Window roman shades have many advantages when used for your window home decorating.

Whenever you come across a difficult window - in an awkward position, a strange shape, difficult to get at to draw curtains - you'll usually find that a roman shade can get over many of the problems.

Advantages of Window Roman Shades

  • You can use most fabrics, as long as they are not too thick or stiff.
  • You don't need as much fabric as curtains, usually only half as much.
  • They look good both inside and outside recesses.
  • If the roman shade is fitted high up, you can still raise and lower it by extending the cords or chain so they are within normal reach.
  • You can use blackout lining to make the window roman shade shut out as much light as possible.

Inside or out?

Unlike roller shades, roman ones can look good inside or outside the recess. Because there will always be some fabric on show even when the shade is fully up, when placed outside the recess it has the effect of dressing the window.

As the sketches below show, you'll lose some light if you place the shades inside the recess. If the shade is, say, 9" deep when fully up, then fix it about 7" above the top of the window. That way you don't see the top edge of the window

Roman shades

Plain finish?

These shades look fine just on their own for your window shade, especially if the fabric is figured or a contrast with the surrounding colors. But if you want a more formal and tailored look then try a cornice box. When they have long sides they are sometimes referred to as a lambrequin.

It's usually a good idea to use a good quality lining. This is sometimes a necessity depending on the type of construction you use. If you want to add some body to it, use an interlining as well.



Keep out the light

If you need to keep the room dark - light sleepers or children waking too early - then use blackout lining. This is not black; usually it has a cream or ecru look to it, but is completely light-proof. It is a little stiffer and heavier than normal lining, but is not difficult to use.

Size limitations

If you make your shades wider than about 5' 0" then you may find it difficult to raise because of the weight.

One solution to this problem is to make more than one shade for the window. Another solution is to use a special geared mechanism for the shade control. You can't pull the shade up and down as quickly as a normal control, but it will cope much better with the weight. Also make sure that the fittings you use are very secure.

Make your own!

Roman shades are not difficult to make, but you do need to follow the tasks in the correct sequence. The following video covers many of the details to get you started. Please note that this video is from the UK, where the word 'shade' isn't used very often, and they refer to Roman shades as Roman blinds.

Video: Making a lined roman blind - Roman Shades



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