Roman Shades 101

A hybrid of curtains and blinds, Roman shades are composed of a fabric panel and a cord/ring system to raise and lower them. However, with all of the window treatment options out there, choosing the right style of Roman shades for your home can be tricky.

To help, we broke down everything you need to know about Barn & Willow’s four styles of Roman shades—flat, cascade, relaxed, and pleated—so you pick the right ones for your windows.  Available in four different lining options, including unlined, privacy, blackout, and combination blackout and privacy, our Roman shades are custom-designed to suit your individual needs—so deciding what style you want will be the hardest part.

From flat shades to pleated ones, here’s how to distinguish Barn & Willow’s four Roman shade styles.

1. Flat

unconstructed roman shades

If you’re a fan of subdued yet sophisticated interiors, then our Flat Roman shades are the style for you. Constructed of a clean-lined piece of fabric that hangs flat over a window, Flat Roman shades have no back bars or additional panels (with no visible horizontal seams or stitching) so they’re great for pairing with drapes (sans the bunching).

Translation: Flat Roman shades look light, tailored, and lay flush, so they’re perfect for modern design lovers and traditionalists, alike.

2. Cascade

roman shade ideas

Simple and unfussy, Cascade Roman shades are composed of horizontal back rods placed six to eight inches apart to create clean folds when raised and a free-falling flow when let down. As a result, these trendy shades can work wonders in everything from ultra-modern spaces, to classically elegant and eclectic ones.

Translation: Cascade Roman shades are every bit as versatile as they are in vogue, making them a great solution for anyone who likes to quickly switch up their window displays.

3. Relaxed

roman shade ideas

For a less structured, free-flowing look, consider our Relaxed Roman Shades. Casual but cool, these shades bow gently when raised, creating an effortlessly soft appearance. However, due to their lack of construction, Relaxed Roman shades work best with windows less than 54 inches wide—so if your window is any wider, you’ll probably want to employ two shades (versus one), or a single large panel with two poufs instead.

Translation: Because of their free-flowing appearance, Relaxed Roman shades work well in casual environments, particularly boho-inspired spaces.

4. Pleated

velvet roman shades

Maximalists rejoice: We have the Roman shades for you! Pleated Roman Shades are designed with uniform folds sewn horizontally across the panels to give the shade body and substance—so when raised, the panels nest neatly on top of one other (overlapping down the length of the curtain) and provide a bold and textured look that instantly elevates any style of space.  

Translation: Crisp but commanding, Pleated Roman Shades are an easy way to bring texture into a minimalist-style room or refine a more eclectic interior.

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