One of the simplest and oldest types of window treatments is the Roman Shade, which dates back to Roman times (thus its name!).  I’m not surprised that this functional, versatile type of window covering has remained popular all throughout history, in countries all over the world.  From glamorous and richly detailed styles, to simple and rustic looks, there is a roman shade to suit every window and every home decor.

Different Styles of Roman Shades
1. Flat Roman Shades

The most simple form of roman shade is the Flat Roman Shade.   Made with a single piece of fabric, they can be either lined or unlined.  This style works well with fabrics with a pattern because flat romans do not have horizontal seams to obstruct or complicate the pattern.  They can still have rods in the back, inserted into pockets, which will keep them folding up neatly.  Suitable for both sheer, light-weight fabrics, and medium-weight fabrics.

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Embroidered linen shades by NikkiDesigns

Traditional Kitchen by Rumson Architects & Building Designers Well-Designed Interiors

2. Relaxed Roman Shades

Relaxed roman shades are similar to flat roman shades, except that the folds do not have rods in the back keeping them straight.  Therefor, they fall in a more “relaxed” style when open and closed.  This style is a little more fussy to deal with because you have to adjust the folds every time you raise the shades if you want them to be even. This style is best suited to shades that are not open and closed very often, or for a very casual, informal look.  It works best with fabrics that drape well.

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Linen/cotton roman shade by NikkiDesigns

 3. Pleated Roman Shades

Also  called classic roman shades, or cascade, this style is the least “fussy” as it folds up neatly every time you raise it.  It has horizontal pleats sewn into the shade, about every 6″.  Rods are inserted into the pleats at the back of the shade.  This style stacks very well, making it a good choice if you want the shade to take up as little space as possible when raised.

Home Office by Huntington Station Interior Designers & Decorators Homestead Window Treatments


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Custom roman shades by NikkiDesigns

4. Top-Down-Bottom-Up Roman Shades

TDBU roman shades are perfect when you want to let in light and the view from the top of your window, but provide privacy on the bottom half of the window.  These shades can be lowered from the top, or raised from the bottom, giving you lots of flexibility.  These shades come with a small valance at the top to cover the controls under the headrail.

Spaces by New York Window Treatments Customhouse Workroom

5. Banded and Bordered Roman Shades

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Custom roman shade with border by NikkiDesigns

Transitional Living Room by Livingston Window Treatments Window Works

What are your favorite types of roman shades?  Leave a comment and let us know!

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