Custom Roman Blinds; How & Why to Use Them
This Article Covers:
CUSTOM ROMAN BLINDS | READY-MADE ROMAN BLINDS | ROMAN BLINDS FOR LARGE OPENINGS | MOTORISED ROMAN BLINDS | MATERIALS FOR ROMAN BLINDS | BAMBOO ROMAN BLINDS | THERMAL AND BLOCK-OUT BLINDS | CORDLESS ROMAN BLINDS | HOW MUCH DO ROMAN BLINDS COST? | HOW MUCH FABRIC DO ROMAN BLINDS REQUIRE? | HOW TO INSTALL ROMAN BLINDS
Were Roman blinds invented by the Romans? Absolutely! Two thousand years and they’re still popular. Why is that?
The answer is probably because of their disarming, hand-crafted look. It’s a look that manufactured blinds, like Venetian blinds, Vertical blinds and Roller blinds can’t hope to achieve. From contemporary to period and country to minimalist, Roman blinds are at home. And they’re less expensive than you might imagine. In short, they deliver plenty of elegance and functionality for every dollar spent.
Careful fabric selection is the key to getting the look you want. For example, stiff synthetic materials are sleek, while soft designer fabrics provide the opulence that makes a traditional home warm and welcoming.
For inner city homes and apartments blocks in close proximity to one another, privacy can be an issue. Light-filtering fabrics are a solution; blinds can remain partially or fully down throughout the day, hiding the interior from view. It’s arguably a more stylish and often more cost-effective solution than sheer curtains.
The way the Roman blinds are installed is important too. Explain? Well, for example bi-fold doors opening onto a garden can have the blinds installed so they don’t obscure the view when the blinds are drawn up. That’s neat.
CUSTOM ROMAN BLINDS
If you want wide choice, quality materials and accurate fitting, custom-made is often the best option. And if you have an older home with non-standard window and door sizes it’s probably the only option. Why? Because ready-made blinds only come in standard sizes.
And custom-made Romans have other advantages over ready-made:
- Quality materials and handcrafting usually means a longer lasting product.
- The expert advice you get from a custom Roman blind maker and supplier often brings ideas, creativity and inspiration that really shows in the finished result.
- Coordinating colours and patterns with soft furnishings is much easier.
- Over the longer term it may be the more cost-effective option because you’ll probably be happier with the result.
READY-MADE ROMAN BLINDS
Ready-made Roman blinds are generally cheaper than the custom made equivalents, and that’s useful if you’re on a budget or thinking short-term. But be careful. Buying ready-made blinds and then realising there’s a problem with the installation or fit is common, and often quite expensive to fix. Sometimes it’s better to speak to an expert, treat the job as a project, and plan and execute it accordingly.
Be aware too that although there are some excellent products available, the quality of ready-made roman blinds is variable.
In the end it can be difficult to find ready-mades in the right fabric, pattern or colour to give the coordinated effect you’re looking for. For these reasons discerning buyers will often choose custom-made.
FABRICS AND MATERIALS FOR ROMAN BLINDS
Choosing the right fabric is crucial. And a good blind-maker and supplier is useful for precisely this reason. Why? Because they know which fabrics work and which don’t. For example, a material with a vertical stripe or small repeat pattern is fine, but a large floral pattern may not be. That’s because pattern matching becomes an issue, which leads to you paying for lots more material or settling for a sub-standard, disjointed look. Your supplier and maker will advise and guide you.
Roman blinds are a good alternative to curtains because the amount of fabric needed is only one third that of curtains. Less fabric is better in hot climates. And less fabric also means you might be able to afford the beautiful, expensive designer fabric you love.
BAMBOO ROMAN BLINDS
Exotic, natural, different; Bamboo Roman blinds retain some of the softness of fabric but add a relaxed appeal. They’re ideal for hot climates where fabrics can seem out of place. Plus Bamboo is durable. And another advantage; Bamboo can be treated or finished with mould and mildew resistant paint making it ideal for bathrooms, laundries, kitchens – anywhere there’s moisture and where fabrics just don’t work.
THERMAL AND BLOCK-OUT BLINDS
The choice of lining can also contribute to the functionality of Roman blinds. Blinds with thermal linings help regulate temperature reducing heating and cooling costs.
Block-out Roman blinds have a synthetic coating. The lining fabrics are graded according to the thickness of the coating. The thicker the coat the more light is blocked, from partial to full block-out. Full block-out linings are perfect for bedrooms.
CORDLESS ROMAN BLINDS
This system makes it possible to operate the blinds by simply pushing up or pulling down on the blind itself. A plastic push-pull tab is fitted to the bottom rail of the blind. The tab also prevents wear and soiling of the blind fabric. Cordless blinds are safer around children and pets, plus they’re useful for larger, heavier blinds where the weight makes operation more arduous.
HOW MUCH DO ROMAN BLINDS COST?
They’re less expensive than curtains and shutters in general. Depending on the quality of the materials used, they tend to be in the mid to upper price range.
HOW MUCH FABRIC DO ROMAN BLINDS REQUIRE?
Naturally that’s determined by the size of the opening. It can be calculated by the width (right to left) of the opening plus 10cm, multiplied by the drop (top to bottom), plus approximately 30cm.
Pattern matching must be allowed for. Large patterns can be more difficult to match as a section of the fabric is sewn into a pocket for the horizontal rod. Ask your fabric supplier for advice.
HOW TO INSTALL ROMAN BLINDS
A major decision is whether to install inside or outside the window recess. Installing the blind inside the recess is neat, but make sure there’s enough depth for the blind to operate easily. Outside (or surface ) installation allows the blind to cover the entire window, the frame and the immediate surrounding space if necessary. And that means it’s a good option for blocking light, for example in bedrooms. And of course it’s ideal for bi-fold doors because it means the blinds can be pulled up above the window preventing obstruction.
Roman blinds can be affixed to the window using numerous methods. One of the simplest is Velcro or double-sided tape affixed to a baton (see photo). This system can be used with both cord and chain operated blinds.
Our advice is ideally to select fabrics in the space and light where the blind will be installed. That way you’ll get a good idea of how the fabric choice works in the surroundings before committing. Plus you’ll get expert advice and a custom service that offers fabulous value. That’s why we offer a free, no-obligation on-site measure and quote.
ROMAN BLINDS FOR LARGE OPENINGS
Large openings bring the outdoors in and make an internal space a pleasant place to be. But finding a suitable cover for the opening can be a challenge.
Roman blinds should definitely be considered for bi-fold doors, as well as french doors and sliding patio doors, for a number of reasons:
- For bi-folds, they can be mounted slightly above the opening so they fold neatly out of the way of the door operation so they don’t obstruct the view.
- Roman blinds can be used on the widest of openings by covering the width with several separate but matching blinds. This allows the blinds to function independently and makes them lighter and easier to operate.
- Aesthetically, Roman blinds complement the contemporary style of bi-fold and patio doors, providing enough softness so that the doors appear finished without detracting from the main focus – the opening that brings the outdoors in.
- Roman blinds can also be motorised allowing for easy operation, even with heavier materials.
MOTORISED ROMAN BLINDS
Motorisation is useful for out of reach openings such as high-set windows. Also for heavy fabrics or wide bi-fold doors with large, heavy blinds. They’re generally operated by remote control. Timers and remote control via an App, which accompanies home automation systems are another option.
‘Roman blinds are a good alternative to curtains because the amount of fabric needed is only one third that of curtains. Less fabric is better in hot climates. And less fabric also means you might be able to afford the beautiful, expensive designer fabric you love.’
WHY CHOOSE ROMAN BLINDS?
All the reasons in brief:
- They never seem to go out of style – 2000 years and still going strong!
- They’re easy to operate and functionally efficient.
- They ‘re less expensive than some window coverings.
- They suit almost any interior style from contemporary to period and everything in-between.
- They can be made to block heat and as much or as little light as necessary
- They can be adjusted up or down during the day to control light.
- They’re easy to install.