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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Laura

How to Measure for Roman Shades (and a round-up of my where to shop for roman shades)

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

A few weeks ago I attempted making some DIY faux roman shades for the breakfast nook makeover. They turned out...ok.

farrow and ball parma gray, blue breakfast nook

Ultimately, there wasn't enough fabric to create the folds I was envisioning, the fabric wasn't laying right, and I just wasn't happy with the end result. We also left the large wooden blinds under these so on days we wanted light control they end up looking like this...

faux roman shades

I was also second guessing the fabric- the pattern was pretty, but not exactly what I wanted (I really wanted this much more expensive fabric that I can probably only afford as pillows). I could have given another go at faux roman shades (I've seen some pretty good results from tutorials like this that use mini-blinds as a base), but ultimately I just wanted something that was going to look luxe and beautiful. So I decided to order these custom shades from Etsy.

how to measure for roman shades

I can't wait for them to get here, you know I'll show you as soon as they're installed (or probably the entire installation process if you follow along on instastories). Measuring and choosing all of the specifications for roman shades may seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be- I'll take you through the entire process right now!

Flat or Relaxed Fold

This is a decision based purely on aesthetics, personal preference and the overall feel you want your roman shades to have. Here is what a flat fold roman shade looks like.

flat fold roman shades, how to measure for roman shades

I personally think these shades lend themselves to a more formal feel and then the relaxed fold are a bit more airy and casual.

relaxed fold roman shades, how to measure for roman shades

Inside Mount or Outside Mount

This is mostly another aesthetic decision, but there are sometimes other factors that may come into play for you which I'll get into in just a second. Here is what outside mounted roman shades look like.

outside mounted roman shades, how to measure for roman shades

Here is what inside mounted roman shades look like. See how the outside mounted are installed on the wall outside the window, where as inside mounted is mounted to the inside of the window frame.

inside mounted roman shades, how to measure for roman shades

I personally prefer the look of inside mounted shades, but you do need to make sure your window casings are deep enough to install them. In my case my windows needed to be at least 2" deep and my window casings are 4". If I had wanted outside mount I would have needed to consider the trim on the outside of the windows (which we do have) and would have needed to factor that into my measurements because you don't want to mount shades on top of trim.

Width and Height

You know the old adage- measure twice, cut once. The same goes for roman shades, except we're going to take it a bit farther. For each window you want to take six measurements.

how to measure for roman shades

This is to ensure you get the most accurate measurement. Measuring for an inside mounted window shade is also going to need to be exactly precise so it nestles perfectly inside the window, wherein the outside mounted can be a bit more forgiving.


Typically there is an option to include a lining with your roman shades. This may incur an additional fee, but I think it's absolutely worth it in giving that extra layer of fabric to make the shades feel more polished, especially if you have chosen a patterned fabric. Learn from my mistake here, I didn't line these and once they were hung the pattern almost completely disappears with the light shining behind them.

farrow and ball parma gray, unlined faux roman shades

See how you can see the pattern nicely at the top? That's where the blinds are bunched up behind the shades and the pattern could have looked like that throughout the entire shade if I had lined it. If you're buying a roman shade for a bedroom then I would recommend a blackout shade for as much light blocking as possible, but for any other room a standard white lining will do the trick.

If you're shopping for roman shades here are a few places I considered when looking:

where to buy custom roman shades

Aspect Creative Agency is where I ultimately ordered my shades from and they have hundreds of beautiful custom options - you can choose your own fabric, trim color, etc. They also have thousands of five star reviews (which I'm always looking out for).

where to buy custom roman shades

A Dream Home Decor shop has a similar assortment of custom roman shades and I did consider ordering from them, their shades appear to even be slightly cheaper, but the only reason I didn't go with them was because my original inspiration came from the first site.

where to buy custom roman shades

Martha and Ash makes beautiful custom window treatments- they can even use your own fabric if you ship it directly to them, making them truly custom.

where to buy standard roman shades

If you need a standard size Pottery Barn even has some pretty options. What do you think, are you a fan of roman shades?

how to measure to roman shades, and where to buy custom roman shades

Need to get caught up on the entire kitchen makeover?


Jennifer Laura Living.jpg


Hi, I'm Jennifer Laura- you can call me Jenn. My husband and I just bought a house in our dream neighborhood and we are so excited to be here! The house, while already beautiful, NEEDS A LOT OF LOVE and STYLE. Join me, a past interior designer and wedding planner, as I work to make over each room and share the process along the way. 

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