Deciding Between Drapes or Roman Shades?
Here’s What You Need to Know.
Window treatments can transform a room in ways both subtle and dramatic. The right drapery, for example, can add richness and depth, elevating an otherwise unadorned space from simple to spectacular. Similarly, well-placed Roman shades can assist in blunting harsh natural light, while infusing a space with a clean, minimalist touch. Yet selecting between the two—drapes and Roman shades—can pose challenges. It requires the honest assessment of your aesthetic goals while also taking into account the various elements of a given room, such as its layout and window sizes.
Here at Wovn Home, we work closely with our clients to determine the best custom window treatments for their spaces. Below, we're discussing the differences between drapes and Roman shades and how to best determine which to use in your home. Read on!
When and How to Select Drapes
Drapes are fabric window treatments that occupy the full length of a window; they’re sometimes referred to as curtains, although the term “drapes” is more commonly used to indicate custom made, fully lined fabric panels. They come in all iterations: From bold colors to calming neutrals, silks to more casual linens. If you’ve made the decision to use drapery for your space, consider the look you want: Eye-catching or ethereal? Structured or serene? The options are limitless, but mulling over your design goals is a worthy exercise when taking the plunge with these statement-makers.
Given their scale, drapes can often become the focal point of a given room. For that reason, rooms with high ceilings or ample space may benefit from drapery versus other window treatments. Furthermore, spaces that have taller or larger windows tend to better support drapes, as small or narrow windows can be easily overwhelmed by fabric.
In the design canon, drapes are often considered a “classic” choice (although that’s not to say they can’t feel contemporary) so spaces that are more formal, such as dining or sitting rooms, are suitable choices. Since drapes provide enhanced coverage, they’re useful for insulating a space; if conserving energy or creating privacy is a priority, seek out drapery over Roman shades.
Once you’ve selected your drapes, consider their length. Having curtains that hit just above the ground or flush with the floor is a good choice if you want to open and close your drapes regularly; if you’re aiming for a more luxurious and dramatic look, opt for longer drapes that “puddle” at the bottom.
When and How to Choose Roman Shades
Roman shades—fabric window treatments that stack up at the top of a window—are a go-to choice for smaller windows and spaces because they don’t occupy the same footprint as full-length drapes. Bay windows or windows that have built-in cabinetry, furniture or heating/cooling units below them are great choices for Roman shades, as positioning drapes around these obstacles can look—and feel—awkward.
Minimalist and modern, Roman shades tend to be the favored choice for rooms that can’t support the formality of drapes, such as kitchens, nurseries and powder rooms. They’re prized for their streamlined aesthetic—flat and ribbed shade styles, in particular—giving a room much-needed texture and character without overwhelming the space. Plus, they offer an easy, unobtrusive way to insulate a home and while providing an elegant measure of privacy.
Roman shades can be mounted both inside and outside of a window for different results. Outside mounted shades better assist in blocking the light while inside mounted shades are more of a design-forward choice, especially if you’d like to highlight attractive molding. (Keep in mind that if you’re mounting inside the window, the frame should be at least 1 3’4” deep.)
Whatever choice you make—drapes or Roman shades—Wovn Home will assist throughout all stages of the design process to bring your unique vision to life. We offer three different styles of both drapes and Roman shades, providing you with plenty of flexibility to tailor your window treatments according to your taste, style and space. Our window treatments can be made with no liner, a privacy liner or a blackout liner (liners are ivory-colored, providing a clean base for our fabrics) and all of our window treatments are crafted from superb quality, 100% Belgium linen. Order a swatch to get started or contact us to discuss your dream space!