So So Shady

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Roman shades are one of my absolute favorite ways to treat a window! They can be fabulous and practical at the same time. These window treatments can be relaxed or more tailored and are the perfect way to soften a window without adding bulk and requiring tons of fabric. If you have sewing skills and a regular machine they are not hard to make yourself. I made the treatments above following an excellent tutorial from Addicted 2 Decorating. It is very detailed and easy to follow from start to finish. I have yet to tackle a regular tailored shade, not because they are more difficult, but because I love the softness of the relaxed one.

Let's take a look at several versions of this very versatile window treatment.

Inside Or Out

Roman shades can be installed in a couple of different ways: Inside your window frame or outside. I tend to install them outside of the frame and as high as possible so that the eye is drawn upward. This not only makes the window appear larger than it is, it is likely that you will keep them pulled higher on the window thus allowing for more light and a better view. However, in the case of the shade below, the windows are large and the casings had plenty of room for the install, plus this window is over a built in bed so inside was the perfect choice.


These shades are relaxed and inside the window casing. They are tidy and perfect for windows over the kitchen sink. Image via Sarah Bartholemew.

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I made the shade above for my laundry room. It is installed directly under the trim so it’s an outside mount.


On Their Own


This image via Pencil and Paper Co. shows how fabulous these woven wood roman shades look installed inside these windows.

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Another photo of my laundry shade.

Combined With Panels

As seen in several pictures below a favorite trick of many decorators is to combine roman shades with panels. They can provide privacy if the panels do not function and they can cover dead space between the top of the window casing and the trim. This draws they eye upward and is visually appealing.


This Simon Upton photograph via Meg Braff Designs depicts gorgeous tailored roman shades with a custom greek key trim

image via Lonny Magazine - design by Caitlin Moran

The above diagram via Cote De Texas blog illustrates how the shades cover up dead space and draw your eye upward making the window seem much more substantial.


You can see my mistake above. I installed these drapes from my old house. They weren’t long enough, so I hung them fairly low. Eventually, they were moved to the basement and you can see how much better the replacements look in the photos below. They are installed higher and the woven blinds filling the dead space.

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Check out my Roman Shade Pinterest board here for several examples. What is your favorite take on the roman shade?

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