Roman Shades: Why We Love Them
Roman shades, also sometimes called Roman blinds, are a style of fabric window treatment that, when raised, has horizontal pleats. These pleats can be ultra streamlined, relaxed in an elegant slouchy way, or full on Tulip-style, which is very drapey and usually associated with more traditional interiors.
There’s a fair bit of lee-way in terms of look, making them a win-win for both minimalists and maximalists. Roman shades are also a great compromise for a client who doesn’t want or have space for full-on drapes but also doesn’t love the idea of a roller blind.
In terms of construction, Roman shades can have either one or two layers of fabric. One layer is normally used for windows where privacy is not an issue. If there are two layers, one will face out into the room and the other, often called the lining, will face the window (and also serve to camouflage lift strings). The lining adds structure to the overall treatment and can help control the amount of light that filters into a room, or completely block it out. Which ever is chosen, it’s important to select fabrics that will will fold easily. We’re finding that more and more are opting for motorization, but those who choose
manual often employ what’s called a “continuous loop” to lift and lower the shade using a beaded chain.
Finally, we’re often asked if Roman shades have anything todo with Rome itself. It’s impossible to 100% fact check the association, but a widely accepted story is that the remains of a house found in Pompeii included a window clad with two layers of fabric with thin wood slats in-between.
Another theory says todays’ Roman shades were inspired by the retractable fabric awnings created to shade spectators at the Colosseum. Tomato – tom-ah-to. We don’t really care where these versatile beauties originated. We’re just happy they exist, and we’re able to make them for our clients.
Here are some examples of Roman shades we’ve created. We’d love to do the same for you. Contact us to explore the possibilities.