BUYING GUIDE:
Roman Shades for Windows

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Roman Shades are a versatile, stylish window treatment option that suits a wide range of applications and aesthetic styles. If you’re considering Roman Shades for windows, you likely want to know more about what they are, why you should choose them and your customization options so you can determine if these window treatments are truly right for you.

That’s where our buying guide comes in. Learn everything you need to know about Roman Shades for windows, from style and material options to measure and installation best practices.

Important

This buying guide covers all the details of Roman Shades from The Shade Store. While some information will be universal to all Roman Shades, such as what they are, details like available styles, material options and install best practices will be specific to our Roman Shades.

Roman shades for windows include Flat Roman Shades made of Sahara Stripe in Desert in a scandi-chic living room

What Are Roman Shades?

Roman Shades are window treatments that are raised and lowered by folding into themselves, creating a series of folds when raised and unfolding in a cascading motion when lowered.

Roman Shades for windows come in several different styles, with some being more functional and others being more decorative.  

With a basic understanding of what Roman Shades for windows are, dive into more details about these versatile shades by exploring the following topics.

Why Choose Roman Shades?

Roman Shades for windows offer several benefits, making them an excellent choice for a wide range of applications and aesthetic styles.

  • Plenty of customization options so you can create the right shade for your space.
  • 500+ material options for the perfect look.
  • Cordless and motorized controls available for sleek designs and effortless control.
  • Versatile style selections, from modern elegance to traditional charm to elevated luxury, to suit any aesthetic.
  • Install flexibility means Roman Shades can be mounted inside the window frame (inside mount) with a depth of at least ¾”, or outside the frame (outside mount).

Types of Roman Shades

Roman Shades come in several different styles, from sleek modern looks to opulent designs. Plus, the functionality between the styles of shade varies as well, with some styles being more decorative and others more functional. Explore the different styles of Roman Shades for windows to discover the right style — and functionality — for your space.

Considerations for Style & Function

As you learned above, different styles of Roman Shades have different levels of functionality. Some are very easily lifted and lowered, making them ideal for everyday use, while others are more decorative and are not best for regular use. Choosing the right style of Roman Shades for windows will require you to think through how important functionality is to you.

Functional Styles of Roman Shades

Roman shades for windows include Flat Roman Shades made of Sankaty Stripe in Moon in a bright sitting room with white walls

For the best functionality, choose Flat, Cascade, Aventura or Pleated Roman Shades. These Roman Shades for windows are easily lifted and lowered with their control mechanism, and don’t require any dressing of their fold to maintain a pleasing look.

If you’re adding window treatments to an often-used room where you’ll frequently be adjusting your shades, choosing one of these styles is essential to make controlling your light and privacy as easy as possible.

Decorative Styles of Roman Shades

Roman shades for windows include Relaxed Roman Shades made of Celeste in Moon in a cozy cottage-inspired bedroom

If style is very important to you, and you don’t plan to regularly lift and lower your shades, you can also consider the more decorative styles of Roman Shades including Tulip Roman Shades and Relaxed Roman Shades. These Roman Shades for windows will require dressing (adjusting the folds) whenever you lift or lower them because the folds will not crease uniformly due to the beautiful, curved designs. If you plan to leave your shades halfway down your window for decoration, these shades are a great choice.

Customizations for Your Roman Shades

Now that you know about the different styles of Roman Shades for windows, you’re ready to learn about customizations that will help you create the perfect shade for your style and functional needs. These customizations are unique to Roman Shades from The Shade Store.

Material Options for Your Roman Shades

At The Shade Store, you have 650+ exclusive materials to choose from to create the perfect look for your Roman Shades. From soft neutrals to bold patterns and natural fibers to performance synthetics, we have the right material in the right color to suit your style and needs. Here are just a few of our collections to get you started.

A pile of Roman Shade swatches made of Luxe Linen piled decoratively in a rustic bowl on a white marble table

All Natural Fabrics

Natural fibers deliver character-rich beauty with their perfect imperfections. From the wrinkles of wool and linen to the delicacy of silk and the soft feel of cotton, these materials offer an irresistible charm and nonchalant sense of luxury.

Woven Woods

Woven woods are made from sustainably sourced grasses, reeds and bamboo and deliver an organic, boho-inspired look. Woven wood materials are only available with Flat Roman Shades and a selection are also available with Cascade Roman Shades. Shades made with woven woods are also called Woven Wood Shades, which is a separate product category. Woven Wood Shades come in similar styles to traditional Roman Shades for windows.

Woven Wood Shade swatches made of Artisan Weaves materials are folded in a line on a table with a decorative wood piece
Roman Shades swatches made of Sunbrella Designer materials in cool neutral tones are piled in a metal bowl

Performance Materials

If high performance is what you’re after, synthetic materials like polyester and acrylic can give you stylish looks and inviting textures — all with hardiness and resistance to stains and moisture. For the best performance, go for Sunbrella fabric, made with proprietary acrylic material and featuring designs exclusive to The Shade Store.

Designer Patterns

If you’re looking for bold colors and patterns, consider choosing a material from our exclusive Designer Collections. Featuring unique patterns from the likes of Victoria Hagan, Nate Berkus, Sheila Bridges, Martyn Lawrence Bullard and many others, you can find truly inspiring designs in a wide range of materials.

Roman shade swatches made of material from Victoria Hagan's latest collection are hung decoratively on circular decor

CUSTOMIZE YOUR DESIGN

See what each color, pattern and material looks like on your chosen Roman Shade style when you start customizing your design.
START CUSTOMIZING

Lining Options

Linings are extra material sewn to the back of your shade — and most are free to add when you buy Roman Shades for windows from The Shade Store.

Different linings have their own unique benefits, but all linings also share these common benefits:  

  • Gives your shade fuller body and weight for a more structured, tailored look.
  • Protects your shade material from the harsh rays of the sun, which can cause fading and deterioration.
  • Provides added privacy for your peace of mind.
  • Contributes to better insulation, as the extra material helps block more heat and absorb more cold air from drafty windows.

Now that you know the common benefits of lining, learn about your lining options, including no lining at all, which also has its own unique benefits.

Discover Curated Designs

Explore our Photo Gallery featuring Roman Shades for windows in a variety of applications and styles to get ideas for your own design.
VIEW THE GALLERY

Control Types

Control type refers to the control mechanism that allows you to lift and lower your shade. Roman Shades for windows have several control type options, but not every style is compatible with every control type. Learn about your control options and which styles are compatible with which control type.

Basic Control Types

Continuous loop and cord lock are two basic control types that are compatible with all Roman Shade styles and come at no extra cost to you. These controls feature cords or a chain that you pull to lift and lower your shade.

  • Cord Lock – A cord allows you to lift and lower your shade by pulling it toward the center of the shade to release the lock. Adjust your shade to the desired height, and then pull the cord back toward the edge of the shade to lock it into place. The cord will lengthen as you raise the shade, but you can wrap the excess cord around a cleat (included with purchase) for a clean look without a dangling cord.
  • Continuous Loop – The looped chain allows you to adjust your shade by simply pulling the front side of the looped chain down to lift the shade. To lower the shade, lift the front side of the chain up, or pull the back side of the chain down. The length of the looped cord, no matter your shade’s position, does not change so there’s no excess dangling. Plus, the looped chain makes it easier to operate larger shades, so if you know your shade will be very wide, very tall or both, a continuous loop can be a good choice.

If neither of these control types seem like the right fit for you, you have other options. Cordless and motorization are upgraded control types that will add to your overall costs but will give your Roman Shades for windows a clean look and easy functionality.  

Cordless Roman Shades

Roman shades for windows include a Flat Roman Shade made of Awning Stripe in Fawn in a wood-framed pool house

Cordless control allows you to lift and lower Roman Shades for windows without any cords or chains thanks to a tension lock device in the headrail. Cordless control is only compatible with Flat Roman Shades and Cascade Roman Shades.

To lift and lower your cordless Roman Shade, grab the ring sewn into the back of the fabric at the bottom of your shade and pull the shade slightly down and toward you to release the lock. Then, adjust the shade to the desired height by pulling down or lifting up. To lock the shade in place, simply push the bottom ring toward the window.

Cordless control is a great option for a clean, seamless look and easy use. However, it’s not always the best choice for every application. For instance, for very tall windows, it may be difficult to reach the top of your window to lift your shade up all the way. And for very wide windows, it could be difficult to lift and lower the shade evenly. So, it’s important to think about your application (and your reach) before choosing this option.

Motorized Roman Shades

Motorized window treatments feature the most effortless control available. Motorization is compatible with all the functional styles of Roman Shades for windows, including Flat, Cascade, Aventura and Pleated Roman Shades. The motor lives in the headrail of your Roman Shade and it lifts and lowers your shade mechanically.

Controlling your motorized shade will depend on the specific brand of motor you’ve chosen but most systems, including our proprietary motors, come with a remote. Some systems can be paired with an app on your smartphone or tablet to control your shades. Others still can be paired with a smart home device like Google Nest or Amazon Alexa, allowing you to control your shade with the sound of your voice.

As for powering your motor, options range from a rechargeable battery to plug-in options to low-voltage wiring that often requires an electrician to install.

At The Shade Store, we offer our own proprietary motor system that’s affordable and easy to use.

Motorized window treatment devices including a wireless link, remote and smart home device sit on a table

Quiet. Discrete. Effortless.

Motorization from The Shade Store comes with a quiet motor with either a rechargeable battery or a plug-in option. To control your shade, use our sleek remote, or our app on your smartphone or tablet.* For truly effortless ease, pair your motor with your smart home device and control your shades with the sound of your voice.*

*To pair your motor with a smart device, you’ll need our wireless link which converts the digital signal from your smart device into a radio signal that the motor understands.

Valances for Roman Shades

Another customization for your Roman Shades for windows is a valance. Valances are typically a soft fabric panel that hangs loosely from a board installed at the top of your window treatment. However, Roman Shades for windows have an upholstered valance.

Roman shades for windows include a Flat Roman Shade made of Heathered Linen in Sky with an upholstered valance

Upholstered Valance

An upholstered valance is available for Roman Shades and certain collections of woven wood materials. It is a 4-inch wooden valance that is handmade and fully upholstered with the same material as the shade.

HOW TO ADD A VALANCE

When customizing your Roman Shade, be sure to select “Upholstered Valance” in Step 7: Optional Features. START CUSTOMIZING

How Much Do Roman Shades Cost?

The cost of Roman Shades for windows depends on multiple factors such as the style of shade, the size of it, the material chosen and the control type. For an estimate of your costs, compare the starting prices of each style of Roman Shade and then explore factors that affect that starting cost.

Type of Roman Shade Starting Price
Flat Roman ShadesRoman Shades for windows include Flat Roman Shades made of Archer in Lagoon in a kitchen with turquoise blue cabinets$$
Cascade Roman ShadesRoman shades for windows include Cascade Roman Shades made of Nomad Stripe in Graphite in a living room with a salmon couch$$$
Aventura Roman ShadeRoman shades for windows include Aventura Roman Shades made of Wool Blend in Urban Grey in a darkly painted room$$$$
Relaxed Roman ShadeRoman shades for windows include Relaxed Roman Shades made of Emerson in Shea in a small alcove with a wooden table$$
Tulip Roman ShadesRoman shades for windows include Tulip Roman Shades made of Velvet in Camel in a living room with elegant gold-trimmed decor$$
Pleated Roman ShadesRoman Shades for windows include Pleated Roman Shades made of Wool Blend in Fleece in a modern room with white & black decor$$$$$

Get a Price Quote

Simply enter your measurements and get estimated pricing for different product categories and price groups. QUICK PRICE QUOTE

Factors That Affect Upfront Costs for Roman Shades

  • Size – A Roman Shade over a smaller window will cost less than a large shade covering a floor-to-ceiling window. The larger your shade, the more it will cost.
  • Material – The type of material you choose can affect price as well, as some materials are more costly and difficult to source than others. For instance, all-natural materials like linen, silk and wool will typically be higher in price than synthetic or blended (a mix of natural and synthetic) materials. Materials from our exclusive Designer Collections will also typically be higher in price. We price our materials based on a scale of A, B and C, with A being the least expensive and C being the highest.
  • Control type – The basic control types, cord lock and continuous loop, do not cost extra, however upgrades like cordless and motorization do. Motorization will be the highest priced upgrade for Roman Shades for windows, but it gives you the easiest, most effortless functionality.

These factors all affect your initial upfront costs for your shades, but you’ll also need to take into account labor costs if you plan on a professional installation. We highly recommend using our professional team for installation, as it ensure your shades are installed correctly and covered by our warranty.

READY TO CUSTOMIZE?

Start customizing your Roman Shade to create the perfect window treatment for your functional needs and aesthetic style.

Now that you know all your options for Roman Shades, including customizations and upgrades, as well as cost considerations, think through your application to ensure Roman Shades are truly the right fit.

When to Choose Roman Shades: Best Applications

Some applications are perfect for Roman Shades, while others might be better off with a different type of window treatment. Consider different types of applications, such as inside- or outside-mounted shades and different rooms in your home, to confirm whether Roman Shades for windows are the best choice.

Inside & Outside Mount

When it comes to inside- or outside-mount applications, Roman Shades for windows work great in either one. As long as your window box if deep enough (at least ¾” deep) to accommodate an inside-mounted Roman Shade, the choice is purely based on your preference.

A living room window features a Flat Roman Shade made of Jasmine in Midnight for a contrast to the light off white walls

inside mount

An inside-mount installation means your shade is installed inside the window frame, often with the headrail screwed into the top or “ceiling” of the window frame.  

A farmhouse kitchen features a Flat Roman Shade made of Shoreline in Pewter for a warm grey tone in the white kitchen

outside mount

An outside-mount installation means your shade is installed outside of the window frame and typically secured to the wall above the frame.  

In addition to inside- and outside-mount applications, the room in which you plan to install new window treatments can also play a role in your decision about whether Roman Shades are the best choice.

Rooms Romans Shades Are Best For

  • Living Rooms – From formal to casual, living rooms have many different styles, but are almost always active rooms where family and friends gather. The design versatility of Roman Shades for windows, as well as the easy functionality of many of the styles, make them the perfect fit for these multi-purpose rooms.
  • Dining Rooms – Often formal in their décor, elegant Roman Shades lend you the luxuriousness of Drapery but with better functionality to easily take you from a sunny brunch to an intimate, private dinner.
  • Bedrooms – With the option for privacy and blackout linings, Roman Shades give you the privacy and room darkening effect you need in your bedroom. Plus, with lots of design options, you’ll find just the right look to suit your bedroom aesthetic.

Rooms Roman Shades Can Work In

  • Kitchens – For your window above the sink or countertop, Roman Shades give you an attractive way to control your light and privacy. Make sure to choose performance materials like Sunbrella, to ensure easy clean up from sink or cooking messes.
  • Basements – Roman Shades can be made to fit windows as small as 10” by 10” making them suitable for even your smallest basement windows. And when you choose synthetic material like Sunbrella acrylic or polyester like Korinthos, you can have peace of mind that light humidity and moisture will have less—if any—affect on your window treatments.

Rooms Roman Shades Are Not Ideal For

  • Bathrooms Due to the high level of moisture and humidity in bathrooms, Roman Shades are not the best choice. Even with high-performance materials, the many folds of Roman Shades will trap moisture and could cause mold and mildew buildup. For bathrooms, we recommend more moisture-resistant materials such as Faux Wood Blinds or Metal Blinds.

With all you’ve learned about Roman Shades for windows, if you’re convinced these shades are the right choice for your home, learn how to measure for your ordering length and width.

How to Measure for Roman Shades

A window treatment installation professional stands on a step ladder and measures a bay window for Roman Shade installation

Measuring your window for Roman Shades — or any window treatment — is especially important if you’re ordering custom window treatments. With the measurements provided, our team will handcraft your shades to perfectly fit your window.

Measuring for the length and width of Romans Shades for windows varies a bit between an inside- and outside-mount application.

An illustration shows a window with arrows over the inside of the frame showing how to measure for an inside mount

Measuring for Inside Mount

First, measure the depth of your window frame, from the glass to the edge of the window’s interior trim, to ensure you an inside-mount application is a possibility (a depth of at least ¾” is necessary).  

Then, measure for your ordering length in three different places, the left, middle and right of your window, measuring the top inside frame to the bottom inside frame. The largest number will be your ordering length.

For width, take three measurements as well, at the top, middle and bottom, measuring right to left or vice versa from the inside of your window frame. The smallest number will be your ordering width. 

Measuring for Outside Mount

For width, measure based on how far you want your shade to extend beyond the sides of your window frame. Be sure to measure so there’s an equal amount of shade extending past both sides of the frame. 

For length, measure based on how high above the frame your shades will extend. Start at the height you want your shades to extend above the frame and measure all the way down to the bottom of your window frame.  

An illustration shows a window with arrows over the outside of the frame showing how to measure for an outside mount

Roman Shade Installation

Once you place your order, review the installation best practices for Roman Shades to determine whether you want to DIY the job, or rely on our team of professionals. We recommend relying on our team, as we’ll ensure your window treatments are installed perfectly and in compliance with our warranty.

Leave it to the Professionals

Let us do the heavy lifting of measuring and installing your Roman Shades. Get started today with a free measurement.

Best Practices for Installation

These steps for installing Roman Shades for windows are a simplified version of what’s required. For the full details, be sure to read the installation guide.

  • Step 1: Gather tools. You’ll likely need a stepladder, pencil, tape measure, level, drill and a screwdriver.
  • Step 2: For an inside-mount, mark where the screws will go to secure the headrail inside your window frame. For an outside-mount, mark where the mounting brackets will go on your wall.
  • Step 3: Drill pilot holes into your window frame or wall to make bracket or headrail installation easier. This is a good time to check whether your outside mounting brackets fall on studs or drywall. If they fall on drywall, you’ll need to purchase drywall anchors to ensure secure installation.
  • Step 4: For inside-mounted Roman Shades, install the headrail to align with the pilot holes created in Step 3. For outside-mounted Roman Shades, install the brackets at the pilot holes made in Step 3 and then mount the headrail on the brackets.   

With all the knowledge you have about Roman Shades for windows, you likely have a good idea as to whether or not these shades are the right choice for your home. If you still have questions, check out these FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Roman Shades

Learn the answers to the most common questions about Roman Shades to deepen your understanding.

Roman Shades for windows are a great option for many applications, and they don’t have many downsides. However, their folds of fabric do mean they’re not ideal for a bathroom where there’s lots of moisture and humidity.

The terms “Roman Shades” and “Roman Blinds” refer to the same product. The Shade Store calls them Roman Shades, other brands and business may call them “Roman Blinds.” While there may be differences in style and functionality between Roman Shades and Roman Blinds from different brands, these products generally all fall in the same category.

Roman Shades for windows are typically not the lowest priced window treatment option available, due to their need for more material than most other types of shades to create their attractive folds. However, you can keep your costs lower by choosing Roman Shades styles that have lower starting price points like Flat Roman Shades or Relaxed Roman Shades. Plus, being mindful when choosing customizations like material and control types can also help keep your costs in check.

Roman Shades for windows can be inside or outside mounted — the choice is up to you. However, keep in mind that to inside mount your Roman Shades securely, your window box will need to have a depth of at least ¾”.

If your Roman Shade is inside mounted, it should be just long enough to cover the entire area of your window box from the top of the window frame to the inside bottom of the windowsill. For an outside-mount Roman Shade, the shade should extend from above your window frame down to just below the outside edge of the bottom trim of your window, so your entire frame is covered when the shade is fully extended.

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A bedroom with warm dark grey walls features tall windows with Flat Roman Shades made of Wool Blend in Charcoal