Roman shades are a type of window covering that stands out from other more standard shades through the fact they have a smooth surface when they’re open.
They also stack up evenly and form these delicate folds which look lovely on most types of fabric. Surprisingly, there’s not a single type of design for all Roman shades but rather a multitude of them and the best part is that you can actually make your own Roman shades from scratch.
What Is a Roman Shade?
Roman shades (alternatively referred to as Roman blinds) are a very traditional window treatment composed of fabric or natural fibers such as jute or seagrass.
While Roman shades come in a variety of forms, they all have one thing in common: when raised, they fold in on themselves, similar to how a Venetian blind does.
Due to the fact that the fabric will continuously fold in on itself, these blinds can generate a substantial stack of fabric at the top of the window when fully raised. Thus, while Roman shades have a lovely and timeless appearance, they do reduce the amount of viewing space in your window when lifted.
What Common Styles Does a Roman Shade Go With?
Roman shades are compatible with a lot of different styles, including:
- Modern: They are made to be admired and include precise tailoring, luxurious fabrics, and glistening accents. This allows you to make them as artistic as you choose, giving the traditional Roman shade a more modern twist. Many people love the streamlined style when they wish to bring a modern appeal to the room.
- Traditional: Traditional Roman blinds are ideal for homeowners that have a theme running throughout their home. They are available in a variety of styles and designs that are reminiscent of bygone eras. In stores, you can get Japanese hand-painted styles and Persian weaved varieties.
- Mid-century modern: There are plenty of different Roman shades that could fit really well into a mid-century modern decor, including London Roman shades or cellular Roman shades.
What Material Is Best for a Roman Shade?
When considering the best material for a Roman shade, it’s important to have two characteristics in mind: weight and structure.
Roman shades, unlike drapery, are not supposed to sway in the breeze. They are custom-fitted for your windows and therefore need to hug them firmly, preventing the sun from getting inside the room.
However, for Roman shades to remain in place, there needs to be some weight to the fabric. Consider that you’ll likely open and close your shades on a daily basis. Are you certain you want to be yanking on a big chunk of velvet?
Structure is an inherent property of certain fabrics that others lack. It is a result of the interaction of stiffness and thickness. The majority of organic fabrics are inherently stiff enough to create Roman shadows.
Having said that, the lining contributes to the structure of a Roman shade. There is always the option of blackout lining for complete darkness or a privacy lining that is less dense but still lets some light pass through.
If we put all this information together, we can conclude that linen blends are best in terms of material.
What to Look for in a Roman Shade
When looking for Roman shades, take note of the fabric options. Along with the fabric design, keep an eye out for the texture, as this can have a significant effect on the overall aesthetic of the Roman shade and influence the overall appearance of the room.
You can opt for light and heavy-weight materials for your Roman blinds, but keep in mind that stiff fabrics are not recommended due to their inability to fold properly.
With many manufacturers offering customization possibilities, the pattern and color options for Roman shades are quite vast. When deciding on a color or pattern, seek for possibilities that complement the living space.
Additionally, determine whether additional window treatments will be added to the setup. If so, consider if you want the Roman shades to compliment or contrast with the room’s other window coverings.
A Roman shade will use different lift mechanisms based on the type you want to install.
A cord lock is one sort of lift, and it allows you to raise the shades with a simple pull of the cord. After adjusting the shade to the correct height, pull the cord to the right side to secure it. Pulling the rope to the left unlocks the lock and enables the shade to be lowered.
Cordless Roman shades function without the use of cables or wires. The blinds can be raised or lowered manually by gently pushing or tugging them up or down. They are quite easy to operate.
Motorized Roman shades are the epitome of operation simplicity. These shades are powered by a motor and may be controlled remotely or via a smartphone app.
Continuous loop lift Roman shades have a circular beaded chain that you basically can pull in two different directions for opening and closing them. They pose less of a strangulation hazard for children and pets.
In order to determine what size Roman shade you need, you have to factor in two things: the size of the window and whether you want an inside or an outside mount:
- Inside mount means that the shades are mounted inside the window frame.
- Outside mount means that the shades are mounted outside the window frame.
If you want to install your Roman shades inside, you want to measure the inside width and length of the windows to the closest ⅛ inch.
For an outdoor mount, determine the width of the area that the shade will cover surrounding the window. It is generally recommended to add around 1 and a half inches on either window side for a total of 3 inches. This will prevent excessive light from entering the room through the Roman shade’s sides.
Following that, determine the length of the window and any extra space that the shade will need to cover. Finally, determine the window’s depth. As indicated previously, certain fold types are more substantial than others.
Best Roman Shades
CHICOLOGY Magnetic Roman Shades
Roman shades by Chicology have a one-of-a-kind magnetic design. Instead of dealing with cords that need pulling, users may adjust them by simply lifting them to one of the fixed heights and snapping them into place using the built-in, heavy-duty magnets. These are child and pet-friendly choice due to the absence of hanging cords.
These Roman shades are made from polyester and feature plastic handles. You can find them in seven different color options, all of them being neutral and suitable for a variety of different room setups.
Windowsandgarden Store Cordless Roman Shades
Made from natural materials, the Windowsandgarden Roman shades are a very viable option for those looking for products that balance price with quality. The natural appearance of these woven wooden shades stands out of the crowd, offering a practical solution thanks to the pulley control system that’s designed to withstand heavy use.
You can customize the shades and choose whether you want an inside or an outside mount. You are able to give the seller the custom measurements needed for the shades, which means that you won’t have to worry about shades not fitting properly.
Madison Park Galen Cordless Roman Shades
This ivory roman shade has a basketweave structure on the base cloth, giving it a natural appearance and feel. On the reverse, a thermal foam backing enhances energy efficiency and privacy.
This roman shade is pre-installed and maybe put inside or above the window glass. Additionally, each shade is OEKO-TEX certified, ensuring that it contains no dangerous elements or chemicals, ensuring superior comfort and wellness.
The Arlo blinds are available in four different colors and offer a decent construction, being made from reliable polyester fabric that’s just as good as the more expensive polyester shades you currently find on the market.
You can choose between an inside or an outside mount, both of these options offering a package that includes the hardware needed for installation. Since packaging causes the fabric to wrinkle, it’s important to leave the shades out to regain their original appeal. Note that using steamers on high heat can damage the fabric.
Artdix Cordless Roman Shades
We wanted to add something more colorful to our list of products, which is where the Artdix Roman shades come in. You can choose between 24 different colors and patterns, so you have the opportunity to add a little more personality to your decor with these products.
As with the other options we’ve listed above, you can choose whether you want an inside or an outside mount. One thing that we want to mention is the services offered by the seller. If you get the wrong measurement or installation, you get one free remake, which is quite a neat thing to have.
Fun and Easy DIY Projects to Create Your Own Roman Shades
1. Roman Shades for Your Kitchen
Roman shades are great for the kitchen because you usually want natural light in there but you don’t want them to leave the windows completely bare. You can hang these shades and open them so they cover half the window or less. To find out all the details of the project you can check out thediymommy.
2. DIY Roman Shades from Scratch
As previously mentioned, you can make your own Roman shades from scratch. It’s actually very easy. You need a few things such as fabric, fabric shears, drapery rings, a board for mounting, liner fabric, an iron, a staple gun, a dowel, and a sewing machine. This particular tutorial can be found on diydecormom.
3. Turn Your Old Mini Blinds Into Roman Shades
You can also actually turn your old mini blinds into Roman shades. You’ll only be using a few of the pieces, such as the mounting piece at the top and some of the individual types of blinds. To find out all you need to know about this transformation, check out honestlywtf.
4. Relaxed Roman Shades
As mentioned before, there are many different types of Roman shades. The differences are in the overall design as well as in the shape the shades take when only partially open. These are relaxed Roman shades. They form a smooth curve at the bottom and they look simple and casual. You can find out more about them on stagg-design.
5. DIY Faux Roman Shades
If you want the look of Roman shades without the functionality, you can make some faux ones. They’re a cute idea for the kitchen because you usually don’t need to put them up and down anyway, not that you could in this case. Check out thediyplaybook to find out how to make faux Roman shades.
6. Faux Roman Shades For Your Living Room
There’s also a nice tutorial on homestoriesatoz that you can check out if you want to make faux Roman shades. Since these will actually stay fixed, they’re pretty easy to put together. The most difficult part will be choosing the fabric for your new faux shades.
7. Reversible Roman Shades
These Roman shades featured on bowerpowerblog are reversible. What that basically means is that they’re made of two different types of fabric so that you can choose between them depending on your preferences. When you get bored of one type of fabric, just switch to the other.
8. Top Tips for Adding the Mounting Board and Cording to Your Roman Shades
We keep saying that making Roman shades is very easy and that’s true, even if the process may seem a bit complicated at first. Sure, there’s some sewing involved and you’ll have to add a mounting board and the cording so you can actually use the shades but it all makes perfect sense when you follow this tutorial offered at atcharlotteshouse.
9. DIY Roman Blackout Shades
What’s really cool about DIY Roman shades is that you can make them in any size and shape that you want which is great, especially if you don’t have standard windows. You can also make similar shades for your doors. Of course, you also have the advantage of picking whatever type of fabric you want for maximum customization. If you like this particular design, be sure to check out wecanmakeanything for details.
10. Use Permanent Fabric Tape Instead Of A Sewing Machine To Create Roman Shades
Don’t have a sewing machine? No worries, that’s entirely ok because you can still make beautiful Roman shades. There’s a lovely tutorial shared on craftsbyamanda which explains exactly how you can make some no-sew shades for your window. Spoiler: you’ll need permanent fabric tape for that.
11. Simple Roman Shades to Change the Appearance of a Room
Ever noticed how much the window treatments can change a room? Take these beautiful Roman shades featured on ohohdeco for example. Sure, the windows are small but just look how much cozier this entire space looks now. You can make that happen for your own home and it wouldn’t be that difficult.
12. Fake Roman Shades
Fake Roman shades are pretty cool too, and they’re a great idea if you’re not entirely sure that Roman shades would even suit the decor of your home in the first place. You can quickly hang some faux shades to get an idea of how they look like and leave them up there for a while until you make a final decision. Check out one-o for the instructions.
13. Natural Woven Shades
It’s also possible to transform other types of window shades into Roman shades if you like the look. A good example is a project that we found on francoisetmoi. It involves some natural woven shades, a saw, some rubber bands, and some cord. The problem here was that the original shades didn’t fit the window so they were cut down to size and adjusted.
14. Paint Your Own Design on Roman Shades
Customization is what DIY Roman shades are all about. You get to choose the proportions and dimensions as well as the design and of course the type of fabric that you want to use. Speaking of fabric, you can either go with a pattern that you find interesting or you can paint your own design. It’s a quirky idea that comes from allthingsthrifty.
15. A Floral Set of Roman Shades
Sunny Side Design shares these complete instructions for adding Roman shades to a bedroom. We love the choice of the pretty floral pattern, which looks great in any room in our home. With the built-in desk in this bedroom, this style of shades works perfectly and is a much better alternative to curtains. Roman shades are a really expensive option to buy in a store, so you’ll save hundreds of dollars by following this DIY project for your next home makeover.
16. Flat Roman Shades
Made 2 Style shows us how to create these simple DIY Roman shades that are perfect for a first-time project. These are one of the most basic styles of Roman shades available but would look great in a bathroom or guest bedroom. We think the bold color of these Roman shades makes a great contrast to the plain white walls in any room. You can fold up the fabric of the shades to give them a more structured look, so they’ll look great when they are either up or down.
17. A More Formal Set of Roman Shades
Roman shades are perfect for any type of home and will look great in formal and informal settings. If you are looking for something a little smarter than some of the more colorful options on our list today, consider these DIY Roman shades from Dwelling Cents. This complete project comes in at under $50, so you’ll still make a great saving on custom-made Roman shades. The fabric can be customized to your room’s décor, and you’ll find this to be a much better option than mini blinds for any room in your home.
18. A Neutral Set of Roman Shades
While bold and colorful Roman shades can be fun in children’s bedrooms or a guest bedroom, sometimes you need a more neutral or professional look for your home office. Cherry Street Cottage shares these simple yet stylish Roman shades, which won’t alter the look and feel of a room too much once they are added into the space. A neutral color paired with a flat shade design offers you a practical solution for any room in your home. We always recommend opting for the right material and color so that light can still enter your room and you don’t feel like the room is too dark and dingy.
19. Greek Key Roman Shades
Selena Gomes Tattoo shows us how to make these unique DIY Roman shades, which offer a sophisticated pattern and design. Inspired by classic Greek designs, these would look great in any bedroom. We love that the addition of the pattern around the edge of the shades is quite subtle, so it doesn’t detract too much from the overall style of the room. Of course, you could opt for a brighter color and the same pattern, but we think this lighter shade will add a classy touch to any room this year.
20. Beachy Faux Roman Shades
If you want a simpler project, opt for faux Roman shades this year. Hamilton Beach shares this bright and fun project that would look great in any room. It will make the perfect finishing touch for your kitchen window, and by choosing a modern and fun pattern, you can create a nice feature for your room. Making a faux Roman shade isn’t too challenging, and you’ll just need to be able to sew straight lines. You’ll complete a room perfectly with this design, and it helps to fill up awkward, empty spaces.
21. Easy DIY Roman Shade
Sincerely, Marie Designs offers us this simple and easy DIY Roman shade project. If there’s a window in your house that’s been empty for a long time, this is the ideal project to sort out this issue. While it can be challenging to find the perfect material for your project, once you’ve found the right shade and pattern for your Roman shades, you’ll be ready to get started. The instructions in this DIY project are extremely easy to follow, and even beginners will find this an enjoyable project to complete this year.
22. Bright and Colorful Roman Shades
Add a really bright and bold touch to any room in your home with these fun patterned Roman shades from The Gathered Home. The tiger print on these shades is probably the most unique pattern we’ve featured today, but it will be a great feature to display in any kitchen. Even if you are a beginner sewer, you’ll find the instructions on this project super easy to follow, and it’s a very accessible option for first-time crafters.
23. Easy No Sew Roman Shade
Just because you don’t sew, you shouldn’t let that put you off creating Roman shades for your home. Instead of sewing, you’ll use Elmer’s craft bond for this project from Mom 4 Real, which is designed specifically for use with fabric and leather. On top of that, you’ll also need fabric glue, fabric scissors, and an iron. Once you’ve selected the pattern and material for your shades, you’ll be ready to get started. Make sure your fabric is at least two inches wider than your window and double the length.
24. Doubling Up With Shades and Curtains
When you add Roman shades to your window, you can also still add curtains to your room. The technique used for these Roman shades is very simple, and they are very light to put on any window. This project does involve quite a bit of sewing, so you’ll want to brush up on your sewing techniques before starting. Check out A Butterfly House for the full tutorial and to get started.
25. Banded Roman Shades
These no-sew Roman shades from Heart and Holm offer a very fashionable and modern design, and the banded shades offer more structure than other Roman shades. These still offer a reasonably basic design, and by choosing a pretty fabric for the project, you’ll transform your kitchen or bathroom. Choose a bold band color, and you’ll brighten up any room in your home with this simple addition.
Regardless of which room in your home you need to add Roman blinds to, you’ll find the perfect solution in our list of projects today. All of these DIY Roman shades will completely transform any space and are reasonably simple to create. If you don’t fancy sewing, opt for one of the no-sew patterns, which will save you even more time and hassle when updating your home décor this year.