Roman shades are blinds that, when raised, stack in rows known as pleats. Unlike roller blinds, which are more functional than attractive, Roman shades can be bought or made in a variety of styles that can be chosen to fit the style of the room they are used in. Rather than simply being functional, Roman shades can actually become the focal point of a room, so choosing color, style and material to match the room is essential.
Due to their popularity there are a number of different types of Roman shades, ranging from usage and appearance to the kinds of materials used in their construction. Roman shades can be made from wood or fabric, and also made in single or double shade styles, depending upon the requirements of the room.
Natural Roman Shades
These shades are made from natural materials such as woods, bamboo, reeds, jute, and leaves. Several of these materials may be used together to create an interesting effect. Natural Roman shades are popular due to the unevenness of plant grain, which gives the shades a quirky and individual feel: no two natural Roman shades are exactly alike. Using Natural roman shades in a room can give it a warm, homely feel, while also adding a touch of the exotic and inviting.
Soft Roman Shades
Soft Roman shades are made with fabrics; these sometimes feature a picture or patten which is fully revealed when the Roman shade is lowered. Using fabrics in Roman shades means that homeowners can choose from a wider range of colors than in Natural Roman shades; they can also use fabrics such as blackout lining, plastics or cottons to achieve an ideal look.
Double Roman Shades
Double Roman shades combine the effectiveness of shade in protecting privacy and defending against sunlight, while also allowing homeowners to raise and lower the shades as required. Double Roman Shades consist of a back shade, which is immobile and made of sheer material: this ensures that passers by cannot see into the room, and also blocks the heaviest sunlight, and also of a front shade, which can be raised or lowered according to how much light the homeowner wishes to have in the room.
Blackout Roman Shades
Blackout Roman shades are made with a thick blackout lining that completely prevents sunlight from entering the room. Other blinds may allow some sunlight to filter through the material, but blackout lining is typically made of PVC, and does not allow this.
Relaxed Roman Shades
These kinds of shades are less formal than typical Roman shades; they have a more relaxed appearance, and are usually made from light, plain materials in order to minimise the impact in a room.
Thermal Roman Shades
In colder areas, thermal Roman shades can protect against the cold. These Roman shades are lined with an extra layer of heat-retaining material, which prevents warmth from escaping via glass windows.
Matchstick Roman Shades
As might be expected from the name, these types of Roman shade are made of very small, thin pleats, piled together closely. These have added impact in a room, and can also be used in smaller windows as practical blinds.