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Et Tu, Draperies? The Rise of Roman Shades

Written by Katie Laird on Tuesday, 11 October 2016 3:04 pm
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Sometimes, regular blinds just won't cut it. Your living space is warm and inviting, or bright and energetic, and adding regular or faux wood blinds feels a little too ordinary. You need a little more character, a little more texture, or you want to add some color to your window treatments. This is a perfect time to consider adding roman shades for a classy, modern accent to any room in your house.

The Benefits of Roman Shades

Roman shades, also known as roman blinds, are window coverings used to block out intrusive sunlight while giving your living space a modern look. But unlike standard blinds, these are fabric treatments, which stack up evenly at the top of the window when pulled open. When they are down, they're flat or hobbled, and their fabric is typically more adept than standard blinds at blocking out sun and keeping rooms cool (or warm in the winter months).

Since these shades are fabric, the color and design options are seemingly endless. Roman shades come in every solid color in the spectrum and hundreds of patterns and designs to fit any room of any home. They also come lined or unlined, so you can decide whether you want some sunlight to peek through or you want complete darkness.

Choosing the Fabric and Size

To decide on what sort of fabric you want for your roman shades, consider what you need the shades to do and what matches best with your living area. Is your furniture patterned or solid? Consider countering it with an opposite look in your shades.

Choosing the "face fabric," or the fabric you will see in the room, as well as whether a liner is present, is important, because it will change the look of your room and determine the translucency and maneuverability of the shades. Lighter colors and thinner materials versus darker colors and more rigid fabrics are self-explanatory. Take a few samples, hold them up against an open window, and fold them in your hand to determine how much light they do or do not block, and how flexible they'll be when you raise and lower them.

Once you figure out your preferred material, as well as the color and pattern, think about whether you want the shades to be relaxed or constructed. Relaxed roman shades hang with their own weight, creating a sagging look near the bottom. Constructed shades come with horizontal rods in the fabric for a more rigid appearance.

There are a number of other aesthetic choices when it comes to roman shades, and once you have all the bells and whistles ironed out, it's time to decide on how to control the shades. They can be raised and lowered with different cord systems, or they can be remote controlled using a small electric motor.

Installation

It's important to know before you purchase the shades whether you want to install them inside or outside of the window frame, as this will affect the size of the shade. Installing shades on the inside of the frames is the most common approach; you just have to make sure the frame is wide enough.

As with any installation, measurement is key. Carefully measure your windows based on the inside or outside mounting, and follow installation instructions closely. Specific installation instructions will vary based on the type of shade you choose.

Viola! You have new, modern, beautiful roman shades accenting your home, adding even more character and comfort to your living space.

Katie Laird is the Director of Social Marketing for Blinds.com and a frequent public speaker on Social Media Marketing, Social Customer Care and profitable company culture. An active blogger and early social technology adopter, you can find her online as ‘happykatie' sharing home décor, yoga, parenting and vegetarian cooking tips.

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