Roman shades are a pretty addition to any window, and they serve multiple functions. I like to use them as a ‘layering’ piece for windows and add character and warmth to the room. This means that I’m not using them for functionality such as to block out the sun or for privacy, but rather to make the room more interesting.
I’ve never really liked using Roman shades for functionality because they are hard to maneuver, and the cords usually end up getting tangled quickly. This is one reason why I think they are readily available in thrift stores and on Facebook Marketplace. Thinking that it will be hard to find the sizes you need unless you buy them brand new? Nope. What about matching the color? That can be fixed with a little paint, as I recently discovered. Read on for my favorite budget friendly tips on using second hand Roman shades to warm up your space!
Paint The Shades: Save Money
Roman shades can get pricey when buying them new. If you are not using them for blocking sun/privacy, and are planning on fixing them in place, it’s pretty easy to find the sizes you need for your windows at second hand stores and through private sellers. They don’t need to “work” anymore, so you can find people trying to get rid of “broken” shades that no longer operate for really cheap. This is what I did recently to add much needed character, texture, and warmth to a neutral space.
Example: I have a huge three window wall in my sun room that needed a little extra layering and texture at the top. (see picture below) The room is very neutral with white slip covered furniture and burlap drapery. It needed some color and texture, so I turned to the idea of layering the windows with bamboo Roman shades. Since this was an experiment, I certainly didn’t want to invest a lot of money buying brand new shades, so I quickly found what I needed on Facebook Marketplace.
I spent a total of $30 for an entire wall of windows. They were all different shades of brown, so when I got home I simply rolled them up by hand to the height I wanted and used the cord to double knot them in a fixed position. Next, I put them on saw horses outside and used a dry paint brush to lightly brush a dark brown paint over them so they all matched. Finally, I used a little ribbon to dress off and cover the cord and then installed them! The result: I got a custom, textured look that the room really needed for about $30 plus the cost of a quart of paint. The bonus was that the shades, fixed in their upright position, blocked just enough afternoon sun to make them functional as well as beautiful.
Why Layer Your Windows?
The neutral trend of whites, off-whites, and beige is fresh and I love it. The clean look is soothing and the versatility of blending in modern or classic furniture is appealing, but sometimes these monochromatic rooms need just a little texture to warm up the space. Try layering your windows for a little extra interest without breaking the bank.
Example: I like to use a crisp, white wooden cornice as the first layer, adding functional drapery underneath as the second layer. The cornice hides the drapery rod, which can be bought on the cheap since it does not show. If privacy is needed, simply close the drapes by hand.
Adding a third layer with Roman shades to the top of the actual glass on the window adds texture that naturally draws the eye, creating a comfortable, cozy feeling.
Remember: you don’t necessarily have to use Roman shades for operational purposes. Allow them to serve as a textured piece for the room, fix them in the upright position, and dress them off with ribbon, fabric, or paint. Sometimes just a little pop of color with the fabric or ribbon to hide the cord is enough to add needed warmth to your room.
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