Roman Shades, once considered old-fashioned and frumpy, have seen a delightful revival. They can be bright, cheerful and as colorful as your favorite painting, or they can be ethereal, light and effortlessly blend into your surroundings. Roman Shades are simply made from a flat piece of material that folds up accordion style and is pulled up by a cord which evenly raises the blind. Like other different types of window treatments, Roman Shades when lowered provide light control, privacy and can even help with temperature control if lined with an insulating fabric. However, unlike other treatments, when raised they provide the look of a decorative fabric valance to adorn your windows. Roman Shades, in a word, are just graceful!
Flat Roman Shades
If you love big bold patterns on your shades, then the flat Roman style is the way to go. Made with one continuous piece of fabric, these shades hang flat in front of a window. Without horizontal seams, patterns remain pleasingly uninterrupted which expertly showcases the pattern and color of your material. Regardless of the fabric, the smooth drape of this style provides a simple and casual look. The one hiccup of the flat Roman is that the small stitches used to attach the cord rings may be noticeable on the front of the shade, but this is usually only a concern with light, delicate fabrics.
Classic Roman Shades
Classic Roman Shades, sometimes referred to as flat fold, are made of fabric panels horizontally seamed typically about 8-10 inches apart. The pleating allows the shade to stack concisely and presents a more structured, tailored look. Your fabric choice will complement the decor whether you have a rustic farmhouse, downtown loft, or an eclectic suburban home. In fact, the best part about decorating with Roman Shades is the unsurpassable choice of fabrics. Romans add style and dimension to any decor.
Relaxed Roman Shades
Relaxed Roman Shades are the epitome of casual chic. They’re stylish, yet informal and unfussy. Perfect for a breakfast nook or a busy family room, the unconstructed feel lends a soft finished look to your windows. When raised, the center of the shade slightly bows down as the sides are gently lifted up and the fabric stack comes together is gentle folds. These types of Romans are delicate and soft, creating a romantic aura in your home.
Hobbled Roman Shades
Also known as waterfall, looped, or teardrop, hobbled Roman Shades feature soft cascading folds that ripple down the front face of the fabric. When raised, the shade stacks nicely into neat folds. More traditional and tailored in style, these shades never fail to make a statement out of your windows. The sophisticated softness brought to a space with hobbled Romans makes them ideal for bedrooms, dining rooms or other relaxing areas of the home.
Roman Shades have a long history and are believed to have made an appearance at the Roman Coliseum, beginning as a wet piece of cloth hanging in the windows to keep the dirt and heat away from this busy, dusty ancient metropolis. Soon decorative patterns were adorning the windows in Rome and just like today, the Roman Shade as one of the different types of window treatments became a classic and fashionable style.
For more ideas about window coverings, check out our “Ultimate Guide to Window Treatments” for all your decorating choices.