When you’re looking for ways to elevate the look of your home both inside and out, one of the most undeniably charming solutions is the addition of bay or bow windows. When placed together in formation, several windows can form an attractive nook that floods a room with light and looks just as beautiful from outside the home.

If you’re considering adding a bay or bow window to your home but you’re just getting started, you may wonder what the difference is between these two window additions. At Window World Twin Cities, we offer a complete range of residential window replacement and installation services including bay and bow windows.

In this post, we’re covering some of the main differences between bay and bow windows as well as everything you need to know to install beautiful new windows for your home. To check out our window design options and connect with our window installation pros, give us a call today.

Bay and Bow Windows: Is there a Difference?

Both bay and bow windows are designed to create an attractive architectural feature that allows plentiful natural light into a home. These window designs are some of the oldest in use, dating back to the Tudor monarchy where they once graced noble manors and castles. Many of these stunning windows can also be found in Victorian homes.

These are the main differences between bay and bow windows:

Bow Windows

Bow windows are an arrangement of at least four or five window panes of identical shape and size. Together, these windows form a rounded arc shape, perfect for forming a turret-like corner on a home to give a panoramic look around the property. They also allow natural light from two sides of a home, making them one of the best options for a naturally brighter room. Bow windows create a sense of grandeur in a space but can be more costly and complicated to install than bay windows.

Bay Windows

Unlike a bow window configuration, bay windows are made using one larger fixed window in the center surrounded by two or four panes. A bay window also pushes out from the main house structure, making a room feel more spacious, and they’re often used for reading nooks or cozy little bench seats. Because they have fewer panes than bow windows, they can be more affordable to install. Bay windows tend to look and feel more modern than bow windows.

Bay windows work well in a wide range of architectural home designs, including:

●        Modern homes

●        Minimalist homes

●        Craftsman homes

●        Victorian homes

●        Tudor homes

●        And more

Types of Bay Windows

Not all bay windows are alike. These are the four main types of bay windows:

●      Box Bay Windows

Box bay windows are installed with the two side window panels at a 90-degree angle so that together, the three windows form a box shape.

●      Canted Bay Windows

Canted bay windows are the most common type of bay window shape with a flat main panel and two angled windows on the sides.

●      Circle Bay Windows

Circle bay windows use the same basic design as other bay windows but employ larger side panes to create a more circular shape. They will often use more than three windows with up to five or six panes. They’re most commonly seen in Victorian homes.

●      Oriel Bay Windows

Oriel bay windows date back to the Tudor era or perhaps even earlier. They use a decorative piece of masonry or bracket underneath the windows to support them as they jut out from an upper-level room in a building. These windows look almost like something out of a fairy tale and add plenty of charm and romance to a space.

Designing a Bay Window

One of the great things about bay windows is their design versatility. Many homeowners will choose to use a fixed window in the center but add flanking windows that can be opened to bring plenty of fresh air into their home. Due to their configuration, operable bay windows can be a tremendous source of ventilation on a pleasant day since they catch the air at different angles. Typically, casement windows are a popular choice for flanking bay window panes, although double-hung windows are also popular.

Designing a Bow Window

If you’re looking for something with a little more curve, a bow window may be your ideal window. Many homeowners will also add a bench seat inside their bow windows, making it a perfect spot to watch the world and collect one’s thoughts. While bay windows tend to be versatile enough for use in any home, bow windows work best with larger homes. They’re best installed on a home’s east side or north side and can help bring in more light to areas that don’t typically get enough natural light with conventional windows.

Designing Your Bay or Bow Windows

Need help getting inspired? Window World offers an online Design Center so you can create your beautiful new windows virtually and see how they’ll look in your home! After you design your new bay or bow windows, call Window World Twin Cities at 651.770.5570 or contact us online to get your free quote and get the beautiful new windows you’re dreaming of!

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