Roman Blinds 101

Abigail Sawyer | 26 Apr 2013 | Roman Shades

True to their name, Roman Blinds got their start in Ancient Rome. In the time before roads were paved, heavy foot traffic, travel by donkey, and constant construction left the air in the city extremely dusty. To trap dirt and dust before it came into the home, Romans hung wet cloths over windows. When people noticed that these fabric coverings also kept homes cooler by blocking the sun, window coverings of all kinds became more popular and elaborate.

Bali Custom Tailored Roman Shade

Bali Custom Tailored Roman Shade

Roman shades are most well known for their overlapping folds. Some historians attribute the inspiration for this design to the fabric awning that sheltered spectators from the sun in the Colosseum. The long awnings extended out over the stands on poles, and when they were not in use, they pleated back on themselves like modern roman blinds.

Colosseum Velarium

Roman Blind Styles

Despite their primitive beginnings, modern roman blinds and shades still offer excellent sun protection, privacy, and are offered with many custom design options. Roman window blinds can provide the finishing touch in rooms with casual, traditional, or even cutting edge contemporary decor. Today we’ll show you three popular styles of roman shades: relaxed, teardrop, and flat, and help you decide which works best for your space.

Laura Ashley Relaxed Roman window shade

The Laura Ashley Relaxed Roman Shade drapes into casual folds that will balance the tailored look of formal spaces. It will also fit in perfectly with casual design schemes like a modern farmhouse look.

bali casual classics roman shade

The Bali Casual Classics Shade is pictured here in the teardrop style, also known as ‘hobbled’.  The shade has loops of fabric that cascade down the front of the shade, even when it is fully lowered. This style blends well with traditional decor in more formal spaces, like sitting rooms or dining rooms. Roman shades look stylish when hung as an outside mount or inside mount, but this style is typically chosen with an inside mount. See the videos below to learn how to measure for roman blinds with either style of mount. Brand Cordless Roman Shade

The Brand Cordless Roman Shade is offered in the flat style. When raised it does not create voluminous billows, but maintains a clean, minimalist look. This style is perfect for a contemporary space and, as pictured, does well when mounted outside of the window frame.

Contemporary Fabric for Roman Shades

Roman window blinds are offered in a variety of fine fabrics from cotton to 100% silk. We offer free samples for all of our products, including roman blinds fabric, so that you can see colors and materials in person before you buy. Here are a few of our favorite fabrics for roman shades. Brand Classic Roman Shade- Coventry Chambray

Coventry Chambray is available with the Premium Roman Shade. This romantic floral would look beautiful in a powder room, craft room or kitchen. This product has one of our largest color selections and is a great choice if you are shopping for cheap roman blinds.

linen sage levolor roman shade

Linen Sage is available with the Levolor Classic Roman Shade. This seafoam textile will add soft texture against a relaxing palate of grey or beige.

Dandelion Thyme Roman Shade Fabric

Dandelion Thyme is a part of the Private Collection available with the Bali Custom Tailored Roman Shades. It’s subtle graphic print will add whimsy to a contemporary living room or bedroom. It is also available in three other color variations in the Private Collection.

Silk Espresso roman shade fabric

This 100% silk fabric in Espresso is available with the Premium Roman Shade. This gently billowing silk is the finest quality and will make a dramatic statement in a dining room or entry way.

Custom Accessories for Roman Blinds

The Bali Custom Tailored Roman Shades are offered with an optional tassel, fringe, bead, or teardrop crystal trim that will add the finishing touch to your tailor-made window coverings. Read more about custom window treatment accessories.

Bali custom tailored roman Shade bead trim


tassel All in the Details Home Decorating and Window Covering Accessories

fringe All in the Details Home Decorating and Window Covering Accessories

bead All in the Details Home Decorating and Window Covering Accessories

teardrop All in the Details Home Decorating and Window Covering Accessories

How to Measure For Roman Blinds

Measuring for any custom window covering can be an intimidating process. However, we have informative video tutorials, step-by-step instructions and a team of experts who are ready to help when you need them. We also offer our SureFit Guarantee with most of our products, which will give you complete peace of mind when measuring. SureFit means that if you made a mistake measuring for your blinds, you can get a new blind – a 100% exchange, at no cost! Find out more here.

How to Measure for Outside Mount Roman Shades:

 How to Measure for Inside Mound Roman Shades:

Take a look at all of our Roman Blinds and Shades today and choose from our custom options to create the perfect shade for your home.

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  • About Author

    Abigail Sawyer is a Senior Social Media Specialist for She's a home improvement junkie who is currently restoring a 1972 cottage with the help of her husband and goldendoodle, Biscuit. Walking in the footsteps of Martha Stewart, she’s happiest when she’s crafting or whipping up a new recipe; although nothing beats curling up with a good book and some Girl Scout Cookies. Follow her on twitter + instagram at @whatabigailsaw