When my family and I got the keys for our home, we immediately got to work.

We painted walls, replaced fixtures, cleaned like crazy and replaced furniture items that no longer worked. Some of the last things that we still need to address are decor and window coverings.

The curtains from our last house made the move, but they are not ideal. I purchased them for a different house, with a different aesthetic and different needs. While browsing for new window treatments I can’t help but be drawn toward Roman shades.

What they are


Roman shades are fabric window coverings. Unlike curtains, these stack neatly at the top of the window when they are retracted. They typically open with a cord that allows the shade to stack on the top or bottom, depending whether it is open or shut.

Why you should consider them

If you have windows that cannot accommodate floor-to-ceiling curtains, such as windows above a kitchen sink or windows equipped with an air-conditioning unit, Roman shades may make a better option.

These will not require you to alter your window treatments, and they still allow you to raise or lower the shades for optimal natural light. Style also is a major factor. Roman shades are more streamlined than curtains. They do not have the folds inherent in curtains, and they run smooth when opened, unlike blinds.

Because of this, Roman shades can provide a modern, clean look that many homeowners prefer.

What to consider


When it comes to available styles and materials, Roman shades are much like other window treatments in that there are seemingly endless options. Consider how much light you would like to let in and privacy as well.

If they are for a bedroom, you might want to consider blackout shades. If they are in a kitchen, something that lets in a bit of light might be preferable.

You can double-up. If you want the pattern of a curtain and the functionality of a Roman shade, why not double-up? The curtains can flank the sides of the window, while the shade can be used over the window itself.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.