5 things to know about Roman Blinds
Mar 16, 2018
Full-length drapes feel rich, luxurious and offer up a hint of drama however when space is at a premium or a minimalist interior design is required, Roman blinds can be the way forward. These fabric window coverings stack neatly at the top of the window, offering a streamlined architectural look with an elegance and richness that is similar to drapes.
So what 5 things do you need to consider with Roman Blinds?
When choosing any kind of blind, the choice of fabric is one of the most critical decisions a specifier can make. The material has an aesthetic element to it – it sets the colour and pattern of the finished product, but it also has a practical element; it affects the shades’ translucency, its ease of operation and how it will look when it retracts to the top of the window.
Top tips include avoiding heavily embellished fabrics and thick fabrics, both of which hinder the architectural streamlined look.
Whilst many architects and interior designers prefer the visually light appearance of a simple sheer Roman blind, sometimes a secondary lining sewn to the back of the face material can give a more luxurious look. Practically it helps to hide the lift strings at the back of the blind when light filters through from behind and reduces the amount of sunlight that can enter the room.
You can attenuate light with a translucent satin for a more finished look to a full blackout lining with your fabric choice. Often blackout blinds are used for bedrooms, whereas areas for lounging or meeting in often get a lighter lining to allow some sunlight to penetrate the room.
There are 3 ways a Roman blind can be raised or lowered:
- Integrated electric motors (motorised roman blinds)
- Continuous loop system
- Cord and cleat
Motorised roman blinds are convenient because they can be raised or lowered at the touch of a button and programmed to pre-set positions. They are often used in luxury hotels and accommodation. They require electrical wiring so are usually best installed when undertaking a major re-fit or renovation project.
Continuous loops involve beaded chains being used to turn a clutch mechanism that lowers or raises the lift strings equally. It is the most common control method due to ease of use and price point.
Cord and cleat combines all of the lift strings into a single cord held by a cleat. This is the more traditional manual control option and is quieter than the continuous loop control. It can cause your blind to lift in a lop-sided manner if one of the strings gets jammed, which requires you to lower the blinds fully and start again.
4. Relaxed or Constructed
Relaxed roman blinds allow the fabric to sag under its own weight, creating a delicate curve at the bottom of the shades as they’re raised. Constructed roman blinds have rigid supports inside to create a straight-edged bottom. The fabric often decides which style should be used. If the fabric is rigid and stiff, a constructed blind makes more sense, whereas if it is a softer taffeta type of material, a relaxed shade may be more in keeping with the fabric choice.
Interestingly Roman shades can provide a window covering, without having to be overly concerned about wall space when you have built-ins and banquettes against a wall.
One of the questions that is often asked by architects and designers when specifying roman blinds is whether to mount them inside or outside of the window frames. Blinds installed within the jamb, rather than mounted to the wall above the window, offer a discreet streamlined look. If there are distinctive or decorative mouldings or interesting window frames, mounting the roman blinds inside the window means that they do not obscure these interesting design features which often become talking points.
A modern building with unattractive window frames would suggest that the Roman blinds be mounted outside and all the way to the top of the walls, adding a sense of height, which is often admired.