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Roman Shades: Light-Wise Window Solution

Oct 10, 2007
Fabric roman shades add a touch of refinement, flair and sophistication to any room. You can buy a ready-to-use set of Roman shades or you can create them from scratch in any fabric and size that you like. You can hang Roman shades flat for a more modern style, or fold them and create a softer and more conventional teardrop Roman shade style with buffs of any volume.

Roman shades are becoming a big home-decorating trend, returning on a wave of the interest to streamlined minimalist or exotic designs. Made with beautiful soft fabric, simple and very practical, Roman shades fold into well-defined pleats when raised, much like a classic Venetian blind. At the top, a matching fabric is used allowing for an array of color and pattern. For the lining, a solid pale color is commonly used.

Roman shades are incredibly flexible and light-efficient. They also offer better temperature control than other types of shades. In winter, you can draw them high to allow the sun's natural heating rays to enter the room, and after the sunset you can close them tightly stopping the heat from escaping through the window. In the summer, you can close the Roman shades almost completely to prevent the overheating of the room, while in the evening you can open the shades to cool down the temperature. All other types of shades leave too much fabric around the window that doesn't allow for precise light and temperature control.

Roman shades are relatively simple to make. Before you start picking the fabric you must measure your window and estimate which hardware and mountings you need. Roman shades don't require any specific mountings - that's the beauty of them. They draw up via a cord strung through the sides of the shade. The cords then travel through the pulleys mounted on mounting board above the window on or outside the window frame.

The fabric that you choose for your roman shades depends on where the window overlooks. If there is a beautiful scenic view you will most likely choose a plain sheer light fabric. If your window overlooks a busy street, then you will need an opaque fabric that gives you a sense of privacy. Plus, some people are prone to season affected disorders and need more light to remain positive and healthy. In this case, you may need a sheer fabric that doesn't block the sun light, but rather diffuses it.

The type of fabric is also determined on what type of activities the room is used for. If it's a living room with a TV, you may need a fabric that allows you to control the amount of light and glare on the screen. If you a planning to put your roman shades in the bedroom you will need a light-blocking dark fabric to help you sleep during the summer months when the sun rises early.

At the end of the day, all window treatments require maintenance and cleaning. The benefit of roman shades is that they are the easiest to keep clean - you can wash them in your washing machine, iron afterwards and re-hang them looking as good as new.
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For more information on Roman shades and window treatments please visit the Home Improvement blog.
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