Woven Wood Roman Shades: A Color Guide

These days it's easy to add interest to a room, an office or an entire house with woven wood Roman shades. Such "bamboo shades" or "matchstick shades," as they're also known, give window treatments from classic to modern the look and feel of fine draperies, but with the versatility and practicality of modern materials. Nearly all woven wood blinds will add to the room's look and feel, so it's essential that styles, colors and textures be selected carefully.

Choose Your Style

Begin by choosing the style that contributes the most to your space. More elegant decors with fewer wall hangings will appreciate the hobbled look that's softer. Modern decors or highly accessorized rooms will prefer flat Roman shade styles that contribute to the room's overall design while not drawing attention to window treatments. Some manufacturers even offer a softer waterfall design in between hobbled and flat styles.

Choose Your Color

Once the style of your blind is selected, chose the color that accents, coordinates or matches the room's surroundings. Lighter colors will, of course, lighten rooms, while darker colors will add drama and richness. Woven wood Roman shades come in scores of colors from natural to white, cherry to walnut, and even painted for high-accent decors. Color selections should typically blend with or coordinate with other room furnishings, softening the room and contributing a visual "wholeness." The exception is starkly furnished rooms where window treatments themselves become the focal point. Here brightly painted woven wood shades add both color and texture. 

Choose Your Texture

Traditional woven shades are handcrafted from natural materials such as bamboo, grasses, jutes, rattans, reeds or woven woods. It is each bump, each nature-made imperfection that gives woven wood shades their appeal and character. More recently, however, modern woven shades stray from woods and wood-like materials to include cellular plastics and vinyls in striking colors. Regardless of their materials, quality woven shades filter room light. Where total privacy is desired, woven wood shades are backed by a "liner."

Choose Your Installation

Inside mounting is slightly more difficult than outside mounting, however, shades fit into the window opening and do not protrude into the room. Such mounting styles also blend more easily with other room furnishings. Outside mounting is more easily accomplished, but shades then become distinct wall hangings and may conflict with other room decor.

It is essential that installers measure window openings correctly, whether for inside or outside mounting. If mounting inside window frames, be sure to measure widths at the top, the middle and the bottom, especially in older homes, since window openings are often not square. Inside mount blinds should be a minimum of 1 inch shorter than the most narrow part of the window. This is to allow the shade to move freely. Outside mount blinds, however, should be a minimum of 2 inches wider than the window frame to ensure the entire window is covered.

Whether chosen for ambiance, color, decor or mere practicality, woven wood Roman shades add elegance to any room, whether at home or in an office.