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What are Roman Shades: A Complete Guide

Roman Shades


Roman shades are a type of fabric window covering meant to provide privacy and light control. Their sleek and minimalistic construct and the endless potential to design in any color and pattern make them one of the most sought window treatments. If you are new to the world of window treatments and wondering what roman shades are, keep reading and you’ll find yourself well-informed at the other end of this blog.

Interchangeably referred to as roman blinds, these are a delectable blend of the softness of drapes and the strictly functional aspects of blinds. Offering the best of both, they can ensure the most updated look for traditional homes and the most minimalistic rendition of a fabric treatment for modern homes. With carefully attended finer details, they can fit right into intricately embellished traditional spaces as well as refined modern spaces. 


Order custom roman shades from Spiffy Spools online in any size. Pick from over 3,000 fabrics and patterns!


How do Roman Shades Work?


Custom Roman Shades


A roman shade is a panel of fabric attached to a headrail that is screwed to the wall or window frame to cover the window. Featuring a flat surface, these are fixed in a tight-fit manner to the window. They are typically operated by pulling the cord on the side of the shade, though many shades these days are also motorized and remote-controlled.  When the cord is pulled, the shade folds upward in accordion style and stacks at the top. In a similar manner, the cord is pulled again to roll down the shade to close. 

Roman shades can be mounted within the window recess if the window frame is sufficiently deep. Otherwise, they can be mounted outside the window frame on the wall above the window or the ceiling. Both positions – the inside mount and the outside mount – have pros and cons of their own. Forethought is advised regarding the selection of the mounting position in order to achieve the desired level of light control.




When Roman Shades are the Go-To


Window Treatments for Small Spaces


In certain scenarios, even drapery lovers switch over to shades, and for good reasons too. These sleek0fitting window treatments are especially well-suited in certain situations, including:

  • Homes with kids and pets find roman shades to be the more practical option as compared to drapes. Since these typically stop at sill length, they are totally out of the reach of kids or pets when opened, canceling risks of tripping or strangulation, as well as the added benefit of keeping them clean. Spiffy Spools’ roman shades come with child safety anchors to further ensure the inaccessibility of the cord.
  • Roman shades are a more practical solution as window decor for dorm rooms, basements, attics, or small houses that have odd lilliputian dimensions, as they take up no floor space, and do not overwhelm the windows like drapes can do in a small space.
  • Where floor-length drapes are not viable due to radiators or seating arrangements underneath the window, and clients want to avoid the short, casual look of sill-length curtains, shades are the better option. 
  • Small windows and basement windows that can get overwhelmed by drapes look better in roman shades.
  • Windows that have no wall space on the sides and cannot accommodate the stacking room for the drapes profit from roman shades. 
  • Minimalist homes that feature clean lines and fine details find shades meeting their aesthetic ideals perfectly.


Benefits to Die For


Roman Blinds With Pom Pom Trim


Roman shades help to soften the space, provide privacy and effective light control, and tidily stack up taking away nothing from the room. These properties make them most desirable among others such as: 


Custom Look


Custom Window Treatments from Spiffy Spools


Besides the easy installation and operability, the most attractive property of roman shades is their bespoke character which immediately elevates the home to a premium look. Since roman shades are made to fit the door or window in the exact size, even if you mount ready-made shades, they tend to look custom-made.


Adaptability with Varied Color Palettes & Styles


Orange Shades for bedroom


Roman shades provide infinite design possibilities. The potential to introduce any sort of color, from light pastels to dark moody tones, expands the prospect for the roman shades to sync with any color palette. So, if the room is already furnished, getting roman shades in colors picked from the existing decor is not hard to achieve.

Moving beyond the palette, you can choose to go for an exquisite minimalistic look or a classic luxe vibe by choosing the right material. Just as with drapes, you can opt for any fabric for roman shades – from lazy linens to elegant cottons, from textural velvets to lustrous silks, and blends to afford practical ease. The flat surface of the roman shades also helps to show off patterns very well. From soulful damasks and paisleys to artful florals, and from clean-cut geometrics to haphazard abstracts – every style of design and every kind of taste can be catered to when styling roman shades.


Potential for Exquisite Details


Roman Shades with Trims


Trims help to further accentuate the custom look of the roman shade, stating once again loud and clear that this home is a well-considered one. They give that element of oomph that a home badly needs. Think of delicate pom pom trims, classic solid ribbon trims, or the richly embellished Victorian-style tassels – roman shades take on a new level of elegance and meaning with these tasteful additions. For those with a vivid imagination and an eye for detail, the ability to introduce a special personal touch through trims is nothing but pure joy. 




Various Styles


Living room window treatments


Spiffy Spools offers three popular roman shades styles, each with a specific characteristic and proffering a different look. 

The flat folds with front slats look very architectural with the horizontal slats lending their silhouettes to the frontage. The visual breaks that appear like a striped pattern make plain shades look more interesting. 

The flat folds with back slats, on the other hand, have their slats inserted into the lining at the back. So, their frontage is clean with no silhouettes or hemlines to cause visual breaks – the ideal surface for a distortionless presentation of the motifs. Hence, we recommend this style for patterned/printed roman shades.

For roman shades that imbibe the free-flowing look of drapes, the relaxed ones are apt. Their gently scalloped bottoms offer a casual appeal and a decorative element. We recommend this style for rarely used windows as their folds need manual help to crease and shape neatly. 

If you don’t need the functionality of a full-fledged shade but hate to leave the window bare, order faux roman shades that work pretty much like valances. They can be hung on tension rods and look like fully-functional opened shades although they are stationary.




Various Options for Layering


Layered Window Treatments


While roman shades do a good job in themselves, layering them with further window treatments amplifies their aesthetic appeal and functional efficiency. You can inside mount them and frame the sides with decorative curtains or cover them fully with functional drapes. The possibility of including an opaque layer for room darkening and a sheer layer for privacy during the day is fantastic. For more effective control over heat, you can install solar blinds or honeycomb blinds behind the fabric roman shades. For shallow windows, mount the shades outside and hang drapes on the front, however, accounting for the outward projection is advised.


Are Roman Shades & Roman Blinds the Same?


Ivory bathroom window treatments


The terms ‘window shades’ and ‘window blinds’, although used interchangeably, are not the same. While roman shades are a single solid fabric covering, blinds feature slats that can be tilted, opened, or closed for higher control over privacy and light inflow. 

However, while blinds are primarily functional window treatments, roman shades go beyond the functional aspect to offer softness, color, vibrance, and sound absorption. Blinds are available in a few select colors, usually neutral and wood tones, whereas roman shades can sport any color under the sun – that leaves you with millions of looks to choose from. 

So, roman shades are functionally efficient but have, additionally, the infinite potential for designing that none others offer – making them a clear winner!




In Closing


Roman Shades for Bedroom


We hope that you are now sufficiently enlightened regarding roman shades. No matter what design style you follow, you’re sure to find roman shades that suit your taste and sync with your home instantly. 


Order Custom Roman Shades from Spiffy Spools

It will be a proud and happy privilege for Spiffy Spools to offer you services in this regard. Whether you’re trying to dress your doors with roman shades, or any sized windows – from roman shades for odd-shaped bay windows to narrow blinds for basement windows, we have the best fit for your search to end. Do browse through our vast collection of 3000+ fabrics for roman shades to work up your creative juices as you try to make up your mind. Happy shopping!



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