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What are the Different Types of Roman Shades?

What Are Roman Shades?

The term Roman shades refers to a family of window coverings that are both sturdy and elegant. Roman shades are made of a single piece of fabric and can be raised and lowered using a simple system of cords and rings sewn into the fabric. These rings are positioned in such a way that the fabric neatly folds up as the shade is raised.

From this basic structure, Roman shades branch out into a several variations, each with its own special look. This huge variety makes it easy to find just the right solution for your window.

Types of Roman Shades

Classic Roman Shades

Classic Roman shades are made from a single, continuous piece of fabric. You’ll find no vertical seams in these shades, and they convey strength and sophistication. Classic Roman shades are available in two different designs: flat and looped.

The flat-style classic Roman shades have pleats that form flat horizontal lines while the looped style boasts billows of fabric that fall down the face of the shade. See illustrations explaining these classic Roman shade styles.

  • standard roman shades

    Standard Roman Shades

    Standard Roman Shade fabrics come off the back of the headrail for a classic look and maximum light control

  • Looped Shades

    Looped Shades

    Looped Roman Shades add a dimensional look that complements many home decor styles

  • old style shades

    Old Style Shades

    Old Style Roman Shade fabrics cascade off the front of the headrail for a modern look

People choose classic Roman shades when they are looking for a time-tested design and a strong look. There is a sturdiness and beauty to a classic Roman shade that sets this style apart from other types of window treatments. A classic Roman shade will work quite well on its own, but it pairs nicely with traditional drapery for a luxurious, formal look.

Tailored Roman Shades

For the broadest range of fabric choices and design options, look to tailored Roman shades, available from Bali in four styles: looped, flat, seamless, and relaxed.

The looped style tailored Roman shade features cascading folds while the flat style tailored Roman shade features flat horizontal panels. The seamless tailored Roman shade has no folds or panels. And the relaxed-style tailored shade has no folds or panels but features a gentle curve along the bottom. See pictures and descriptions of all four of these tailored Roman shade styles.

  • standard roman shades

    Standard Roman Shades

    Standard Roman Shade fabrics come off the back of the headrail for a classic look and maximum light control

  • looped shades

    Looped Shades

    Looped Roman Shades add a dimensional look that complements many home decor styles

  • relaxed shades

    Relaxed

    Relaxed shades feature curved folds at the bottom; perfect for printed fabrics you don't want interrupted by folds or panels.

  • seamless

    Seamless

    Seamless shades create gentle loops at the bottom as they're raised; perfect for printed fabrics you don't want interrupted by folds or panels.

Why choose a tailored Roman shade? Options—and lots of them. The four different styles of tailored Roman shades, combined with the huge catalogue of fabric options that are available for tailored Roman shades, makes this the design choice for someone seeking to create a very specific look.

Natural Roman Shades

Natural Roman shades, as the name suggests, use natural materials to create window treatments that are as beautiful as they are practical.

Natural Roman shades combine an age-old window treatment style with interesting materials to make a big statement. Similar to classic Roman shades, natural Roman shades come in three styles: standard, looped, and old style.

When in the down position, standard Roman style natural shades are flat. That means the intricacies and unique markings of the natural materials are showcased.

Looped Roman natural shades feature the same bold loops of material that their classic Roman and tailored Roman cousins feature. However, in the natural Roman shade, the looped style has a tremendous heft that gives it an especially strong character.

Old style Roman natural shades cascade off the front of the headrail and are a compromise between the flat standard style and the brawny looped style. And these old style Roman natural shades have the advantage of not needing a valance.

See illustrations that explain all three natural Roman shades.

  • standard roman shades

    Standard Roman

    Standard shades feature a clean, classic styling with flat panels that put the emphasis on the beauty of the fabric.

  • Looped Shades

    Looped Shades

    Looped Roman Shades add a dimensional look that complements many home decor styles

  • old style shades

    Old Style Shades

    Old Style Roman Shade fabrics cascade off the front of the headrail for a modern look

So, why choose Natural Roman Shades?

The materials. All of Bali’s natural shades and drapes are made with naturally grown, hand-harvested materials. The bamboo, jute, reeds, grasses, and rattan that go into these natural shades are exquisite. And, because they utilize natural materials, each shade is unique.

The Advantages of Roman Shades

Roman shades do some things very well. First and foremost, they make a strong visual statement. That’s because they are designed to really showcase a fabric. Pick a bold color or pattern and you get a window treatment that stands out. And Roman shades are durable: the simplicity of their lift system—strong cords and rings sewn into the fabric—gives them easy operation and a long life.

But, most importantly, Roman shades are a true classic. Whether they’re resting in a closed position or lifted halfway up, they look clean and well designed. It’s just a great style, and it’s no surprise that it’s the shade style that many designers prefer above all others.

Controlling the View: Privacy Options

Roman shades can be made in a huge variety of fabrics. Sheer fabrics soften daylight and create fascinating patterns. And light-control fabrics can give you just the right amount of light. But for those looking for privacy, there are excellent liners available that can block out even shadows and silhouettes. Light-blocking and privacy liners have the added benefit of increasing the insulating abilities of Roman shades.

Layering Solutions: The Ultimate Look of Luxury

For a truly dramatic look, pair Roman shades with traditional curtains and drapery or natural drapery. Mix and match fabrics, textures, and styles to create a combination that oozes comfort and elegance. Pair natural Roman shades with natural drapery. Combine the plump folds of a looped tailored Roman shade with lush fabric drapes. Pick a lively fabric for a flat-style classic Roman shade and pair it with a complementary fabric in a traditional drape. Roman shades love to be layered!

Find What Fits Your Own Unique Style

If that sounds like a lot of choices—it is. But this huge variety gives you the opportunity to choose something that truly fits your home and your style. Bali offers a full selection of shades, including cellular, roller, solar, sheer, layered, and pleated. For some people’s tastes—and maybe yours—a Roman shade is the obvious choice. Spend some time on baliblinds.com and look at what’s available—and find what’s right for you.

Order free swatches or start building your Roman shade now in the Bali Visualizer.