Use a bay window to highlight groups of furniture, like the table and chairs here.

How to Arrange Furniture With a Bay Window

by Mary Cockrill

Take advantage of a bay window in your home by maximizing the space with a furniture arrangement to suit your family's needs and wants. Think about how you'd like to use the recessed window area and choose accommodating furniture pieces. The available floor space will help you narrow the furniture layout options available for your bay window area.

1. Create a Plan

You can avoid the decorating trap of cramming too much furniture into your bay window area by designing a workable layout before moving any furniture. Begin by measuring the area of the room with the bay window and transferring those dimensions to a computer-generated or graph-paper sketch. Designate one graph square to equal one foot if you're creating a paper sketch. Next, measure each piece of furniture you'd like to fit into the window area and make a graph paper or computer image template for each. Before you purchase or physically move any furniture, shuffle the pieces around on your paper or virtual layout to determine the best arrangement.

2. Enjoy the View

When a bay window reveals a spectacular view to the outdoors, seize the decorating opportunity to draw attention to that focal point. For example, place a loveseat or small sofa to face the window to provide an unobstructed outdoor view while you're snuggling with your kids. Add a large ottoman in front of the couch to deliver a comfy spot to rest your feet or play a board game with your family. Alternatively, flank a petite accent table with a pair of comfortable armchairs to create a relaxing space where you can concentrate on the outdoor scenery without any indoor distractions.

3. Make It Cozy

A kitchen bay window delivers an ideal spot to fashion a cozy dining nook. Nestle a padded bench inside the recessed area and scoot a small dinette table in front of it. Slide a pair of kitchen chairs underneath the table's open side to complete the informal furniture arrangement. In a tight nook, substitute a pair of backless stools in lieu of the kitchen chairs to save valuable floor space. Design a U-shaped conversation grouping by centering a couch inside the recessed window area to face the room's interior, and situate an armchair at each end of the sofa. Place a large coffee table in the middle of your U-shaped grouping to complete the layout. Create symmetry and increased function when you add an end table topped with a table lamp adjacent to each sofa end.

4. Stretch Out and Relax

Transform a bay window in your child's bedroom into an inviting sleeping space. Shove a twin bed into the architectural bump-out to give your child an enclosed, fortlike feel when it's bedtime. If the space is too small for a twin bed, construct a built-in window seat topped with custom-fitted seat and back cushions to provide a lounging spot for your youngster. Add hinged cabinets and drawers underneath the window seat for storing seasonal clothing, bed linens or extra toys. You can also use the bay window as a backdrop for any bed by centering the headboard inside of the recessed area. An open metal headboard allows more light to enter the room than a solid wooden one.

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