In our house, we have a great room with a little portative organ and a harpsichord. When we started planning our interior design, I decided that one of the things I really wanted was to make our music area as special as possible. We didn’t have any extra space in the room, so we ended up choosing to install a sparkling new bay window. It juts out, so it actually gives us more interior space. And it fills the room with views of the landscaping beyond, reflected in its angled panes. The harpsichord curves nicely into the nook formed by the new bay window, and beckons us to come and play.

“A new bow or bay window immediately becomes the focal point for the home,” says Sven Kramer, National Sales Manager of Stanek® Windows, by Great Day Improvements, LLC. “This is not just another window. It consists of a shell that projects outside the home and contains three or more panels of windows. A bow or bay window completely transforms both the interior and the exterior of the home.”

What’s The Difference?

At first glance, bow and bay windows can look a lot alike. Both will do much to open up a room and let it breathe, giving the appearance of more space and letting in more light while adding a splash of glamour to any room.

Bay & Bow Window Line DrawingsHere are the major differences between the two:

  • A bay window has three openings, available in angled projections. A bow window usually has four or five.
  • A bay window’s overall structure consists of a picture window with two other windows, usually smaller, on either side. A bow window’s structure is curved, creating a rounded appearance on the outside of the home. (These bow windows are usually referred to as a “four-lite bow” or a “five-lite bow.”)
  • The angular lines and flat planes of a contemporary bay window are often considered more appropriate for modern homes, while the semi-circular outer structure of the bow window is ideal for any architecture that smacks of the Victorian. Of course, either type is perfectly acceptable for just about any style home.
  • Bay windows protrude farther from the wall out into the exterior space, adding a bit more floor space on the interior.
  • Bow windows frequently allow more light to come into the room since they have more glass panes than bay windows.
  • Because bay windows only have three panels, they’re seldom as wide as bow windows.
  • Bow windows can be wrapped around the corner of a building, forming a unique turret shape on the outside and an enticing nook on the inside. This advantageous option also allows for a view from two sides of the home.

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