Roman shades are increasingly popular. Over the past few years, we’ve seen them installed in a variety of settings—including suburban homes with traditional décor, urban townhomes with contemporary flair, and professional offices with business-like furnishings. We’ve also noticed Roman shades featured in dozens of magazines and books related to interior design and the window coverings industry. What makes them so versatile is that they’re available in a variety of styles, colors and lifting systems.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll explain different styles of Roman shades and provide details about their advantages, how to use them, and which styles would coordinate well with the existing furnishings in any given space.

Most certainly, not every style is suitable for every space or room. My goal with this series of blog posts is to show several styles of Roman shades and provide examples of where they would best be placed in a home or perhaps a workplace.

Before describing styles, I should mention that the style names might be different from one fabricator to another; therefore, I’ll include images or sketches to identify each style and the best way to use them.

Every week I’ll present one style and, as always, I welcome your comments and questions!

Here in the Midwest—the Chicago metropolitan area and the Chicago suburbs, to be specific—one of the most popular types of shade we’ve seen is the flat Roman shade (also referred to as classic Roman shade), briefly described as follows:

Flat (or Classic) Roman shades:

  • ”Flat” describes the look exactly. These shades are rectangular-shaped with two or three folds at the lower edge.These shades can be interlined to enhance the look, or sometimes interlining is used to save energy. In some cases, such as in bedrooms and media rooms, shades with black-out lining are used to keep the room dark. Among the advantages of flat Roman shades is that they are moderately priced, so they fit into most budgets.
  • As for Roman shade lifting systems, the simple cord-lock system or a continuous-cord loop is often used. However, we’ve seen growing use of cordless Roman shades, which provide a “cleaner” look that is also safe for children and pets.
  • The luxury and convenience of motorized shades has been well-accepted by homeowners and business owners alike. (We have been using a lot of shades with Somophy motors, but there are many other motorized brands.)
  • One disadvantage of motorized shades is that they can appear too plain or a bit boring. When drawn down, they can look like a simple rectangular piece of fabric is installed over the window, adding no real “warmth” or style to the overall look of the room. To remedy that and provide a more finished look, we frequently add side panels made from fabulous, textured fabric to create depth and add visual interest to the room.
  • Adding extra pleats at the bottom of the shade, using banding or any embellishment, or using a valance provides a more dressed up and finished look. (Think of a contemporary painting on a simple canvas. By itself, it may look good, but with the right frame, it can look stunning.

Let us help you make a stunning statement with your window treatments and other home furnishings.