Inspiration & Information

Roman Shades, a Timeless Classic

Roman shades are a timeless, classic window treatment that has been around for thousand of years, yet are still stylish and adaptable to nearly any interior design style.

A striped roman shade with beaded trim
This simple roman shade has been embellished with a row of small glass bead to catch the light.

The most common roman shades I make for clients are flat when lowered but softly folded when pulled up. This is a great style as it has the appearance of a valance when lifted without a lot of bulk. For shades that remain down more often than not, other shade styles might be a better choice. A few examples are shown in these line drawings by Jackie Von Tobel as they have more details and stitching to add interest or create a softer profile.

A line drawing of a soft fold roman shade. It's fairly flat with a gentle curve at the bottom hem
This soft fold roman shade has a soft curve at the bottom hem. This style works best on windows that aren’t too wide.

line drawing of a roman shade with little pockets sewn into the front to house the batons that help keep the structure
This roman shade has pockets sewn into the front to house the batons that help give the shade structure and dimension

A line drawing of a roman shade that has two small pleats running vertically down the front with small buttons keeping the pleats closed.
This roman shad has a little more whimsey with its pleats and button detailing.

a line drawing of a roman shade with alternating open and closed pockets to create texture on the face of the shades.
This roman shade would be great for a solid fabric, the open pocket detailing creates texture and interest.

Lift Systems for Roman Shades

Did you know you can now get cordless roman shades? This new option is revolutionary. Gone are the days of dangling, tangling cords and I rarely specify this style anymore. This new system looks better and creates a safer environment for children and pets.  Other options include continuous cord loops or motorization.

Inside or Outside Mounted Roman Shades

I always get a puzzled look when I ask people their preference on how they want their roman shades to be mounted, because of course they want them mounted inside the house not outside! What this question really refers to is inside the window opening or outside the window opening. There are pros and cons to both, but my personal preference, if the shade has a room darkening lining, outside is better because we can overlap the window several inches to give better coverage and light control. When the shade is mounted inside, there is an extreme halo of light that leaks in around the shade at the edges.

Having said that, if the fabric is light weight and a light filtering liner is all that is needed, mounting inside the window opening can be nice with more options on how it is styled at the top as you can do a water fall style with no valance needed to hide the lift system.

Roman shades come in so many shapes and styles and the fabric options are endless. They can be combined with side panels or stand alone to make a big impact. So whether you want just a little privacy, a lot of room darkening or simply something decorative at your windows, consider this hard working window treatment as an option.

Myrna Everett is the founder of Home Vogue Interiors where we specialize in custom window fashions and other soft home goods. If you have enjoyed this blog post, please share it with others. If you are ready to start a conversation about your next project click on the “Your Project” button above and tell us what you’re working on and we’ll reach out to you and help you get started.


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Meet Myrna

Myrna Everett is the founder and lead designer of San Diego-based Home Vogue Interiors, a provider of custom window fashions and designer soft goods. She is known for her fresh yet timeless design perspective and her commitment to opening her clients’ eyes to the endless possibilities available for window fashions and other finishing touches in their homes.

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