A Roman shade will not just block out the sunlight that makes its way into the indoor areas of your home but will also add elegance to the room so get to know the different types of Roman shades that are available today.
Roman shades are inspired by the traditional designs of the Roman Empire. As a community, the Romans were really advanced in all spheres of life. They made a lasting impact on the contemporary world, and a lot of their designs are still used in everyday life. In the days when the Colosseum was still functioning as a gladiator battle zone, the Romans used retractable canvas shades to keep the audience cool under the Mediterranean sun. The flexible screens could be moved with a system of pulleys and ropes. This evolved over the centuries into the modern, flexible screens we see today.
Table of Contents
- Flat Roman Shades
- Relaxed Roman Shades
- London Roman Shades
- Greek Key or Banded Roman Shades
- Balloon Roman Shades
- Hobbled Roman Shades
- Cordless Roman Shades
- Soft Fold Roman Shades
- Modern Roman Shade
- Tailored Roman Shades
- Traditional Roman Shades
- Roman Shades with Drapery
- Top Down Bottom Up Roman Shades
- Customizable Roman Shades
- Cascade Roman Shades
- Aventura Roman Shades
- Tulip Roman Shades
- Pleated Roman Shades
- Looped Roman Shades
- European Fold Roman Shades
- Dog-Eared Roman Shades
- Cellular Roman Shades
- Rolling Roman Shades
- Batten Roman Shades
The Roman shade is a straightforward and uncomplicated dressing for windows. The main purpose is to block out sunlight that would otherwise make its ways into indoor areas. They add to the elegance of any room with their increased simplicity. In the modern era, there is a lot of emphasis on elegance and minimalistic designs, which is why they are so popular.
The signature design of the shades allows them to stack up at the top of the window. This can either be in a smooth, pleated or folded form. When Roman shades are opened (stacked), sunlight is allowed to stream in. When they are closed, they have a smooth, flat appearance. The bottom of the shade is designed to stack evenly. There are some cords at the back of the shades that run horizontally. They are supported by stiffened rods that allow the user to adjust the height of the shade according to their preference. This gives users considerable control of the light entering the room.
They also have an outside mount that helps to block out sunlight and increases the privacy of the user. It is usually attached to the wall on the outer area of the window frame and is slightly wider than the window. This prevents light entry and gaps between the windows.
Flat Roman Shades
Among all styles of Roman shades, flat shades are considered the most popular for their simplicity and elegance. They add a casual but traditional look to the room and come in all sorts of fabrics and colors. Flat fold Roman shades have numerous folds that stack on top of each other like an accordion when you raise them fully. Every fold is tidy and neat, giving the whole window a simple, tailored look. If you are a Type A personality, you will definitely love these shades.
The flat shades are popular for their fold memory as well, which is quick and adapts easily. They often come in bold and big patterns as well if you want to dress up the room. Other large fabric patterns can also be used in a way that they look centered on each shade. This ensures that they look the same across multiple windows. If you get a softer fabric, it can add a little depth to the design by making it look more layered. When flat shades are open, they lay flat against the window. The uncluttered and pristine look of the flat shade is preferred by many.
If you have French doors or shallow windows, the slim profile of the flat shades will look great. The extra fabric also provides great light control (depending on how much you have it drawn). It is important to add them to rooms where the blinds can be styled in the up position because they might not raise perfectly if encumbered by the design of these shades. It’s easy to operate them, though, and they don’t need a lot of styling.
Relaxed Roman Shades
If you want to go for a more casual or chic design, relaxed Roman shades will be a great addition to your home. When you draw this Roman shade style up, the fabric folds tend to hang in a curved manner so that they are longer in the middle. With this design, it looks like the Roman shade is ‘smiling’ back at you.
Relaxed Roman shades are usually used in less formal settings because they tend to create a more comfortable mood. They can be used in the kitchen, den, bedroom, and bathroom. You can also use them in baby rooms or nurseries since they have a soft finish that creates a serene atmosphere. Some people tend to dress up their relaxed Roman shades with matching pillows and throws, but it’s all worth it for the softer mood that these shades create.
If you are choosing relaxed Roman shades for a group of windows or a larger window, you may need multiple scoops. This will ensure that the aesthetic of the shades isn’t lost and they continue to function properly. The laid-back, unconstructed shades in a room are often the best thing about the room because they make the room feel cozier. They also tend to show off the fabric you have picked, so make sure it’s something you absolutely love!
London Roman Shades
London Roman shades create a tail on each side with a relaxed middle. The two pleats are casual like a relaxed shade but also tend to add a more whimsical feel to the room. They are perfect for informal areas like baths, kitchens, and bedrooms.
Dressing up the London Roman shade can be slightly time-consuming due to the fold style, which is why they are often used in places where they don’t need to be lowered or raised on a daily basis. This is why London shades are mostly intended for decorative purposes rather than privacy or light control.
Greek Key or Banded Roman Shades
Greek Key shades have a pretty tape trim to them. They might have contrasting colored fabrics or a unique grosgrain ribbon on the bottom and/or sides of the shade. The Greek Key style usually has a ribbon that you need to use to tie up the shades to make them look pretty. The trim usually runs directly down the edges. Banded Roman shades can have one or more bands running along the side. They are usually made from a solid, soft linen fabric that has a banding or trim accent. The banding on the shades provides a nice pop of color and a decorative contrast to the shades.
Balloon Roman Shades
Balloon Roman shades come in formal and casual designs, which is perfect because these shades can be set up in any room of the house. This shade style is great for rooms where you want more of a decorative touch rather than functional use. This is because they do tend to need a lot dressing up, which can be hard if you need to lower or raise them often.
Balloon shades tend to have a fuller look, which can be comforting if you dress it up. Softer fabrics are also great for this style since they look more layered and style easily. These eye-catching window coverings have a voluminous amount of fabric. This fabric pops out when the shade is closed and gathers lightly when you pull it up.
Hobbled Roman shades are a unique design that will look fabulous on your windows. They have waterfall-like folds that look really nice and soft. When you raise this variety of Roman shade, the fabric softly stacks up at the bottom. These neat folds at the bottom form a clean tailored look that looks great in formal and informal rooms.
The pleats and folds cascade down the shade, which creates a level of depth that would otherwise be hard to achieve with flat shades. The seamed styling of the shades has a flat finish that works well with solid colors or smaller patterns. Using the right design in the right setting will give the room an appealing look that doesn’t match with any other kind of window treatment.
The loops of fabric in the shades show even when the shades are lowered all the way down or raised completely. This soft ruffle effect is ideal for people who want a hefty or bulky look. They are great for larger windows or multiple windows. Hobbled Roman shades also have extra fabric that blocks out light and heat.
Cordless Roman Shades
Cordless window shades are usually made from slats to provide semi-private window treatment. They filter light rather than block it, which means that it doesn’t have much light control. However, these shades still provide a decent level of privacy to any room. They don’t have cords that you pull to raise them; rather, they have a rope in the middle that you use to pull them up. They may even have magnets that you can use to raise or lower them. They form folds as they go up.
Soft Fold Roman Shades
Soft fold Roman shades are also known as the teardrop or looped shades. They have distinctive cascades that fall in a rippling effect all the way till the bottom of the shade. This style is perfect for those that want loose folds through the shade in the lowered or raised position.
They kind of pose an informal aura, which can create an airy or romantic feel. They can also be styled in a more classic or traditional manner, so you can probably use them for more formal rooms. They are signature styles of the Roman shade since they are most similar to the old Roman era styles.
The soft folds of this design also tend to provide a thick layer of insulation, which can help you save on energy costs. You can find a huge variety of this shade since they come in all sorts of textures, patterns, colors, and fabrics. You will be able to find woven and non-woven varieties as well as room-darkening and light-filtering materials.
Modern Roman Shade
Modern looking Roman shades take this type of style to a whole new level. Modern Roman shades come in stacking and rolling options. Rolling styles usually come without messy internal lift cords and have a fabric designed to roll completely so that it reaches the headrail. This means that you can get an unobstructed view beyond the window.
The stacking style of this type of Roman shade has no exposed cords, which makes this style pet and children friendly. This also results in an uncluttered, clean look on the front and back. You will be able to get them just about any fabric you need.
They are designed to be worth looking at and come with precision tailoring, rich textures, and shimmery details. This can make them look as artistic you want, which adds a more modern twist to the design of the traditional Roman shade. The streamlined look is preferred by many people who want to add a more modern touch to their living rooms.
Tailored Roman Shades
The tailored Roman shades are soft window treatments that come in all sorts of exquisite fabrics that can fit any kind of décor you have at home. You can get plenty of options in the exact style and size you want for your home.
Traditional Roman Shades
Traditional Roman shades are designed for people who have a theme going in the home. They come in all sorts of designs and styles that are reminiscent of the styles of older times. You may find Japanese hand-painted styles or Persian woven varieties in stores.
If you want to add a touch of comfort or elegance to a room, you may want to add some soft looking drapes to your window. Roman shades go well with drapes since you can get some in all sorts of designs and styles. Many people like soft, silky fabrics or the light-filtering designs of Roman shades but find that they may limit privacy or light control. With drapes, you can add an extra layer of insulation and room-darkening abilities. This also means that you can try out the more decorative Roman shade types such as balloon Roman shades.
Top Down Bottom Up Roman Shades
Top-down bottom-up Roman blinds are quite a popular choice these days. Top-down blinds can be raised from the bottom and lowered from the top. This makes them an ideal and versatile choice that provides the user with a range of lighting conditions. They allow you to enjoy some privacy without having to darken the room completely. You will also be able to fully see outside without having to fully open the blinds if you wish to do so.
The fabric is also used as a level of décor. While other blinds are fully closed or raised, they hide the patterns and color. With top-down blinds, homeowners can enjoy the hues and patterns of the fabrics while also basking in the view of the outside.
Customizable Roman Shades
If none of the designs are suitable for you, there is no need to fret. You can check the tens of companies that offer you a chance to create your own custom Roman shades. You can get the fabric and style you want, as well as choose the degree of light control, privacy, and convenience that you want. It is better to look for custom Roman shades rather than forcing yourself to buy the styles on the shelf.
If you have a unique window, you will also be able to make shades that match the measurements of the windows in your house. A selection of trims and tapes are also available that add some classic detail to your shades.
Cascade Roman Shades
Cascade Roman shades are what most people think about when they picture a Roman shade in their minds. This timeless look has everything you could want in a Roman shade. They add a unique accent to your interior design since they come with aluminum dowels that are sewn in, as well as hand-stitched seams. They have expert craftsmanship and detail that allows you to indulge in the sleek appearance you truly want. The horizontal seams present a great touch to the whole window.
Aventura Roman Shades
Aventura Roman shades have a Zen feeling to them and are kind of similar to cascading Roman shades. They have a few distinctions that make them different from the cascading styles, though. Firstly, they are inspired by traditional Japanese Shoji designs. Secondly, they also have dowels on the front, which gives them a unique look.
However, it is important to buy them from an experienced artisan. They are really hard to hand-stitch since they come with 3/8″ pockets. These need to be perfect so that they accommodate the aluminum dowels. The look is really striking, and the functionality is excellent.
Tulip Roman Shades
Tulip Roman shades are a charming design that results in carefully handcrafted pleats. They run along the headrail and look inverted in style. This ensures that they have a shape and look that will never go out of style; nobody wants their tulips to wilt! It is important to remember that these types of Roman shades are mostly decorative. If you plan on using them frequently, then they aren’t suitable for you. They work best as a stationary window treatment, which makes for an elegant statement.
Pleated Roman Shades
Pleated Roman shades will definitely turn a few heads if you choose these for your living room. They tend to grab attention with their beautiful and bold look. The cascade effect of the shades is great, but they are also great for Type A personalities. The hobbled folds are spaced apart around 4-5 inches, which looks like a neat stack when you raise the curtain.
You can also find double pleated Roman shades in the market. They have alternating rod pockets on the back and front of the shades. They look like really aesthetic accents in the living room when they are raised because they tend to stiffen when you lower them. The overall design is unforgettable.
Looped Roman Shades
Looped Roman shades are known for the pleats or folds that cascade down the front side of the shade. They can help you create the depth you need from the flat surface of the fabric. The seamed style of the shades also has a smooth flat finish. This finish works best with solid-colored fabrics or smaller pattern types.
There are also two types of variations that you can get from this style type. It is important to get the right design for the right setting since that gives the room the necessary appeal that it needs to shine.
European Fold Roman Shades
European fold shades tend to curve up when the shades are raised. They tend to look really striking when you choose a more luxurious fabric. They have a softer, relaxed look that is hard to come by while selecting designs.
There are small stitches in the fabric which are used to attach the rings of the cords. This causes less symmetrical folds that look better than most people think. When it is first installed, experts recommend that the shade should be pulled up and left like that for a few days. This will cause the fold memory to create the initial pleats. Many people display them in formal locations of the house, such as the living room or dining area for the best results.
Dog-Eared Roman Shades
Dog-eared Roman shades take after the Victorian era designs that look extremely traditional. They complement any type of boudoir you have installed in the home. These shades have an extra full appearance that seems great in any kind of room. The combined powers of tailored elegance and formality make them look softer than other types of Roman shades.
They have board mounts and are usually flat from the top. The inverted pleats of this type of Roman shade form really gentle swags at the bottom of the shade. They have fanned wings on each side, which is a unique look.
Cellular Roman Shades
Cellular Roman shades have a simplistic and minimalist design that looks great in all sorts of room. They are perfect for informal rooms where you use window blinds every day. The simple look will also add a casual and comfortable aura to the room. You can even add them to formal areas so that they add a minimal pop of color without attracting too much attention.
You can get cellular shades in child-friendly cordless designs. You will also find different companies that are ready to customize your cellular shades so that they have a more precise measurement for your windows. Head and bottom rails should be color-coordinated in the shade you get so that they don’t look out of place.
The sculpted look of the shades is also energy-efficient since they protect the room from unnecessary heat or cold air. You can even get blackout or thermal alternatives that are extremely efficient in energy use.
Rolling Roman Shades
Rolling Roman shades are a crisp and flat contemporary design that is increasingly appearing in modern homes. These designs are more streamlined so that they look great in modern settings. They also come with enhanced safety measures that protect your privacy.
Batten Roman Shades
Front batten Roman shades are unique designs that have battens or tunnels sewn into the fabric at regular intervals. They appear on the front side of the shades, creating a remarkable look. This look is well-suited for patterns and stripes because they won’t interfere with the pattern. Back batten designs have a softer, tailored look that creates defined folds when you raise the shades. You can get these in subtle textures or patterns as well as solid colors.
Roman shade designs are iconic and are unparalleled by any other shade design. There is so much variety in their styles and looks that you will definitely be able to find one suitable for your home. No matter what type of preferences or needs you have, Roman shades are perfect for you!
Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.