Your Guide to Roman Shades

Window treatments are essential to a room's decor - adding that final touch to a room's style. Roman shades are an alternative to blinds and draperies, made of fabric panels that fit into the window frame. When raised, the panel stacks at the top in horizontal folds.

Roman shades are a curtain + blind hybrid.

Roman shades are made of a fabric panel and use a cord and ring system to raise and lower the fabric.

Roman shades come in a variety of styles and mounting options.  

Selecting Roman shades is easy.  There are three major style variables:

1. Shade style
2. Fabric Choice

3. Hanging option

Let's break down each variable one-by-one.

1. Shade Style

Each shade style lends a different feel to the interior space of a room.  

Flat Roman shades are clean and modern and feels really tailored.  If you're thinking about pairing roman shades with drapes, a flat roman shade is a good idea so you don't see too much bunching.

Flat Roman shades are even more simple than their constructed counterparts.  Made with a simple piece of fabric that hangs flat over a window, unconstructed Roman shades have no back bars or additional panels with no visible horizontal seams or stitching which gives a very fresh and modern feel to the shade.

Pleated Roman shades are bold and traditional.  Uniform folds sewn horizontally across the panels give this shade body and substance.  When raised, the cascading panels nest neatly on top of one other, overlapping down the length of the curtain.

Cascade Roman shades are simple and unfussy, offering an air of sophistication that coordinates well with several decor styles, from modern loft to ornate traditional, especially if paired with drapes for added privacy and decoration.  Also called constructed flat Romans, these shades are constructed by placing horizontal back rods six to eight inches apart.  This stiffens the fabric, making it more rigid and durable.

Relaxed Roman shades give a casual and decorative feel. Also called soft or London shades, these unconstructed shades bow gently when raised.  Due to the lack of construction, relaxed Romans work best with windows less than 54 inches wide.  If the window is wider, consider having two shades instead of one, or a single large panel with two poufs.

2. Fabric Choice

Roman shades are a more subtle window treatment option than drapes, but offer more warmth than blinds.  Choosing a fabric color and texture that compliments your decor scheme is a must.  A neutral color (such as an off white or natural linen) will blend seamlessly into the walls allowing your floors, furnishings, and accessories to shine.

Order free fabric swatches to help decide which fabric is right for you, or hang a sample fabric panel to make the choice even easier.

3. Hanging Options

If you have beautiful trim around your windows, an inside hanging mount is recommended so as not to cover up any trim.  If your windows are small or you are looking to add height to the room, and outside mount is the way to go.  Hang the shades as high as you want to create an airy look!


What do you think about Roman shades? Are these the right choice for your windows? Let us know in the comments!




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