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A living room with warm wood tones features outside mount Roman Shades made of Sahara Stripe in Desert for subtle texture
January 11, 2024

Outside Mount Roman Shades: What to Know

Roman Shades are a stylish window treatment choice, and they come in a wide variety of styles and fabrics to suit your aesthetic and functionality needs. Plus, Roman Shades can be inside- or outside-mounted to suit your specific situation. Mounting your shade in the best way possible for your room will enhance the shade’s aesthetic as well as your window and overall room. Outside mount Roman Shades are a great choice for several reasons including improved light control, creating a sense of height in your room, and allowing you to layer more than one window treatment.

Learn more about inside versus outside mount Roman Shades to ensure outside mount is the right choice for your space. Then, dive into the benefits of outside mounted Roman Shades and learn best practices for measuring and installation. Finally, discover curated examples of outside mount Roman Shades to spark ideas for your own space. 

Roman Shades 101: Styles, Linings & More

Get a broad overview of Roman Shades and their customizations for a better understanding of all your options.

Understanding Mount Applications: Inside vs Outside

You can mount Roman Shades in an inside- or outside-mount application. Learn more about each for a better understanding of your installation options.  

A laundry room features a window above the sink with a Flat Roman Shade made of Tidal Line in Slate for visual interest

inside mount

Inside mount window treatments are those that are installed inside the window box or window frame. This type of installation requires the window treatment to be secured to the top or sides of the frame.

A bedroom features outside mount Roman Shades made of Baldwin in Stone which has a subtle miniature herringbone pattern

outside mount

Outside mount refers to window treatment installation on the outside of the window box or window frame. The window treatment is often secured to the wall outside the trim or the ceiling above the window.

Is It Better to Have Roman Shades Inside or Outside Mounted?

The right application for your Roman Shades will depend on your specific application as well as your personal needs and preferences. Some factors that will affect which is the best for your space include:

  • How deep your window frame is: Inside mount Roman Shades require at least 1 ¼-inch depth to be properly secured, and even more (at least 3 inches) to sit flush inside your window frame. If your window frame is less than 1 ¼-inch deep, then your only choice is outside mount, which has no depth requirement.
  • Your chosen control type: Different control types (how you lift and lower your shade) such as cordless and motorization, have different install needs and may be too large for your window box. In this case as well, outside mount is a great option since you have no size restrictions.
  • Your aesthetic preference: If inside-mount is possible for your Roman Shades, then choosing between an inside mount or outside mount is entirely up to you. Inside-mounted Roman Shades will give you tailored aesthetic and expose your window’s trim, which may be preferred if you have elaborate trim detailing. Outside mounted Roman Shades will cover your window box entirely, which can be useful if your trim doesn’t look its best. Plus, the shade can help create a sense of height and space in the room by making the window and ceiling feel taller.

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Explore Roman Shade product options, all of which can be inside or outside mounted, depending on your depth requirement. SHOP ROMAN SHADES

Why Choose Outside Mounted Roman Shades?

A bright sitting room features outside mount Roman Shades made of Sankaty Stripe in Moon which filters light through it

Outside mount Roman Shades offer great benefits in terms of aesthetics and functionality:

  • Covers window trim which may not look its best for a clean, sophisticated aesthetic.
  • Provides texture and visual interest to a window box without trim that may otherwise look plain.  
  • Blocks more light from outside than an inside mount alone, especially when the material extends well past the window frame on either side.
  • Creates the illusion of a larger window, which also helps your ceilings feel taller and your room more spacious.
  • Allows you to layer another shade or blinds underneath your Roman Shade in an inside-mount application (as long as there’s enough depth for your chosen window treatment).

consdier woven wood shades, too

Woven Wood Shades are made with natural fibers like bamboo, grasses and reeds for an organic aesthetic. Of the four styles, three are very similar, if not identical, to Roman Shade styles. So, the insight you learn here applies to Waterfall, Cascade and Standard Woven Wood Shades, too.

How to Measure for Outside Mount Roman Shades

Measuring for outside mounted Roman Shades is simple, since you don’t need to worry about depth requirement or having an asymmetrical window, which can affect inside-mount measurements. Follow these best practices when measuring for outside mount.

An illustration shows how to measure length and width for outside mount Roman Shades so you can order the right size shade

measuring for length & Width

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.  

Installation Best Practices for Outside Mount Roman Shades

Installing outside mounted Roman Shades will vary a bit based on the style of Roman Shade you choose, as well as your control type option. However, you can get a sense of the process with these general best practices.

Note: For an outside mount, you’ll need mounting brackets, whether you mount your shade on the wall or from the ceiling.

An illustration shows the mounting brackets needed for outside mount Roman Shades headrail installation
  • Step 1: Gather tools. You’ll need a stepladder, pencil, tape measure, level, drill and a screwdriver.
  • Step 2: Mark where the mounting brackets will go on your wall based on your shade’s measurements.
  • Step 3: Drill pilot holes into your wall or ceiling to make bracket installation easier. This is a good time to check whether your 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: Install the brackets using the pilot holes made in Step 3 and then mount the headrail on the brackets (pictured).

get Inspiring Ideas for Outside Mount Roman Shades

Explore spaces that use outside mounted Roman Shades and learn how the shades enhance the space to get ideas for your own design.

Earthy Living Room

A living room with an earthy color palette features outside mount Roman Shades made of Lowell Tweed in Flint
Pictured: Flat Roman Shades, Nate Berkus, Lowell Tweed in Flint

For a living room with an earthy color scheme and lots of wide windows, opt for Flat Roman Shades in a stone-inspired color with subtle texture like Lowell Tweed in Flint. With wide windows, side-by-side outside mount Roman Shades will fully block the light from outside for a room darkening affect for family movie night. Or, if you want maximum natural light, outside mounted Roman Shades can be fully raised off the window when installed high enough for the material to clear the window.

Warm White Kitchen

A warm white kitchen features outside mount Waterfall Woven Wood Shades made of Artisan Weaves Monterey in White
Pictured: Waterfall Woven Wood Shades, Artisan Weaves, Monterey in White

In a warm, white kitchen with windows above the countertop, create continuity in your design with Woven Wood Shades made of material in a similar white tone to your cabinets and walls, like Monterey in White. The result is a clean, cohesive aesthetic that still has lots of dimension and visual interest thanks to the different textures in the space, from the organic Woven Wood Shade to the cabinets with beveling to the whitewashed brick backsplash. Plus, when unlined, Woven Wood Shades beautifully filter light to cut the glare while creating a soft warm glow for an inviting ambiance.

Casual, Inviting Family Room

A casual family room with a coral couch has outside mount Cascade Roman Shades made of Nomad Stripe in Graphite
Pictured: Outer Layer: Cascade Roman Shades, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Nomad Stripe in Graphite, and Inner Layer: Solar Shades, Sunbrella, 3% Sonoma in Light Grey

For a casual family room, use outside mounted Roman Shades to bring a bold design element to your space. Choose a vertical ticking stripe pattern like Nomad Stripe in Graphite for strong contrast against off-white walls. Vertical stripes, especially on outside mount Roman Shades, help create the illusion of height, which makes your windows and ceiling seem taller.

Give your space even greater light and privacy control by layering a Solar Shade in an inside-mount application under the Roman Shade. The Solar Shade will help mitigate heat buildup and cut glare during the day while the Roman Shade will give you room darkening and privacy in the evenings, especially with blackout lining added.

Take the Next Step in Your Roman Shade Project

With lots of insight into outside mount Roman Shades, you’re ready to take the next step in your project. When you choose Roman Shades from The Shade Store, you can take advantage of our free measurement services to take the task off your hands. Our professionals measure your window perfectly for an outside mount Roman Shade application to accentuate your window and give you the coverage you need. Plus, we also come back for installation (charges apply) to finish the job.


Ensure your window treatments fit perfectly when you schedule a free measurement with our expert professionals.

A professional window treatment installer measuring one window with a measuring tape for a bay window treatment application