Roman shades are a stylish and practical alternative to standard-issue window treatments, and they come in a wide variety of styles and looks. Made simply of fabric panels that are raised or lowered with the help of a cord system and rings sewn onto the back of the fabric, they warm up windows while providing privacy and protection from the sun.
These classic shades are a designer favorite for many reasons, but the fact that they’ve literally been in use for hundreds of years makes them a perfect illustration of timeless style. Simple and efficient in both operation and look, we love the clean lines and finished feel that Roman shades add to any space. Just pull the cord, and the fabric draws itself up into a tidy series of pleats. Here’s everything you need to know to find the right Romans for you.
Finding the Right Look
Speaking of pleats, the first thing you want to consider is the volume of the pleat. If you’re going for a clean, contemporary look, you’ll find Roman shades in a flat fold, pressed cleanly with a straight, flat edge. The swag style is also popular and offers a more billowy, traditional look. You can get Roman shades in nearly any kind of material from damask to bamboo, so play around with the pleat and the fabric to find the right mix for your space. That’s the other reason we love Roman shades so much — their versatility. Reed or jute, cotton or canvas, silk or linen, printed or plain, Roman shades can add a pop of personality, or fade into the background.
You can also get Roman shades created in custom fabrics that match or complement furniture or other accessories in the room –and with even a little experience behind a sewing machine, you can make them yourself. BONUS — they even come as blackout shades. The fabric is printed or attached to a flexible vinyl or vinyl-coated fiberglass material that keeps you in the dark when you want to be!
Another advantage of the Roman shade is that they can be mounted inside or outside the window frame. Hung inside the frame, you really get that custom-fitted and clean look that Romans are known for. But if you’re working with a tiny window or two, and would like to give the illusion of a larger window, you can purchase a shade that’s larger than the frame and mount it accordingly.
If you have children or pets around the house, it’s worth mentioning that Roman shades are also available with safety cords that are either hidden or inaccessible to the smaller residents of the space. Of course, these days, they can also be mounted for automated opening and closing so that they open from the top, or the bottom, and do it all from your smart phone or tablet!
*Guest Blogger and Award-winning designer Kerrie Kelly writes on all styles of window treatments, including roman shades, for Home Depot. Kerrie is the author of Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. For Home Depot’s selection of roman shades, you can visit the company’s website.