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Northern California Bay Windows

Bay windows are an iconic part of San Francisco architecture

The rowhouses on Steiner Street in San Francisco are world-famous. These Victorian homes, collectively known as “Postcard Row,” share several defining characteristics — they are colorful, ornate, and prominently feature bay windows.

In Alamo Square, bay windows were included on both the first and second stories. Architects used a combination of three windows, joined at an angle, to extend out beyond the wall and give these houses their elegant Victorian style. While Postcard Row was built in the 1890s, bay windows are still widely popular by the Bay because they share the iconic architecture the area is famous for and bring more light into the home.

Commonly known as: Oriel window, box bay window, projecting window, square bay window, 30-degree bay window, 45-degree bay window, 90-degree bay window

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Popular Local Trends & Styles

Window Seats and Benches

Because a bay window protrudes out, it opens up additional space inside your home. You can take advantage of the extra square footage to add more seating to your room. Bay window seats and benches are popular options for making a comfy nook or opening up more room for entertaining. Many people go the built-in route and create a window bench with storage for another spot to organize clutter.

Bay Windows With Curtains

With three windows angled together, it can be hard choosing the right treatments for bay windows. Curtains are the preferred choice in Northern California. Bay window curtains provide privacy and coverage but are light enough to bring in some sunlight. You can get traditional Victorian curtains to complement the architecture or opt for something contemporary for a more modern bay window treatment.

Kitchen Bay Windows

Bay windows maximize the light in narrow spaces — a necessity in many of San Francisco’s Victorian, Sticks, and Eastlake houses where your neighbors are within arm’s reach. Kitchens in these century homes are typically in the back, away from the big, beautiful bay windows. But adding a small bay window in your kitchen can make it feel bigger and brighter. If you have the space, large bay windows allow you to create a breakfast nook with a bench or expand your dining area to make more room for a table and chairs.

Victorian Style

The postcard-worthy rowhomes in San Francisco are the most famous examples of Painted Ladies — Edwardian and Victorian houses painted in three or more colors to enhance their ornate architectural details. Nearly 50,000 of them were built in the Bay Area but they’re not exclusive to Alamo Square. Northern California has its share of Painted Ladies, too. Wooden windows offer the most prefinished color options. Select a bold color or white to pop against your home’s historic color palette and provide contrast.

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Northern California Climate Recommendations

Weather Protection

Prepare bay windows for the humid coastal winds, salty ocean air, and abundant sunshine. EnduraClad® and EnduraClad® Plus exterior finishes help resist fading and look great for years.

Low-E Protection

Keep warm in the winter by reducing the heat loss from your home. Window panes of glass with Advanced Low-E will help keep your home insulated, blocking out the cold and keeping the heat in.

Durable Materials

Frequent storms during the winter bring bitter cold and frozen precipitation. Wood with aluminum cladding, vinyl, and fiberglass are low maintenance and can help stand up to extreme weather.

San Francisco Window Replacement

In addition to modernizing your home, replacing old or inefficient windows can help increase your energy efficiency, keeping your home more comfortable. We make the process simple. Our replacement window experts can help you select, install, and enjoy replacement windows for years to come. Find window replacement options and advice for your area.

Why Choose Pella?

Customized with You in Mind

Pella windows and doors are made specifically for your home because one size doesn't fit all. With access to many materials, colors and options, including exclusive snap-in options for shades, blinds and grilles, along with smart home products and a proprietary finishing process that helps provide a quality finish.

Built to Last

Pella products are backed by some of the strongest warranties in the business. When installed by a Pella branch, your project is backed by our Pella Care Guarantee. See the written limited warranty for details, including exceptions and limitations, or contact Pella Customer Service at 877-473-5527.

We Come to You

An in-home consultation can help you explore all options and get a professional opinion on what will work best for you. During the consultation, local window professionals can come to your home to assess your window replacement needs and understand your priorities and budget.

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Explore Your Options with an Expert

A Pella Windows & Doors of Northern California expert can help you pick out a window that fits your home — and your style. Find your local Pella representative to schedule a free in-home consultation, measurement, and estimate.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What general maintenance is required for my Pella windows and patio doors?
How can I decorate or design around my bay window?
What is the difference between a bay window and a bow window?
Which window style best fits my home?
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