One of the areas that I am asked questions on regularly is on window treatments. There are so many companies that claim to do window treatments, everything from the big box stores to the handyman but there are very few who really know and understand the use of the right window treatments. So I thought I would spend a little time on one type of window treatments. Roman Shades. This does not mean that there is only one style of roman shade just that it is one option when looking at how to design an home and the proper function. It is also one that I like a lot because although it can run a higher price for a single item it can be a money saving option since you do not need a second decorative treatments when using a roman shade. You can add a second decorative treatment, such as drapery or a cornice, but it is not required. There are other treatments that I would almost never do without a decorative addition.

So roman shades come in a few styles. The most common styles are flat and hobbled, but they can also be relaxed, dog eared, balloon or Austrian. So confusing with all the different names? Well don’t be confused or overwhelmed. Most of them look as they sound to their name. A flat roman means that when it is down the shade it completely flat. Hobbled means that even when completely down it as a soft billow at the fold points. Relaxed roman shades have a soft curve to the bottom. Dog eared is a relaxed shade with ends that look like floppy dog ears. Balloon and Austrian styles are soft and billowy with multiple curves and seem like they are multiple shades in one. If I break that down to a type of shade for a type of style your flat and relaxed shades will be a more modern or contemporary style, the hobbled, dog eared and relaxed are more country, the balloon or Austrian is very traditional and the your transitional style would lean toward flat, relaxed or hobbled. How about some visuals? Here are some romans shades of all types in different settings.

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flat.roman

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hobbled.roman

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relaxed.roman

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Austrian

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Balloon

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See all the different ways that roman shades can be used. This is why I love them as one of my favorite answers for window treatments. They are great alone or with additional elements. So the next time you are looking at how to complete your room think about roman shades. And call a specialist in window treatments not just that big box store or the person who bought a franchise. As designers when know how to properly incorporate you into the space and get you the right treatments for your room.