Get Ready for the Summer Heat, Choose the Best Roman Shades

choosing roman shades

Excited for the hot summer weather? Me too! But it’s also important to know the downsides of such super-hot sunny days, namely when it comes to overheating in our house.

Thanks God, it’s not a big issue anymore because nowadays we are offered a great range of window coverings to protect us from the sun in summer. And don’t think that your only option here is fussy drapes (just like in your grandparents’ house) or “cold” blinds that usually create a very unpleasant office-like atmosphere.  But I am here to tell you how to make your home cosy and find a much better good-looking and practical alternative to the both options and one of them is roman shades.

In fact, you can find a much better good-looking and practical alternative to the both options and one of them is roman shades.

Roman shades are window covering panels made of fabric and regulated with a help of cord system and rings. Respectively, their height can be raised or lowered however you like them to be. Such window coverings indeed protect your home from heating up and they are very easy in use. By the way, thanks to a great variety of fabric and materials, roman shades can literally fit any style and home décor. And yes, they look super stylish in contrast to their “predecessors”.

Such window coverings indeed protect your home from heating up and they are very easy in use. By the way, thanks to a great variety of fabric and materials, roman shades can literally fit any style and home décor. And yes, they look super stylish in contrast to their “predecessors”.

Doesn’t sound convincing enough? Here are more reasons why you should choose roman shades over other types of window coverings:

  1. Roman shades, in case they are fully lowered, don’t cover the area near the window and therefore help the window remain its shape;
  2. But if you remain the roman shade raised, it still looks very neat;
  3. When folds form several layers of fabric, it makes the room even darker than regular drapes.
  4. When shades are fully raised, it creates an illusion of a valance for the windows, which looks very modern and unusual.

However, when I was in the store, I found out that not only the fabric makes the difference. It turned out there are several types of Roman shades suitable for each particular room design. Let’s go over each one real quick:

Unconstructed flat romans flat romans choice

If you are a lover of a complete simplicity, then unconstructed flat romans make the best choice. They are made with a single piece of fabric and have no bars or panels. For a total minimalism, you can choose this type of romans made of linen flat fabric. Or you can purchase patterned textiles because there will be no points where different pieces of patterned fabric would stitch, and therefore, it would look much better.

Constructed flat romans

Compared to the previous romans, constructed flat roman shades are made of fabric panels sewn together with back bars. Such construction gives the window covering a rigid frame and provides with a longer durability. Such blackout roman shades can be used for both modern house interiors and ones that are more traditional.

Relaxed roman shades

Call it whether relaxed romans OR soft OR London shades. Due to the lack of construction, these shades can have a little bow in the middle when raised. Nevertheless, I believe such style still looks more traditional and classy just like the previous types.

Balloon romans

Such romans are placed more for the decoration purposes. In general, they are not a good choice for everyday usage because after all it’s difficult to change the height here.

Austrian roman shadesAustrian romans

For lovers of more traditional, formal and yet sumptuous style of décor, I’d recommend choosing Austrian romans. Such type of roman shades is, by the way, one of the most expensive ones because of an amount of fabric required for making one shade. Did you know that you need twice more of the regular amount of fabric for typical flat romans to make an Austrian-style one? That’s because there are more gathers and scalloping on the bottom.

Stationary or faux romans

Are Austrian roman shades too expensive for you but you still want to have something more impressive than regular flat romans? Consider of stationary or faux roman shades that don’t require a lot of materials but they look indeed top-class and stylish.

Soft fold/waterfall roman shades

One of the other options as well are soft fold or waterfall shades. They already have permanent folds, which creates a very unusual but beautiful look. They can be either bamboo roman shades with folds as well as the ones made of fabric.

Ok, we went over the most common types of romans and now it seems like you have an idea of your possible choices. However though, you might be confused about so many different options.

Just breathe out and go on with reading! Right now, I will tell you more about several most important aspects to pay attention at when purchasing your future roman shades:

 1. Fabric

Not only should you consider the pattern of the fabric but also the shade’s translucency of the cloth and how easily it can be folded when preserved. Just agree that too “heavy” fabrics wouldn’t look good when creating folds because of their weight and rigidity.

 2. Relaxed or constructed?

The main dilemma about roman shades for every decorator of his house is whether to choose a relaxed or a constructed type of romans.

I have faced the following issue when I used to redecorate my living room and my bedroom. From my experience, I can say that your choice shouldn’t only depend on your preferences. The main thing here is actually the fabric.

For more rigid, thick and flat-patterned fabric, I would recommend using constructed shades, meanwhile for silkier, light and soft fabrics relaxed romans look more harmonic. Also, it’s not a good idea to put relaxed shades on wide and tall windows because they are much harder to adjust.

 3. Lining

If you don’t know, the lining is an additional fabric sewn to the back of the base material of a roman shade. Such shades with lining would not only reduce the amount of light coming to the room better but also give the shade more of a finished look. To use or not? – you would ask. Well, depends on the room. Usually, you don’t require a total blackout from the sun in the living room, however you might want that in your bedroom.

 4. Controls

There exist 3 different types of control that helps to lower and raise the roman shade: integrated electric motors, a continuous loop system, or cord and cleat.  Motorized are by far the most convenient option for all the lazy ones – you are just required to press the button and voila, the shades move up or down.

However, not everyone can afford such an expensive option. Controls that are more traditional are continuous loops. It uses a length of beaded chain and is super easy in operating. So, I would advise this type of control to all of my readers. But there is one more – cord and cleat. Although, it’s not that reliable way as the first two ones but at least it’s cheap =)

Well, hopefully, I provided you with enough information to give you a clue of such interesting term as “Roman shades”. By the way, do you know why Roman shades are called so? Apparently, such pieces of fabric, in other words, awnings, were used in the Roman Coliseum to protect people from the hot sun.

Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun in summer 2017!

Good luck,

Irene Kot


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