Roman blinds and pelmets: Everything you need to know

Roman blinds and pelmets are a very popular combination when it comes to stylish window treatments. But they have a lot more to offer than complementing your home décor.

They have a lot of practical aspects as well. So, if you’re considering adding them to your home, read on to find out what you need to know to make the best out of your Roman blinds and pelmets.

Square bay window Perthshire roman blind matching pelmet pom poms

The perfect addition

Roman blinds are always a great choice. They’re a perfect match if you want your window treatments to make a statement. Because the fabric used for Roman blinds will always be on show, whether they’re up or down.

And pelmets are not just a trendy design feature. They come in very handy when you want to hide curtain fixtures or minimise drafts. So, let’s have a look!

Roman blinds

The first thing you need to consider is whether the blinds are going to sit inside the window recess or outside. Inside means the blind is relatively flush to the glass, outside means the blind will be flat against and fixed to the wall.

Fitting the Roman blind inside the recess is good for light exclusion. You’ll always have light chinks down the side, even if you choose a Roman blind with blackout interlining. But it’s a good option if you don’t need it completely dark.

Also, if you have sash windows you’re more likely to want the Roman blind inside the recess as there’s no real window sill. Fitting it on the outside would mean the blind needs to go all the way to the bottom.

Fitting the Roman blind outside the window recess is a great choice if the window has an unusual shape or if you worry about condensation. You also have less light bleed than inside. But as mentioned above, when using blinds daylight always has a way of finding its way around the edges.

Most importantly, I’d consider fitting your Roman blind outside if you want to show off more of the fabulous pattern or colour of your blinds.

If you have modern tilt-and-turn windows, the Roman blinds needs to be further away from the window to be able to open it. So fitting it outside the recess might be a better option, although windows that open on the long side can still be an issue.

Fabric for Roman blinds

When you choose fabric for your Roman blinds, it’s important to look for fabric that’s easy to fold. So stay away from heavyweight fabrics, like the kind you’d normally use for upholstery.

Roman blinds can also be interlined which helps them fold up nicely and look thick and luxurious.

And when it comes to sewing Roman blinds, handmade is best (as opposed to machine sewing). It means minimum visible stitching on the front as all stitching is done inside the blind.

This is particularly important if you’re looking to keep the light out as it shines through every single visible stitch otherwise.


Pelmets are always something to consider with Roman blinds, especially if the blinds are fitted outside the window recess. They also make your windows look smarter as they cover the top of the Roman blind.

Pelmets can give your window treatment a more finished look and a more geometric shape which is important for any unusually shaped windows. For example, pelmets look very good on corner windows as they help smarten up your windows.

Additionally, pelmets, or ‘cornice boards’ as they’re also called, are the perfect canvas for trimmings. Everything is possible, from piping on the bottom edge to pompoms, tassels or braids.

As for the practical aspects, pelmets hide blind headrails from view and are the perfect protection from draughts and light seepage.

They can also be used to make the windows and room look more proportionate. They take the eye up and can hide a large area of blank wall above the window.

I would not recommend using a pelmet if you’re considering dressing a wall of glass or the wall above the window isn’t strong or large enough to fit them.