Everything You Need to Know About Roman Shades

Everything you need to know about roman shades. You don’t have to be fluent in Latin to appreciate these elegant window coverings. 

With all of the window covering options currently on the market, why do homeowners keep turning to shades that are rumoured to have been used almost 2,000 years ago? Although Roman shades take their name from the Roman Empire, there’s nothing antique about them. These timeless window coverings continue to appeal to contemporary homeowners.

But why are they so popular? What styles are available? How should they be installed? In this blog post, we take on these questions and more. Here’s your complete guide to Roman shades.

What’s the deal with Roman shades?

Modern window coverings with classical roots, Roman shades are traditionally soft window coverings made from single sheets of fabric that gather into clean folds or flowing bunches when lifted. These popular window coverings offer a refined look at an affordable price point, which has gained them the approval of countless homeowners as well as professional designers. Thanks to their mass appeal, Roman shades never seem to go out of style. Their staying power makes these statement shades a safe investment for homeowners looking to install new window treatments. 

Types of Roman shades

Interested in Roman shades? They come in a range of styles that differ based on how the fabric folds. This variety allows homeowners to choose between equally elegant options to find the right match for their windows and decor. The following are three common types of Roman shades. 

Flat fold Roman shades

Flat fold Roman shades are a popular option among homeowners who want to introduce new and exciting patterns into their homes. Because flat fold Roman shades consist of a single piece of fabric without horizontal seams, these window coverings occupy less space than other types of Roman shades. Often compared to cellular shades, flat fold Roman shades lie flat when lowered. 

Relaxed fold Roman shades

Need some extra positivity in your life? The shape of relaxed fold Roman shades has led some industry experts to refer to these window coverings as “soft smile” shades. Unlike flat fold Roman shades, relaxed fold Roman shades do not have dowels or rods supporting the fabric. For this reason, these Roman shades curve at the bottom when lifted.

Soft fold Roman shades

Soft fold Roman shades, which are also sometimes called hobbled fold Roman shades, typically consist of—surprise—soft fabric that folds over itself in a cascading pattern. For homeowners who are torn between the crispness of flat fold Roman shades and the free-flowing, natural look of relaxed fold Roman shades, soft fold Roman shades present an intriguing middle ground. They combine the neatness of the former with the volume of the latter. 

Why do homeowners install Roman shades?

We’ve already touched on the affordability, elegance, and versatility of Roman shades, but those desirable factors only scratch the surface of why homeowners find Roman shades appealing. Here are three more reasons why homeowners choose to install Roman shades.


  • Roman shades give homeowners more control over their window coverings.


Available in a variety of materials and styles, these window coverings are highly customizable. Additionally, many Roman shades are compatible with various lifting systems.


  • Roman shades provide light control and privacy.


Since Roman shades consist of single pieces of fabric, homeowners don’t have to worry about light sneaking through the gaps in their window coverings. Instead, homeowners can select fabric that provides their desired amount of light filtering or blocking. 


  • Roman shades can be applied to windows of various sizes. 


Roman shades add texture and detail to windows without adding too much bulk, making them a great option for small windows or windows that are surrounded by larger furniture. 

Where should homeowners mount Roman shades?

To inside mount, or to outside mount, that is the question. 

When it comes time to install Roman shades, many homeowners struggle to decide whether it’s better to place these shades inside or outside of the window frame. Despite the popularity of this question, there’s no single correct answer. 

Generally, homeowners choose to inside mount their shades if they want to showcase unique architectural features around their windows. For instance, if you have appealing window casing, you may not want to cover it up. 

Homeowners who choose to outside mount their shades may do so for a variety of reasons. Some window frames simply aren’t large enough to accommodate inside mounting. Alternatively, homeowners may decide to outside mount their shades to reduce the likelihood of light seeping through gaps between the window and the shades. In certain spaces, outside mounted shades provide advanced light control. 

Installing Roman shades in central Indiana

Thinking about adding Roman shades to your home? Since 2006, A+ Blinds has helped homeowners in central Indiana install high-quality window coverings. Contact A+ Blinds today to schedule a free consultation with one of our window treatment specialists.