Blinds, Shades & Shutters

A Brief History of Roman Shades

From the Roman Colosseum to Your Bedroom


Every great idea has an origin, even window treatments. And some, like Roman Shades, can be traced back to the time of (you guessed it) the Romans. It all started when Roman households began draping wet cloth over their windows to help keep dirt and debris, especially dust from the construction of the nearby Roman Colosseum, heat and sunlight at bay. The people quickly realized they were on to something. Soon, the people of Rome began using colorful, ornate cloth adorned with beautiful patterns to give their windows style to go along with the added functionality. Still, something was missing.

When the Colosseum was finally completed, two things quickly became apparent. First of all, the Colosseum was an architectural wonder. Secondly, it was unbearably hot in the upper seats. So the Romans devised a plan. They constructed a giant awning-like shade with pleats that could be extended to help shield the people from the scorching summer sun, much like modern roman shades. The difference was that the original Roman shade hung horizontally, extended out from the wall.

Over the years, the technology and ingenuity of the giant Roman awning-like shade was miniaturized, flipped vertically, and utilized in everyday household shades. And the Roman shade as we know it was born. Today, Roman shades are some of the most popular window treatments on the market.

Soft Roman Shades in Bedroom

Custom made Roman shades from Next Day Blinds are available in two distinct styles. We carry a large selection of Soft Roman shades, available in casual ‘Standard’ or optional ‘Teardrop’ style, and natural Roman shades, made from our exotic collection of natural reeds, woods, grasses and bamboo hand-selected from the Orient.