It's not secret that I love love love using roman shades in projects. There is something really special about them. I do love curtain panels but the nice thing about a roman shade is you get to see the fabric pattern in a different way and they look great when you don't want to cover up wall space. I often get clients who don't know much about roman shades and because of that they are hesitant to use them. I thought I'd offer up all my knowledge to my favorite readers today!
First let me try to answer my client's favorite question, "Why are roman shades so expensive?" I decided to ask a pro this question because I've never made one so, I myself, have no idea. Melissa from Windows by Melissa had this to say,
"Why are roman shades so expensive? Because it takes about 80 steps to create one and you have to do each one right. If you so a step wrong and don't realize it till 20 steps later you have to undo all the previous steps! Also, roman shades have a lot of components. Window Treatments by Melissa design roman shades are made up 14 different pieces and it requires at least eight different tools to create it including a sledge hammer and saw. Additionally, mistakes aren't easily remedied on roman shades. If a mistake is made, more often than not the shade has to be recreated entirely. If the dowel cases are sewn on incorrectly and a seam of top stitching has to be removed it leaves unsightly needle holes in the fabric and the fabric must be replaced. There is so much room for error in the construction of a roman shades. So the slow process and tremendous amount of detail and focus required to make it is why the labor charge is so high on a roman shade.
An affordable solution is to get a faux roman shade just for the look. It is much less expensive as it does not require the same amount of materials as a functioning shade, nor does it require as much labor."
Well I hope that answers that question!!
Now I'll go through and explain some basics about roman shades.
If I am doing a flat roman shade it is often because I want to show off as much of the pattern as possible! This look is a little more modern and feels really tailored which I like.
image via DrapeStyle
If I were to pair roman shades with drapes I would most likely do a flat roman shade so you aren't seeing too much bunching.
For some reason I like flat shades in boy's rooms and relaxed shades in girls rooms.
image via Shea Mcgee Design
I love a relaxed shade in the right space. They can feel a little more frilly or traditional but that doesn't mean you have to have a traditional house to use them. They don't have as much construction going on so they tend to bow a little in the middle. Because there isn't as much construction you have to be careful not to do a relaxed shade on any window that is wider than 54 inches. If your window is wider consider doing two shades instead of one.
a double swoop.
Relaxed and flat shades are really the only two I use but there are some other kinds...
This look is also best in a traditional home. It's nice because you get a little swoop but also some tightening of the fabric on either side.
I usually like to line my window treatments if you need any type of light control. For nurseries I would for sure do a black out lining. I had Jane's shade lined in blackout lining.
Jane's shade made by Windows by Melissa
I also like that lining enables you to see the pattern on the fabric more vibrantly.
You can see an example of an unlined shade in this boy's room I did. I like that you get more sunlight but I feel like we lost some of the amazingness of the pattern by not lining this shade.
Lining will also help protect your shade fabric from sun damage and it helps give your shade a bit of a stiffer form. That brings me to my next point...
One thing that's kind of annoying about some roman shades is that they often have to be trained. If you have a lighter fabric they'll fold right up but occasionally a fabric that is thicker or if a shade has a lining it will bend in weird places. Every time I pull up a roman shade I help the shade take the right shape and fold in the right places.
image via Better Home and Garden
Woven shades have been all the rage for years now and I don't think they are going anywhere any time soon. There are a lot of things I love about a woven shade. I love how much texture it adds to a space. You can do shades with lots of texture or shades with minimal texture. It's up to you. Because roman shades are so expensive I'm always a worried a client will choose a fabric they get sick of in 5 years so a woven shade is a good classic option. The other benefit is that you can get them pretty cheap at places like Home Depot!
One of the biggest downside to a woven shade is that it most likely will have to be lined. They are super see-through. This adds to the cost and can make them much pricier than a normal shade.
I LOVE an inside mount if you have beautiful trim-work on your windows so you aren't covering any of that up.
This picture is from our most recent room reveal that you can read about here.
If any of my clients ever have nice trim I'll always suggest a roman shade over curtain panels that will cover all the trim. If you are ever trying to add faux height to a window you can use an outside mount and raise it as high as you want!
I used outside mount shades to add height to these shorter windows in this room reveal.
I hope this has helped a few of you gain some insight into one of my favorite ways to dress up a window.
And if any of you are looking for a roman shade for your home Windows by Melissa is offering a special discount code!
Use coupon code: 6thshade
Good for 10% off labor on roman shades, no minimum or maximum on quantity. Expires April 23rd.
Melissa is fabulous! Look at her most recent work in this beautiful bathroom.
image via Henry Kate Design Co.