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how should i decorate my bay window?

it's in my dining room...so a window seat wouldn't be appropriate seeing as it's right next to the dining table. i want to dress it up...tastefully. i live in an older country house so nothing too hi-tech looking. any ideas? i'm interested in diy ideas and things i can buy or may have around the house. oh yes and i need ideas of not just what to put "inside" the window but also around the outside (if you can think of something) thanks!

Details:

  1. how about a christmas reath and then lights around the window that would look pretty.
  2. Although using it as a window seat would still work, even if it is near the dining table, there are many ways to use this space. You could use it to display a photo collection, create a small indoor flower garden, diplay for whatever you take pride in collecting, or just leave it plain and enjoy the un-cluttered view. As for outside the window, you could put an arbor around it, for climbing flowers, although this would create a tunnel effect. Or you could build a small platform and make a large flower box to look across to view the outside. Mark off an area below and put in a rock garden. There are so many ways to use this area. Hope this helps.
  3. well pick a theme and run with it. May a particular color. I wonder what color the walls in your dining room are. Well heres an example. Let's say you have red walls or any color thats not white. How about filling the window with empty white glass vases of all different styles and sizes, but all the same color http://www.nextag.com/white-vase/search-html Another alternative could be picture frames with family photos. But make sure the frames are all the same color . Just make sure there is order and uniformity to it.
  4. There are bay window curtain rods available in single, double, and I believe now triple. Check countrycurtains.com for the hardware. If you'd like to use that for hanging soft sheers or lace to either frame (with valances or swags) or cover along inside of the window (even hung midway as tiers), then you could use a decorative rod along the outer frame and hang a heavier drape to frame the window and give it more weight. You could still dress it up as a window seat (doesn't matter that it's in the dining room). You could also use it to display a collection of things such as a cluster of candle pillars (or candelabras, etc.), plants, pitchers, vases, boats, birdhouses (a collection of them in varying heights), bookends/statues of some sort (think garden), pottery, a decorative serving tray, a wooden or marble figure/sculpture (think what you would put on a coffeetable or shelf, but it'll have a natural backlight of the window). You could also use a cornice on the outer frame over drapes which would give you more space for collectibles on the upper shelf, for a collection of plates or vases or bottles, decorative books, propped up framed paintings, pictures, etc. Sift through magazines that show bay windows decorated in a room for inspiration. Just remember scale, proportion. Don't just fill it up with a bunch of tiny little things. Vary the sizes, don't be afraid to be bold with one big piece. Have fun with it, bay windows are a pretty feature. And remember you can always change this up pretty easily.