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Top Three Styles of Roman Shades

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Roman shades are known for their classic tailoring, clean lines and exquisite fabrics. They are a popular consideration for many people when choosing window treatments for their homes. From casual relaxed roman shades to classic flat folds, you are sure to find the perfect set that complements your space and personal aesthetic. 

Interestingly, many people assume that roman shades all look the same. This is actually not true. Just like you can get your custom drapes in more than a dozen pleating styles, roman shades too come in different styles with fine distinctions and functionality.

In this article, we will look at the top three styles of roman shades that you can easily find on the market. Let’s check them out!

Flat Panel Shades with Front Slats

Flat panel roman shades with front slats are a highly popular option among homeowners and interior decorators. These shades come with visible horizontal slats at the front with straight stacking folds. Flat-panel shades with front slates are contemporary, tailored and very sturdy for everyday use.

Their visible slat seams and front pockets are some of their unique features. This style blends well with different types of décors, especially with semi-formal and casual spaces.

There are many factors to consider while shopping for roman shades. Below are the pros and cons to consider when opting for front slatted roman shades. 

Why Choose Flat Panel Roman Shades with Front Slats

  • They feature a structured, sturdy look with great construction.
  • They are aesthetically appealing in all sizes, from tall and narrow to short and wide.
  • They are perfect for textured and solid fabrics because of the visible slats, which give a nice touch of architectural interest to an otherwise plain fabric dressing. 

Downsides of the Flat Panel Shades with Front Slats

  • The visible slats/seams on the front give visual breaks in a pattern. Therefore, these are not recommended for fabrics with bold patterns and motifs, as these do not allow the pattern to be shown off uninterrupted. Continue reading below for the most popular style for printed fabrics. 

Flat Panel Shades with Back Slats

If you are looking for something minimalistic, you should consider the flat panel roman shades with back slats. They feature horizontal slats that are stitched into the lining at the back, and therefore the front of the shade is seamless without any breaks. The folds stack nicely in a straight line to give a clean, structured look. Flat panel roman shades with back slats are modern, clean and very functional for daily use. These shades work with all fabrics but not with sheers.

They work great with both formal and informal interiors, complement any décor style, and are perfect for low and high-use windows.

 closed up of beautiful grey curtain

Why Choose Flat Panel Shades with Back Slats

  • They offer a smooth and seamless look with their sleek contours.
  • They have no visual breaks in frontage, giving a smooth and perfect look when viewed from the front.
  • They look exceptional with continuous and floral print fabrics because they do a good job of showing off patterns.

Downsides of the Flat Panel Shades with Back Slats

  • You cannot construct these with sheer fabrics.
  • These are not recommended for plain fabrics as the shades look like a flat piece of fabric with no visual interest element. Front slatted shades are better options for plain fabrics, as noted above. 

European/Relaxed Roman Shades

When you want something casual and not overly structured, relaxed roman shades are a great choice. They are designed to look less tailored with the smooth front falling into a breezy swag at the bottom end of the shades.

One of the unique features of the European/relaxed roman shades is the unstructured style that makes the folds curve luxuriously when you raise them. This style is great for decorative windows where the shades will require minimal lowering and lifting on a frequent basis. 

Relaxed roman shades look exceptionally stunning when paired with slightly feminine and soft interior décor. Given their casual vibe, they are also especially befitting in farmhouse or shabby chic style of décor. You can layer these with drapery to achieve a perfectly functional and balanced set of window treatments. 

Why Choose the European/Relaxed Roman Shades

  • They offer an elegant and relaxed look.
  • Perfect for sheer and lightweight fabrics, especially for plain fabrics because the luxurious swagging curve at the end delivers a stunning aesthetic appeal to an otherwise plain window dressing. 

Downsides of the European/Relaxed Roman Shades

  • They are primarily great as stationary shades because the folds do not stack neatly on their own and need manual fold-setting. 
  • European/relaxed roman shades are not recommended for extra-narrow or high-use windows.
  • They are not as effective for absolute light control, as they tend to curve slightly inwards on the sides letting in more light, than the other two styles.


These are the three popular styles of roman shades. Of course, there are other different styles and designs in the market. However, if you are unsure of how to get started with choosing the right style from the plethora of options available to you, these are the three most popular options you can get started with.

As a bonus, another option you can consider is the fixed/faux roman shade valance. They deliver a contemporary modern feel without being pricy. They are cost-effective while delivering the look of a fully functional shade.