Roman Shades in a living room

Roman shades are soft fabric window treatments that hang flat against the window when in-the-down position, but fold up neatly and crisply into horizontal folds when raised. They are usually constructed with a series of horizontal bars to create the gentle folds, with eyelets and cords on the wrong side to draw the shade up. If you do not choose a liner or you select a sheer fabric, the cords and drawstrings will be visible from the outside of the window. Do not let that deter you as the beautiful ripples of these shades create a light mood to offer many style opportunities. 


Why are they called “Roman Shades?” 

According to history, the Roman Shades go back to Rome’s famous colosseum, the ancient spectacular arena where opulent and often violent events were staged for the crowd. This popular venue was bathed in the bright Mediterranean sun and archeological excavations discovered a system of retractable fabric shades that could be drawn over the Colosseum. 

Rome was famous for installing fabric coverings in many public places and homes to protect and shield the spectators from the bright hot sun. Although this grand and luxurious shade was unlike our Roman Shade of today, the arrangement of ropes and pulleys is reminiscent of the flowing motion of modern Roman Shades. Window treatments have been around as long as people have needed privacy, light protection and security.


Two Main Styles of Roman Shades 

Flat Roman Shades 

Flat Roman Shades are made of a continuous piece of fabric and hang flat against the window. They are made of horizontal fabric panels backed with sturdy bars to strengthen the shade. This style is more rigid, offers a structured look, and is perfect if you love patterns so the design remains uncluttered and pristine. Flat Roman Shades give a clean and tailored look, yet the appeal of a soft fabric adds a depth of design. The unique folds still tuck in tightly at the top of the shade, resulting in those gentle curves at the window stack, creating the look of a valance. Flat Roman Shades do have extra fabric, which adds some room darkening and their slim profile is a bonus for French doors and shallow windows. 


Soft Fold Roman Shades  

Soft Fold Roman Shades, also referred to as looped, teardrop, or hobbled, have fabric that cascades in a rippling effect all the way down the window. This style retains the loose folds in both the raised and lowered position. Soft Fold Romans add an informal aura, can create a romantic mood, and can be styled in a more traditional manner. Since these types are constructed with permanent folds and retain the folds when open, many of us think of this style when considering Roman Shades. Soft Fold Romans lend a formal, more traditional look and continue to be one of our most popular decorative styles, which portray the “Roman look” when the shade is lowered. 


Our Favorite Styles of Roman Shades 

Fashionable Roman Shades 

Roman Shades can really change the look of the room as so many fabrics and materials in a rainbow of colors, patterns, liner or no liner, the addition of drapery or a valance, which all combine to create a unique look, specially suited for a particular function or just for pure décor. Roman Shades are so fashionable and display an incomparable character to a room. 


Modern Roman Shades 

By designing window treatments in bold color, a room is instantly upstyled with a vibrant impact. Additional repetition in the same color on pillows or other accessories, increases the brightness of this décor.


Tailored Roman Shades 

Tailored Roman Shades can be more sophisticated when decorating with bold stripes or a subtle effect is created using thin, textured material. Tailored Roman Shades are understated, but complement most styles of interiors.

If you lean into romantic, fanciful décor, the Balloon Roman Shade adds drama and a particular panache to windows. Deep inverted pleats “pouf out” when the shade is raised. Our advice is to use these shades only as a decorative top window treatment.


Traditional Roman Shades 

Traditional Roman Shades are the most functional for simplicity and casual elegance. When these shades are raised, a soft raft of material is formed and when lowered, gentle folds cascade down the window.

Roman Shades continue to set trends in window fashion and complement the most elegant or simplest decor.


Ready to add Roman Shades to your beautiful space? Book your free consultation now or call us at (343) 988-1180 and let’s make your dreams come true! 

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