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The Popularity of Victorian Bay Window Shutters

victorian bay window shutters

Why Are Victorian Bay Window Shutters So Popular?

Bay windows are a classic part of UK architecture and Victorian bay window shutters are often a feature that makes a cottage stand out on a terrace of identical ones. Bay windows first became popular during the early Renaissance period in the UK – which began in the 15th century through to the 17th – when they were used to make large rooms look very grand. Their popularity continued and increased through Victorian and Edwardian times, especially when the London Building Act of 1894 permitted changes in certain building regulations, meaning that windows no longer needed to be flush with the exterior walls of a property. Around the same period, America starting to adopt them; they were also extremely popular in the West during during the California Gold Rush. Now they can be seen worldwide in both ultra-modern through to period properties.

Tier on Tier Bay by Southwest Shutters

Tier on Tier Bay by Southwest Shutters

Beauty Hidden behind Curtains!

Bay windows have always been notoriously difficult to cover. They are such a beautiful and elegant feature of any room, that the last thing you want to do is to cover them up with heavy, dusty curtains. Dressing a bay window, so that it is revealed in all its glory without detracting from today’s essential requirements, such as privacy and light control, can indeed be testing, as is the case with finding any window treatments for unusual shaped windows. Also bay windows come in many different shapes and sizes and even traditional ones have varying inside angles, including 90, 135 and 150 degrees. It is essential to display bay windows in all their stunning glory.

The Easy Solution

There are various different window dressing ideas for bay window available in shops and on the internet, but there is only one that not only embraces their curvaceous shapes, but also enhances them – and that is shutters. Bay window shutters, made to today’s modern standards, still retain the elegance that is authentic to the period. Not only will you be staying true to your property’s heritage, but you will also acquire the following benefits:

  • Insulation – with today’s extraordinary high utility bills, shutters will provide an extra layer between the glass and the interior of the room, allowing the thermostat on your radiations to be turned down a degree or two during the colder months. They also keep the heat out during the warmer ones, reducing the need for air conditioning and fans
  • Privacy – many properties with bay windows are situated on a busy street, where passersby can look into your private space, or perhaps a waiting room or office in a commercial property. Victorian bay window shutters, whether you choose full height or café style, will ensure that you can see out while others cannot see in
  • Light control – there is nothing more frustrating than having to close curtains when watching television or using a computer because of the suns glare coming through the windows into the room. Shutters not only limit or keep out this glare, they will also greatly reduce fading of furniture and soft furnishings

Different Types of Bay Windows

Architects today are still copying the traditional bay window designs, as perfection is impossible to improve on; it can only be redesigned for modern demands that are currently in vogue. There are in the main, five different shapes, beginning with the most common:

  • The Bow Window – this suits any age of property but first appeared in the UK during the eighteenth century. It has four or more panes of glass which follow a semicircle frame. The Georgian period embraced them and they blended in perfectly with the Regency style of architecture. Popular with both town and country properties, they created more space in small rooms and gave a feeling of bringing the outside in with bigger ones
  • The Box Bay Window – this type is formed with a 90 degree angle, giving the protruding box shape on the exterior walls. They nearly always have window seats, often with shelving or cupboards under, making the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by or read a book. This type of window was extremely popular during Victorian times and remains so today
  • The Circle Bay Window – these became popular during the Gothic period and are an extreme example of a bow window. They normally can be found on the corners of buildings and are made up of circular panels of glass which cover a smooth circular area. They offer an amazing architectural style and are often used in contemporary buildings today
  • Oriel Windows – these come in various shapes which are normally found on the upper storey of a building. They often are supported by ornate corbels or brackets and are extremely decorative to look at. The original idea was to create an upper level porch area and they were first popular during the Gothic period. They are also used in Arabian architecture where they are known as ‘mashrabiyas
  • The Garden Bay Window – resembling a greenhouse, they protrude from the house and the modern ones allow in the maximum amount of light possible. Perfect for rooms such as kitchens, they are very popular in today’s modern homes. It is unclear when this type of bay window was first introduced as, although today they are often made with large panes of glass, there is evidence of this style being used with mullioned glass

With so many different types, in varying shapes and sizes, there really is only one window treatment that is perfect. Victorian bay window shutters will fit in with any décor and age of property, negating the need to introduce something which is totally out of keeping and impractical, such as curtains.

Important Things To Know About Victorian Bay Window Shutters

Bay Window shutter stylesBecause of the variations in shape and size, it is imperative that they are made to measure by a professional and reputable company such as S:CRAFT.

With such a stunning feature, you must be able to discuss your requirements with someone who is sympathetic to, not just the age and style of your bay windows, but also to your own personal needs and dreams.

Exact measurements must be taken to ensure a perfect fit with no gaps allowing in unwanted light. Perhaps you are considering placing a sofa or a piece of furniture into the bay; your S:CRAFT stockist will be able to explain to you the different types of shutters available that will best suit your needs.

Remember, with no curtains to pull across, the space offered to you by the bay, with shutters, is now a very beautiful, usable area.

New Builds and Bay Windows

Bay Window with curtains tier on tier shuttersBecause bay windows in their original form are so perfect, regardless of the type, architects love them and will try to incorporate them into new builds wherever possible.

The Victorian styles are the most popular in the more traditional new builds and with land being at a premium, they provide extra room space without encroaching onto the plot size.

Bay windows also assist with ventilation and undoubtedly offer a new dimension to any room. With made to measure bay window shutters now being a not only perfect, but also an affordable option, you should speak to your architect while you are in the design stage as to where they will be best incorporated.

Don’t think just about lounge areas, as they also look amazing in master bedroom suites, kitchens and bathrooms. With shutters in place, issues about privacy are no longer an issue.

A Beautiful Window Treatment For a Beautiful Window

Bay windows with their classic good looks and timeless appeal deserve only the very best treatment. Regardless of the style of shutters you choose, they will enhance the natural charm of your bay windows. The moment you walk into the room, your eyes will immediately be drawn to the elegance that has been created by the shutters. They come in many different styles, colours and stains and can also have a privacy rail mid-section built in if required, to give you even more control over their many benefits.

Speak to your local S:CRAFT specialist now and in no time at all, your Victorian bay window shutters will be adorning your property, giving not just the ultimate in design, but also amazing kerb appeal.


Are you looking for more research information focused on the popularity of Victorian bay window shutters why not visit our next blog post period property window coverings.