiful addition to a Tudor home.

Mid-Century Modern Bay Windows

The clean, minimalist aesthetic of Mid-century modern design is exemplified by popular features like picture windows and casement windows in homes of this style. By combining them into a mid-century modern bay window, you can enhance the linear look of a Ranch or split-level layout and emphasize the beauty of the outdoor environment.

Modern Bay Windows

Traditional bay windows are known for their intricate decorations and ornate designs. However, the bay window style is versatile enough to be incorporated into modern designs as well. Modern bay windows feature sleek and minimalistic frames, allowing for large areas of glass that maximize the amount of natural light entering the room.

These windows typically do not have grilles or any additional treatments, keeping the appearance clean and unobstructed. For a modern-style home, a circular bay window with tall, unadorned panes of glass can create a striking protruding glass wall.

Craftsman bay Windows

Bay windows were a popular feature in Craftsman bungalows, primarily for their practicality in creating more space within smaller homes. By utilizing the window area as extra seating or a showcase for decorations, bungalow-style bay windows enhance the functionality of the overall space.

There are a variety of architectural styles that include bay windows, such as Queen Anne, Georgian, and contemporary homes. Whether you want to match a specific style or simply add functionality, bay windows are a beautiful addition to both old and new homes due to their unmatched flexibility.


In conclusion, bay windows are an excellent addition to any home, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits. By familiarizing yourself with the different types, styles, and configurations available, you can make an informed decision and transform your living space into a more beautiful and inviting environment.

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