The Roman blind is back and this is how to make it work in your home

This blind is the perfect blend of functionality and style.
Photographer: Louise Roche | Styling: Kylie Jackes

Of all the types of blinds available, Roman blinds are perhaps the style enjoying the most popularity right now. Interior design expert, Amy Spargo of Maine House Interiors says she’s glad to see Roman blinds back in homes. “Lately I have loved seeing the return of bold Roman blinds in colourful prints, along with detailed, contrasting tape.” 

Roman shades – which were invented by Romans over 2000 years ago – are available in an endless array of colours, patterns and fabrics. One reason designers love working with this type of window covering is that it has the same kind of texture and design flair as a curtain, but with the ease of operation and tidy finish only a blind can give.

Amy says bold colours and patterns are currently on-trend, but for those who want to create a timeless look, “I adore a 100 per cent linen soft Roman blind.”

Cottage living room with Austrian blinds and build in cabinetry
Relaxed linen Roman blinds from Jam Interiors adorn the windows of a living room in a cottage in bayside Melbourne. (Credit: Caitlin Mills)

Do Roman blinds keep out the light?

So we’ve established that Roman blinds are indeed beautiful and on-trend, but are they practical in terms of light control? Well, the answer to that comes down to the type of fabric you select. Blockout Roman blinds are available and can also work to insulate a room, but due to the folded design of Roman blinds, light will always be able to seep through the gaps in the side. Face-mounting the blinds (the standard fit for most Roman blinds) will mediate this issue.

neutral living room with boucle chairs
Bamboo Roman shades add texture and softness to this living room in a casual, coastal home. (Credit: Photography: Jacqui Turk / Styling: Alanna Smit)

Roman shade fabrics

When choosing the best material for your curtains or blinds, Amy suggests consulting a window furnishing specialist about the location you wish to install them. “If the space gets a lot of light, it’s best to avoid dark colours as they’ll fade quicker than lighter colours – always look at the material composition and make sure it’s suitable for the application and location,” says Amy.

For homeowners struggling to make a choice between classic, coloured or printed window treatments, Amy recommends a happy medium. “I would choose a classic window treatment that can work back with any interior you may decide to implement down the track,” explains Amy. “Window furnishings can be costly, so it is important that you know you will love them in years to come. Classic window treatments look equally smart in modern interiors.”

Family bathroom with inset bathtub and blue painted bathroom vanity
A bathroom in a Mornington Peninsula home designed by Amy Spargo featuring a Roman blind in Ottline fabric, made by Abundant Home. (Credit: Photography: Lisa Cohen / Styling: Amy Spargo)

Is there a downside to Roman shades?

Roman shades are excellent at filtering natural light as well as adding both texture and privacy to a room. But only when they’re fully closed. So if you’ve got close neighbours and need a window covering you can keep closed while allowing sunlight to filter through, you may be better off with light-filtering curtains or a double roller blind.

But if you love the look of Roman blinds and don’t want to compromise, it doesn’t have to be either, or. “I love layering window treatments,” says Amy. “For aesthetics, use a natural bamboo Roman blind layered under a printed fabric curtain.”

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