Fabric-covered shades are an ideal treatment for many windows in all but the most formal rooms.
More tailored than draperies but more versatile than blinds Roman shades can be mounted inside or outside any window and come in a wide variety of styles and interpretations. Workrooms and catalogs specializing in Romans present charts with various options. I’ll leave the subject of configurations and mounting styles for another post. Today, I’m focusing on the effect of decorative details I find especially appealing.
I’m not against patterned fabric on Roman shades though I’m not especially for it because I find it distracting and too often not in a good way. Besides, embellishments tend to look best on solids like the stunning pink Tiffany silk from Cowan & Tout that Palmer Weiss used in a San Francisco powder room [top]. To tie the shade into the brown Katie Ridder Leaf wallpaper, Weiss inset gold banding with brown rosettes, from Samuel & Sons, along the bottom and sides. The placement of the border is close enough to the edge to tie the shade visually into the wallpaper but not to look competitive.
A classic approach to a wider, embroidered border like Samuel & Sons Oxford, is to leave a more generous margin around the edges and bottom which was what designer Lee Ann Thornton did for a seaside house in Connecticut. I’m not loving the messy mitered corner if the tape which could have been better matched by the workroom. Compare it to the mitered corner on the pink shade (above).
Grant K. Gibson does beautiful Romans. . “I love the texture of the grey linen and then the blue grosgrain trim detailing. My seamstress sure had her work cut out for her with this commission,” he wrote in the caption on his blog. Indeed she did. It’s not easy to produce the fret detail on the corner of this blind but it is gorgeous and impeccably rendered.
Black ribbon, contrast stitched in white, makes a simple high-contrast embellishment for an off-white shade. Placement of the bow detail is critical so that, when the shade is lifted, the bow becomes artful, humorous and girly. This shade was a special favorite on Pinterest, for good reason.
When we renovated our cottage in the woods, we removed a wall between the front and back parlors and added a 72-inch long south-facing picture window. I designed a simple Roman shade in Wakefield Sky denim to coordinate with a pair of curtains on the adjacent wall. Because the shade was too wide to be made without seams, I found a variegated lip cording at Kravet to disguise them.
This shade is the result of a lively DIY tutorial on the Little Green Notebook blog. Marc Jacobs linen and vintage geometric trim were added to modifying mini blinds. The border is actually glued on the edges – not ideal for the long term but effective. The blind was designed to tie into dark bedroom walls painted with Benjamin Moore’s Anchor Gray.
London-style linen shades have a curved blouson bottoms that gather slightly when retracted. That allows the pretty woven raffia trim to show along the bottom. The very top of these guestroom shades is also banded which provides a neat finish, not unlike molding, since they are installed at ceiling height.
A sweet pink ruffle at the bottom of a pair of London shades in a baby’s room adds an unusual and whimsical touch that keeps them from being too serious.
The window seat in a mudroom is perfectly coordinated with shades done in the same taupe and white scheme as the cushion print. Bottom edges of the blinds have a center apron detail that mimics the drawer hardware in a wonderful way.
An apartment in Russia has red-banded Roman shades with pointed centers that evoke exotic Asian slippers and coordinate with the suzani bed cover and pillows.
Another Grant K. Gibson shade, this one for a child’s room, made of a white canvas linen blend. Black grosgrain ribbon in sewn in place along the outside edge but I think the notched tent-edge valance makes it kicks it up several notches on the style meter.
How different and more modern this white shade with black trim looks with the black border inset on both the shade and the valance. It’s a good example of how placement can make a difference.
In a window seat niche, the awkward space between the top of the windows and the ceiling is covered by an scalloped upholstered cornice. A plain Roman shade in matching fabric is tucked underneath – a treatment usually applied to draperies. The result is charming and romantic.