Do Roman blinds look better in the recess or over the top of it? This largely comes down to personal choice, although for certain types of windows (potentially being smaller ones or those that open inwards rather than outwards) your options may be somewhat limited.
I’ll talk about the logistical pros and cons of placing Roman blinds inside versus outside of the window recess in this blog post; as well as covering the things to consider if you’re just trying to suss out which option looks better aesthetically, and why.
What is a window recess?
Before I start yammering on about whether you should place a Roman blind inside or outside of the window recess, I’m going to begin with a description and picture of what the window recess actually is, just in case you’re new to interior decorating shenanigans and do not have advanced level qualifications in blinds or, err, windows.
The window recess or “window reveal” as it is also known (by whom I don’t know, presumably Americans) is the area between the window frame itself, and the inside wall of your home.
It’s the recess (space or sunken area) your window sits in. The window is fitted into the sides of the recess. So, now that we’re all on the same page (unless you’re using the term “window reveal,” in which case I would like an explanation thankyouplease) do Roman blinds look better in the recess or outside of it, and where should they be hung? Let’s continue.
Should Roman blinds be inside or outside recesses?
As Roman blinds are a prestige product that can represent quite the investment in your eventual choice, it’s totally understandable that if you can’t envision how your blind might look hung inside or outside of the recess respectively, you might want to know what most people plump for and why.
For most people/windows, the question of “should Roman blinds be inside or outside recesses” comes down to nothing more than personal choice. This is largely based on the look you want to achieve, but potentially by how serious you are about reducing light leakage around the sides of the blind too.
- Some people choose to fit Roman blinds inside of the window recess as this creates a smaller footprint and gives a neater appearance as the blind is tucked away.
- On the flipside, others might prefer to fit Roman blinds outside of the window recess, as when they’re opened this reveals the full window and view beyond it, without the folds of the blind occluding part of the upper portion of the window.
- Hanging roman blinds outside of the window recess minimises light leakage around the sides of the blind.
If ease and convenience when hanging blinds is your main priority, there are a couple of different factors to consider in this respect too.
Hanging a Roman blind inside of the recess may be a little more awkward as you’ll have a limited area to work within and angle your tools within, while Roman blinds hung outside of the window recess are best attached to a batten to support their weight, which means one more thing to do but a potentially easier working environment when you do it.
Ultimately, hanging Roman blinds isn’t tricky or hugely time-consuming whichever approach you take, and so while I mentioned this for the sake of being thorough, it is more of a passing point to note rather than something you should hinge your whole decision around.
The one big exception to the personal preference aspect is if your windows open inwards rather than outwards, which may mean you have no choice but to fit your Roman blinds outside of the recess as fitting them inside of it might otherwise mean you would be unable to open the window.
Where do you place Roman blinds if you want to block the maximum amount of light?
If blocking out the maximum amount of light is your key priority and you’re buying your blind with a blackout lining to enable this, where do you place Roman blinds to greatest effect?
If you fit Roman blinds outside of the window recess with a safety margin on all four sides, this will greatly reduce and potentially negate the (admittedly small) inevitable amount of light leakage you’ll otherwise get around the side of Roman blinds if you fit them inside of the recess instead.
If blackout capabilities are your priority, the best way to achieve full blackout on any window is to fit the blind within the window recess, with a pair of blackout curtains or even a second blackout blind over the window recess too!
Do Roman blinds look better in the recess?
There are a couple of points to note about the inside and outside fitting option here to help you to decide.
When you fit a Roman blind inside of the window recess, it folds up into a concertina of fabric at the top of the blind when it is open, which means it takes up some of the space at the top of the window.
How much space will depend on how long the blind is (and potentially, how thick the fabric is) and how much this occludes the window will depend on the size of the window. This means that for a larger window, the impact of this will usually be negligible, but for a smaller window, it may block more light than you would wish and look unnecessarily bulky at the top of the frame too.
When it comes to fitting a Roman blind outside of the window recess, Roman blinds have a slim side profile and so don’t protrude overly far out into the room itself.
However, you may be able to see the back of the blind and the lift cords from the side depending on the size and layout of your room and the angle you’re at, but this is not always the case and is unlikely to bother most people as it will usually be a fleeting or passing glance visible from a relatively narrow viewpoint.
What’s the verdict then? Should Roman blinds be inside or outside recesses?
Ultimately you should consider if you need to factor in specific points like having a smaller window, or the angle you’d get of the blind side-on from inside of the room. Overall though, “should Roman blinds be inside or outside recesses” comes down to the look you want to achieve and your own personal choice.
If you’re working with a smaller window or have any other specific puzzlers to factor into your decision and have questions about, say, how wide the concertina of fabric at the top of the blind might be and so, how it would look inside of a window recess, let me know and I will try to help.