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Inspiration & Fresh Ideas for your Home
Custom Roman Shades Online | Everything You Need To Know

Custom Roman Shades Online | Everything You Need To Know

While custom drapery tailored to your design has a very modern appeal these days, sometimes it’s just not the best choice for every room or window! Every so often, a more streamlined look or cleaner aesthetic is desired, without moving to a harder product like blinds or shutters. Generally, custom roman shades are designed using characteristically Roman-like column shapes & feature a cord (there are also cordless options) that give the rise-and-fall functionality. There are few aspects to keep in mind when considering your purchase — here’s a quick couple of thoughts from us here at Alva:


The single biggest decision in selecting your custom roman shades online is getting a good feel of the material itself, color, and pattern if applicable.

  • Light & medium-weight materials work well in most occasions
  • Try to avoid rigid materials, as this will affect how the shade operates, and stacks when retracted. If you fold your sample swatches on top of one another, and the fabric won’t lie flat, it’s a sign it’s not your best option.
  • Choose 3-5 fabric swatches, and compare them for texture, and how you feel their color palette fits with your decor.

Style + Functionality

Custom roman shades have been around for decades (in their present form) and have generally not tended to cycle in & out of popularity. One of the primary reasons these babies are popular is they can serve as an all around good option when needing to adapt to different situations like kitchens, bathrooms, or other areas where window walls or items prevent drapery from being utilized.

In evaluating your style choice, it’s best to think about these window treatments in two categories — relaxed and constructed. Relaxed roman shades are unfussy, laid-back, have no rigid supports inside, and essentially allow the fabric to sag under its own weight. In turn this created a curve at the bottom of the shades when they are raised giving it that relaxed look. By contrast, constructed shades have horizontal dowels or rods sewn into the fabric, creating bold and attention-grabbing appearance. The bottom has a straight edge creating that rigid look. A good rule of thumb here is to take into consideration your fabric choice. If you’ve opted for a thicker or rigid material, consider going with a constructed option. If you materials is of a soft, flowy nature, then try keeping consistent with a more relaxed style option.

Both relaxed and constructed shades function equally well on most standard window sizes. One thing we would caution is when you have a very wide window, constructed style options tend to be easier to manage than relaxed, & tend to function flawlessly every time . If you’re set on the relaxed option in this situation be prepared to smooth out the folds each time you lift.

Custom Roman Shades Online

Photo by Kelly Nutt Design

Lining Options

An often overlooked benefit of ordering custom roman shades online, is the opportunity to select an appropriate lining to achieve different results per room. You may have had ideas to focus on window treatments that are energy efficient, or best for reducing external noise or the amount of light entering the room. All these “functional” goals are achieved through liners.

Privacy liners are perfect for when your room needs greater light control like an office or living space. Additionally, they’re a protect your beautiful fabric from the harmful effects of UV rays and fading. They’re also beneficial as they help hide rings, & lift strings at the back of the shade.  

An alternative situation might be your bedroom, and these Romans are your only window treatment. Here you might opt for blackout lining. This will also add body, weight, and protect your fabric just as well.

We can’t forget to mention that many fabrics, like lightweight linen or silk by themselves can be very flat. If you’re looking to get a greater insulating factor or get that fuller, luxurious look, then Privacy + Interlining is your choice.

Mount Considerations

Now that you’ve got a solid direction with your fabric and style, it’s time we consider your space & selecting a mount type. At times this is can be a pure space question, like if their is not enough room to mount outside of the window frame because of a wall, which makes your decision simple. If you’re thinking about layering drapery, a valance or cornice over the treatment then the inside mount is your best bet.

Another aspect is to consider the aesthetic of your window frames. Sometimes Craftsman or Cape Cod style homes have beautiful frames, and you’d like them to compliment your new window treatments. Outside mounts are also utilized when windows are not “square”, or when you’re looking to make the window appear larger.

Control Types & Position

When it comes to raising or lowering your custom roman shades, you have three options to choose from — continuous loop, cord lock, and a cordless system.

  • Continuous loop systems are essentially replacements for traditional dangling cords of the past. The closed loop mechanism essentially lets you easily & evenly raise, lower, and precisely position your shades. It’s also the most popular control because it’s easiest to operate and consistent. For larger shades, we’d definitely recommend this option.
  • The cord lock, is an option where all the lift strings are combined into a single cord, held by what the industry calls a cleat. This is definitely a more traditional take on controlling your roman shade. We give it a thumbs up because of how quiet it functions, however, it’s not idiot proof from snags or “bunching” at either of the corners.
  • The perennial problem with strings leads us to the most modern of options, which is the cordless option. Just as it sounds, this system eliminated exposed, dangling cords and easily lifts or lowers with a gentle push or pull. The cordless system is by far the absolute most kid & pet friendly option.

Custom Roman Shades Online

Final Thoughts

As much as you might like to show off your modern home, you don’t want uncovered windows to invite prying eyes. However, you also don’t want to spend a fortune creating that decoration and privacy. Custom roman shades give you the look of costly window treatments at a price that will pleasantly surprise you! Roman shades, sometimes called Roman blinds, are a beautiful blend of today's popular decorating trends, fabrics, and colors suited for any occasion. Check out our guide to buying custom window treatments online!


Feature Photo by Amber Interiors


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