Bow Window Vs. Bay Window

Here is an information on bow windows and bay windows that will help you understand the difference between the two and resolve the difficulties you face when deciding which one to choose.
DecorDezine Staff
Last Updated: Jul 20, 2018
The comparison of bay windows vs. bow windows seems to commonly coming up when one decides about which one to use while decorating their house. You just can't seem to understand the difference between the two.
What is it that makes one different from the other? How does choosing any one of them alter the appearance of your interior space? Here you can find answers to all your queries.
The Similarity and Differentiation Factor
Bow and Bay window
Now as far apart in appearance they have been made to sound, there is not that much of a difference between bow and bay windows.
Yet, in the world of interior designing, even a slight difference in shape or function makes a world of a difference. Both of them add to the spaciousness of a room, and make it look larger. Not only do they add to the illusion of a larger room space, they also allow for increased light to enter a room.
This makes them perfect for rooms that are placed in a manner that do not allow for sufficient natural light. Usually, they are strategically positioned to allow for a great external view, that is always better perceived from such larger windows.
A bay window is an angled window, that extrudes from the external surface of a building, and has a minimum of three panes, thereby adding to the space in a room. On the other hand, a bow window is a semi-circular version of the bay window, but the purpose it provides is the same as the bay window.
Both are a culmination of Victorian architecture. In today's day and time, they have been modernized to adapt to the changing trends. A lot of designs can be created based on these lines.
What to Choose?
As mentioned earlier, apart from their appearance, there is nothing much that will help you choose while planning your home decorating and design. Traditionally, when either of these windows were used, the sills they were placed on were of the same shape as the windows.
This allowed for increased internal space of the rooms they were used in. The bay that was created could then be used for a cozy window seating where you could unwind with a mug of hot coffee and a book, or an informal seating with a coffee table and two chairs.
In some cases, such windows were large enough to allow for a small dining table to somewhat fit in the niche created. As such, bay windows were always considered a way of having increased space in a room.
In the modern setup, you get ready to install bay and bow windows, which means if your sills are not designed to accommodate them, they will only provide the illusion of a larger space, but not necessarily increase it.
Yet, they are definitely aesthetically more appealing than the regular windows, and this aesthetic value can be further increased by using some beautiful window treatments.
At any given time, both these windows would look appealing on an exterior that has been designed keeping in mind the Victorian theme. Having originated in that era, nothing is better suited than a bay or a bow window on house based on Victorian architecture.
However, as has been mentioned earlier, these windows have been adapted to fit modern needs, and you can easily include these in your house based on the lines of modern architecture if you wish to.
Finally, always remember that with its angular lines, a bay window is always a preferred choice for a modern home. On the other hand, the softer bow window would be a better option for a traditionally designed exterior, even if it is not Victorian.
Of course, this does not mean that one cannot be used in place of the other and vice versa. As long as you believe it looks good at the exterior, and fulfills its purpose in the interiors, there is no reason why shouldn't opt for these traditional windows.