Roman shades have been a popular window dressing for generations. They are popular because they are extremely functional and available in many fabrics and materials, ranging from classic bamboo to custom designer fabrics. They are enjoying renewed attention as options for climate control, as they work well for keeping out light and retaining warmth when designed for thermal use. Manufacturers have made new cords which are motorized for easy use and cordless versions for safety in homes with children and pets.
Roman shades are made from a flat section of material which folds up and down accordion style. The shade is pulled up using a cord that raises the shade evenly. As the shade is raised, the cord becomes longer. There are two main categories, and many designer variations within those.
- Classic, or flat- These appear smooth and solid with no visible pleats when fully extended
- Hobbled, or looped- These retain soft overlapping folds, even when fully extended. The loops create a cascade of fabric folds which appear more like drapery
- Embellished- These have curved bottoms called European style and they have the following options:
- Vertical gathering in the middle
- Fanned bottom
- Trimmed bottom, with beads, fringe or tassels
- Outside mount: the shade is slightly wider than the window and attached to the wall on the outside
- Inside mount: the shade is measured precisely to fit inside the window and attached to the inner window casing at the top
There is a Roman shade design to complement any wish, with sky’s the limit for fabrics, colors, designs and applications. Here are ten variations on classic Roman shades in beautifully designed bedrooms.
Fabric Roman shades made in lushly pattern and textured gold are perfectly installed so that each window is identical whether the blinds are up or down. The warm browns, rusts, and deep greens in the linens and furnishings complement the wood flooring and woven cane headboard. Accent pillows pick up the colors of the shades, creating a welcoming haven inspired by the warm colors of the Mediterranean. The design is from blinds.com.
Veranda Showcase House
The windows have lovely coordinated double Roman shades. The outer set is made of traditional fabric pleated styling in a calming moss green, while the inner set is a sheer fabric with rounded European bottoms and soft vertical gathering on the sides. The inner set includes four shades with inner mounts on the identical windows, while the outer set includes two shades which each span two windows, and are mounted forward in the deep window casing. Together, the paired sets coordinate with the moss green of the bed canopies and white comforters and linens. Harvest gold pillows provide lively accents to the predominantly green and wheat color palette. The design is by Elizabeth Dinkel Design Associates, Inc.
New York Blue
Navy blue Roman Shades white side striping has a neatly folded edge to echo the geometric prints throughout the room. Classic crisp white, navy and cream are still fresh colors. The sailboat printed blue throw, the seahorse print, and the bold stripe headboard all bring in a hint of nautical styling. The two stainless steel adjustable reading laps above the bed provide for cozy reading in bed. Designed by Amanda Nisbet of New York, NY.
The bold fabric used for the Roman shades is strikingly beautiful. Designed by Robert Brown, the room is a soothing blend of cream, white black and rich hardwoods. These colors are included in the square art pieces hung on the wall showcasing the sleigh style bed The lamps on the flanking tables have creamy white lamp shades which are rectangular, and the lamp bases have strong vertical metallic lines. Flooring is jute carpeting in wheat. The fabric on the shades has also been used to cover the wall behind a side desk. Saffron colored accent pillows add a bright note and complement the stripes on the bed linens. All in all, a satisfying, chic room.
Florida Luxury Orange
Beasley & Henley Interior Design created this fresh, lux design featuring a persimmon ceiling and bright orange florals for the Roman shades. The windows are tall and narrow, and the shades are inside mounted, keeping the long lines clear from the bedside tables to the cream white crown molding embellishing the ceiling. A chandelier of circles echoes the structural art piece above the taupe upholstered head board. Taupe, persimmon, and white linens grace the bed. Shades provide privacy without sacrificing natural light, and the overall vibe is cheerful luxury.
This beautiful room is perfectly pink, with European style curved Roman shades. The shades feature vertical draws on either side accented by festive pink bows. Custom work allows for unity in the shades even though the windows vary along the expanse of wall. The light pink with darker pink trim coordinates with the pink ceiling. The unity between the shades and the ceiling makes the room’s high ceilings inviting and all the furnishings in white pinks, lavender and green make this adorable room very inviting.
With the stonework in the fireplace matched to the warm tan of the Roman shade behind the bed, the space is balanced by color. The two elements bring a casual, yet stylish mood to the room, even though the platform bed and fireplace surround are distinctly contemporary. The shade spans the entire width of the window, providing light control and privacy.
Lake Minnetonka Windows
Designed by John Kraemer & Sons, this Minnesota lake home has custom shades for each window in the curved array, and also for the door leading to the outdoor swimming pool. The choice of shades allows unrestricted views of the pool area and the beautiful lake beyond, while leaving the option for rolling them down for inclement weather. This is a classic use of shades, as draperies would have ruined the view and obscured the beautiful wood on the casement windows.
Ethan Allen Refined Traditional
With a rich palette composed of dark and light, the overall effect is elegant, but understated. The Manh Truc Woven Shades are in Dove color, and hung within the window frame so that the architectural details of the window interplay with the linear furnishings in the rest of the room. The Claxton Paisley Duvet Cover has golden threads which are matched to the accent gold of the Georgetown Bed and accompanying night stands. The London Map I is a study in design and serves to balance the area rug below, as both share the gray, black and creamy white colors. It is a superb traditional bedroom.
Lincoln Park Extravagant Traditional
Van H. Robinson of Design Decision Ltd. created this sumptuous bedroom setting for a single family residence. The Roman shades echo the color of the Venetian plaster walls facing. They are tucked under the rich gold draperies which flow to the ground in contrast to the horizontal lines of the shades. This is a wonderful way to use Roman shades when an extra layer is desired. The furnishings in the room are actually eclectic, though each piece has an element of style related to the other pieces. The dark wood, round-top headboard is an attractive centerpiece flanked by bedside chests of different finish. These are unified by the addition of matching lamps. Rosy tones, gold, copper, warm woods and elegant details give the room its elegance.