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How to Choose a Roman Shade

How to Choose a Roman Shade

Shades and blinds allow you to dress your windows in a neat, uncluttered manner, control the amount of light that gets into a room, and enjoy unobstructed outdoor views when need be. Roman Shades are a practical choice of window treatment, providing light filtration, insulation, and privacy. In addition to fulfilling these needs, Roman Shades add vibrancy, texture and color to a bland room, converting it into an amazing space.

Your choice in shades is mostly dependent on the location of your windows, the type of light that they let in, and the views through them. Other than this, it is basically a matter of taste. Roman Shades can give any room a look that is similar to a drapery. This and other reasons have made these shades the fastest growing window treatment option today. They give rooms a great look, are relatively easy to install, and add tremendous value compared to traditional draperies. The following are some of the factors that you need to consider before purchasing Roman Shades to ensure that your choice of window covering delivers the intended effect. 

Fabric, Design and Color 

Considering that roman shades are meant to improve the general design of your room, color and design should be your first considerations. There are many beautiful fabrics to choose from including polyester, cotton, linen and silk, as well as different designs, like stripes, florals, solids, and patterns. If neutral colors dominate your room, you should select shades with a bold, colored pattern, in order to add depth and oomph using a muted color palate. Another advantage of this selection is their ease of replacement, in the event that you get tired of them, compared to brightly colored furniture or walls. If your room, on the other hand, is filled with bright colors, you can stimulate your sense of touch by opting for a neutral fabric with texture. Once you select a design that complements other materials and colors used in your room, you can proceed to examine other factors like the fold style and control option.


Fold Style

Roman Shades are available in a variety of fold styles, though flat and hobbled are the most popular. In the Flat Fold style, the fabric panels simply fold and unfold over the next, as you adjust the height of the shade. When the shade is raised, the pleats should lie flat, and stack up into each other. This style is ideal for those looking for a clean, modern look. If you are looking for a drapery look, then the Hobbled Fold style is the right choice. This style is characterized by large amounts of fabric gently cascading as you raise the shade. While the Flat style is common in casual settings, the Hobbled style is used in formal settings.

Other less popular fold styles include the European fold, which is similar to the flat fold style except for the curve at the bottom of the shade that forms a wide letter “U”; the reverse Fold style, which features straighteners built into the frame of the fabric to create neat, crisp fold when adjusting the shade; the Relaxed style, which has a flat shade with rounded folds at the bottom; and Tuscany Natural Grass style, which is a popular shade among interior designers due to its choice of materials, namely sisal, bamboo, rattan, reeds, and sea grass.


Control option 

This is an important consideration, since it allows you to determine how much light can pass through. The most popular one is the Top down/Bottom up approach, which allows the user to lower the shade from the top, and raise it in a similar manner to a normal shade. This option is ideal for letting light in without compromising on privacy. This option has various variations depending on whether you prefer light to come through when closed, or total blockage. Some shades also have a cordless option. You may also have to choose between “Front Control” and “Back Control”, whereby the fabric in the former option is closes to the glass for easy control of light gaps, while the fabric in the latter option is farthest from the glass, when you want a clearance between your shade and window.


Type of Lining 

Selecting a lining for your shade is optional. By adding a blackout liner to your shade, you can significantly enhance the privacy of your room. Alternatively, you can add room darkening. Besides increasing privacy, Roman shade liners also enhance the level of light that is not permitted into the room, allowing it to serve as a great window shade for media rooms and bedrooms.


Mounting Option 

Before purchasing a Roman Shade, you must decide whether you want to mount it within the window casing (inside mount), or a couple of inches above the trim (outside mount). Using an inside mount enables you to utilize additional window treatments to the Roman shade. Outside mounts, on the other hand, allow your shades to be the center of attention, and no additional window treatments are necessary. In addition, you may select the edge binding to use with your roman shade, which is the material that is wrapped around the edges of the shade to provide a decorative frame.


Measure Height and Width 

To ensure a good fit, you should make the correct measurements depending on whether your shade is an inside or outside mount. For inside mounts, you should factor in the depth of the window casing. This is because your shades might jut out too far if it is very shallow. Use a steel rule to measure the inside width and height of your window’s casing at three different points, and pick the narrowest and longest measure, respectively. Outside mounts are intended to cover the entire window, so you should include the mold when measuring the width, and the desired overlap for the height.


Amount of cleaning 

You need to consider how much effort you are willing to put into ensuring that your shades are clean. This factor goes hand-in-hand with your choice of fabric, since some materials demand dry cleaning only. Such fabrics imply more work for you. However, most roman shades use light-to-medium weight material that is easy to spot clean or machine wash using the option for delicate fabrics. Before purchasing your shades, you should check the cleaning instructions of your fabric.

Roman shades are a great alternative to aluminum or standard wood blinds. They are not only beautiful, but also easy to install. If you try them in one of your rooms, odds are that you will see a big transformation that will cause you to add them to your other rooms.

Image:  ©Decoholic

Melina Divani

Melina Divani is the owner and creator of Decoholic.org. Interior Design is her infinite passion without stop. Follow Melina on Instagram

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