Home Decor

How to Choose Between Inside Mount and Outside Mount Roman Shades


When choosing window coverings for your home, custom roman shades are always a popular choice. They lend a timeless, classic sophistication to your décor with their elegance and soft fabric appeal.

With the feel of custom drapes and the functionality of blinds, roman shades give you the best of both styles and while they look luxurious, they are an economical choice. Once you have chosen your colors, fabric, and textures, another important choice needs to be made regarding the mounting position of your shades.

Do you prefer to fit your roman shades inside the window recess, or outside the recess?

Let’s consider what these installation options include. The window recess is the distance between the internal face of the wall and the window sash which sits flush with the outside face of the wall.

It is framed with reveals and has a window sill at the base of the window. Your roman shades can be hung within the recessed area, with hardware mounted on the ‘ceiling’ of the recess, or outside the recess, with hardware installed on the wall above the window frame or ceiling.

These two different ways to fit your roman shades each possess certain benefits, depending on which method you chose.

Mounting roman shades inside the window recess

For many people, the preference is for fitting their shades inside the window recess because it can create a neat, minimalist and bespoke tailored finish to your décor.

For this option, your windows need to have a window recess with sufficient depth to accommodate the hardware. The shades will need precise custom measuring to fit them with a snug, well-tailored result to suit your particular windows.

The advantages of mounting your roman shades snugly inside the window recess can include:

  • The appearance of a customized finish, since they are made-to-measure
  • Precise measuring creates a neat, fitted finish
  • The sleek minimalist effect adds a level of class and elegance
  • Permits the addition of custom curtains outside your window recess which can create a luxurious layering look
  • Provides added control against heat transfer between the interior and exterior
  • Allow you to show off any ornate and architectural window trims and moldings
  • Decorative accessories displayed on the window sill will remain visible even when the shades are fully lowered if shades are installed well inside the recess

Roman shades installed inside the window recess in combination with curtains draped outside the recess not only look sumptuous, but also help with insulation in colder weather, keeping the heat in, while reducing the intrusion of external noise.

It also adds to your control of how dark you can make the room especially when there are a lot of lights outside at night, from constant traffic or sidewalk light poles shining all night.

There are some disadvantages to mounting your custom roman shades inside the window recess. They need to be measured with a high degree of precision to ensure a close fit for that tidy finish.

If not, this permits chinks of light to enter, which may not be ideal if you wish to darken the room and it may also compromise your privacy.

Inside mounted custom roman shades may also not be the ideal choice for a small window because when the shade is drawn up it still covers the top of the window. This could reduce the amount of natural light that can enter the room.

However, if your window has a long drop, this is no longer a consideration; you can still opt for that sleek, uncluttered aesthetic.

Mounting roman shades outside the window recess

While inside-mounted custom roman shades give a crisp, pleasing finish, opting for an outside mount can also prove the ideal solution for your window treatments in certain settings. Your roman shades would be a few inches wider and taller than the window frame, thus neatly covering the opening entirely. The overlap reduces any chance of light sneaking in through gaps and chinks.

This option is perfect for smaller windows. With the shades mounted above the window frame, when they are drawn up much more of the glass is revealed, permitting more light to enter the room. Furthermore, with outside mounted shades, small windows give the illusion of being larger. Some of the benefits of choosing this fitting method include:

  • Suitable for a shallow window recess which may not be deep enough for inside mounted shades
  • Better for a short drop because it draws up higher, exposing more glass to maximize the entry of natural light
  • Less precision in measurement is needed when fitting the shades
  • Greater light blocking

When roman shades are mounted outside the window recess and extend past the frame itself, you will achieve greater blockage of light, avoiding light creeping in through side gaps, regardless of which style or shape of shade you choose. You can more successfully darken the room, which is not necessarily an issue in places like a kitchen or living area but can be critical in the bedroom.

There are not many downsides to choosing this method of installation, but it may not be considered ideal to have batten hardware installed on the wall above the window frame rather than neatly secreted under the top of the window frame as it is for inside mounted shades. Also, your ornaments and knick-knacks displayed on the windowsill are not visible when the shade is fully down.

Inside or outside?

For some people, appearance is a major consideration and might tip the balance when it comes to fitting roman shades inside or outside the recess. You have two options and some roman shades are better when outside mounted while in other circumstances inside mounted roman shades will work very well.

It can depend on what you want to achieve that will dictate which option would be best for your windows. Roman shades create a real impact in any room, so whichever option you decide on, they will make a real style statement.

Nate Berkus
Nate Berkus, a distinguished interior designer with a Bachelor’s in Design and Environmental Analysis, has been transforming spaces with his unique aesthetics for over two decades. His professional journey includes working with top design firms before venturing into freelance design consulting. His expertise was cultivated through years of working on high-end residential and commercial projects. He joined our editorial team and offers readers a blend of contemporary style and practical decorating solutions. He is also an ardent traveler, drawing inspiration from different cultures to enrich his design philosophy.

What Is A Solar Audit, And Why Does Your Home Need One?

Previous article

Tips to Make a White Kitchen Pop with Color

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Home Decor