The way you dress windows can set the tone for any room, and there are so many options to choose from that it can be a real challenge to find the perfect solution. One of the most popular fabric window treatments in use today remains roman Shades, and it is easy to see why.
Roman shades provide simple and elegant dressing for any window, and that classic look works well with almost any décor – from classic period looks to contemporary design. One of the things that often comes as a surprise though, is that roman shades are available in a number of styles, and can give a very different look to your space depending on which you choose.
With so many choices for styles, just as there are for custom drapes and other window treatments, simply choosing roman shades is not the end of the journey for your window dressings. But don’t worry. We have taken the time to find the best three styles of roman shades easily available on the market today, saving you the time and hassle.
Each one is a fantastic option in its own right, and between them, there is sure to be the perfect choice for your needs.
Flat Fold Roman Shades with Front Slats
Both practical and beautiful, flat-fold roman shades with front slats feature visible slats sewn into the face fabric of the shade, marking the folds in the fabric when retracted. The slats offer visual interest, while also looking better when partially folded, giving both shape and texture to the window area, a modern look that gives a tailored finish, perfect for casual and formal spaces alike in the home.
The slats are not only effective from an aesthetic point of view either, but they also make these roman shades incredibly robust and hard wearing. These are definitely not shades that make you worry every time you move them; you know they are going to last for years.
The reason this style is seen as one of the top shade styles around is a combination of all of that: interesting design, hard wearing, work well with plain, textured and some patterned fabrics, and so much more too.
Custom roman shades stitched in this style look great in all kinds of window designs, from tall thin windows to broad and short openings. For properties with a variety of window sizes and designs, where you want to keep a consistency in window treatment, they are the perfect choice, but they also work as a specific design touch for an individual room or interior space too.
Nothing is completely perfect though, and for flat fold roman shades with front slats, there are things you need to remember. Those horizontal front slats give a really great look with plain or textured fabrics, and work well with some patterns too, but bold fabric designs or those with repeated shapes can look awkward as the slats tend to break up the pattern in an unplanned way and disrupts the flow of the design.
Flat Fold Roman Shades with Back Slats
Combining the usability and hard-wearing practicality of the flat fold roman shades with front slats, this second style takes those slats and hides them within the lining at the rear. The result is a shade that folds in panels as before, but when down, provides a seamless, smooth look that is very clean in appearance. With no breaks to be seen, the folds look even more effective when the shade is raised, with no obvious sign of where the slats are.
They look great in all window shapes and sizes too, with the cleaner look working really well with contemporary design or a minimalist look. The lack of visible slats also ensures that these shades work exceptionally well with patterned fabrics of all kinds, allowing the imagery to flow without a break across the entire shade.
However, because there is no break from slats, plain fabrics can risk looking a little uninteresting, presenting just a slab of color when fully down, although this problem disappears once some panels are folded, so it would depend on your usage as to the suitability of plain fabric. One type of fabric that is definitely unsuitable is any sheer fabric, since this style can’t be constructed without lining, and adding lining behind sheers will take away their translucent quality.
European/ Relaxed Roman Shades
Our third choice for the top three styles of custom roman shades is the relaxed roman shades, often also called European roman shades. This style features a scalloped swag at the bottom of the shade when it’s folded up. This style has no slats so gives a more unconstructed look that is perfect for a relaxing, informal space.
Because there are no slats and folds need to be set manually to fall into a clean stack, the relaxed style is more suited to a decorative rather than practical use as shades, where they will mostly be left in one position for effect rather than moved up and down each day. They obviously still work as shades, but are not as effective as others. However, as a decorative treatment, the subtle flowing curve of the folded material, and the lack of symmetry and organization of that fold gives a unique look that is extremely attractive and very popular. Especially if you are trying to mix an antique look into your modern decor, including European shades is a good option for you.
They work well with all types of fabric, including sheers and even plain fabrics, evoking interest due to the curves. However, these do not work as well with narrow windows, as you ideally would need width of at least 30 inches to allow for a deep swag to form.
There are window treatments for every space, and with these options, you don’t have to look further than roman shades to find the ideal option for any window or décor. From hard wearing and practical to pretty and decorative, roman shades can do everything you need. Just pick the style to suit your room.