Have you adopted the “less is more” philosophy? It’s the cornerstone of modern design. As pared down as it is, though, modern style can also be a stunning display of refinement – the key word being can. In order to get the full effect, you have to pay attention to detail. Many people overlook window treatments and, therefore, underestimate their impact. But with the right modern shades dressing the windows, your interior design will fall right into place.
A Note on Modern Design
Some people substitute the word “contemporary” for “modern” – and vice versa – as if the two are interchangeable, but they are not. Contemporary refers to the here and now, which means it is constantly changing with the times. Modern style, on the other hand, was born from a defining movement (not surprisingly) known as Modernism. There are some influences of Scandinavian design and architecture, but mostly modern style grew out of the age of machination starting in the early 20th century.
As technology advanced, it created efficiencies in building and design. After World War I, architecture around the world employed steel frames with sleek glass facades – the simpler, the better. Every design choice was carefully edited for practicality. If a wall didn’t create privacy, it didn’t go up. If a piece of furniture wasn’t used, it was eliminated. Between the 1920s and 1950s, function always trumped form.
Today, you can spot modern design by these key elements:
- Light-filled rooms
- Open layouts, where the outside naturally flows indoors
- Straight-edged furnishings that often sit low to the ground
- Neutral color palettes
- Minimal accessories
The Top 4 Modern Shades
It should come as no surprise that simple window treatments are the preferred choice for modern design. While drapery can be used in these minimalist settings, Roman shades and woven woods top the list for their clean structure and lightweight feel. Learn more about these modern shades and how they coordinate with your home’s style.
1. Inside-Mount Roman Shades
What are inside-mount Roman shades?
Roman shades are a panel of fabric that hang down flat in front of your window. When inside-mounted, the shade is entirely contained within the frame of the window. The top of the Roman shade fabric sits flush against the top inside of your window frame. And, if custom cut correctly, the bottom hangs down just enough to cover the glass.
What makes these modern?
This type of mounting gives a subtle appearance, as if the window treatment blends in with the window itself. Pair that with a smooth linen fabric, and your room will remain clean and modern. Inside mounting also helps maintain the functionality of your window (remember function is key!). Let’s say you have a large picture window with a deep ledge for sitting or storing things out of the way. Inside-mount Roman shades hang right up against the glass, so there’s still plenty of room for you – or your cat – to cozy up.
2. Outside-Mount Roman Shades
What are outside-mount Roman shades?
Outside-mount Roman shades take a panel of fabric and attach it above the. This type of mounting completely covers your window’s frame on all four sides, particularly when you choose flat Roman shades with a straight edge on the bottom. For comparison, relaxed Roman shades have a little smile on the end, which can leave a sliver of light shining through the bottom corners.
What makes these modern?
Roman shades are innately modern because of their smooth, solid texture. Flat Roman shades are especially modern, though, thanks to the elegant folds in the panel. These folds create straight horizontal lines that stack all the way down the window and mirror the edges of your modern-style furniture.
Then, of course, there’s the mounting itself. Outside mounting has a sleek effect, because it gives the appearance of one unit. There are no interruptions between your walls and the windows. If you have ornate window trim, you can simply cover it up with an outside-mounted flat Roman shade.
3. Inside-Mount Woven Woods
What are inside-mount woven woods?
Though woven woods are made from a different blend of material than Roman shades, inside mounting these window treatments is much the same. The panel sits right inside your window frame, so the entire pane is covered.
Worried about the fit along the sides? Woven woods are not your typical cotton drapes, which can be a challenge if you’re trying to DIY the project. At Everhem, we custom-cut all our window treatments, so there’s no guessing how your inside-mount woven woods will hang.
What makes these modern?
Bringing the outdoors inside is a popular theme in modern style and architecture. You can do it with wide French doors, live house plants or organic materials like woven wood window shades. This touch of nature is the perfect transition between the actual outdoors and your indoor living space.
4. Outside-Mount Woven Woods
What are outside-mount woven woods?
Just like outside-mount Roman shades, woven woods can be installed on the outer perimeter of your windows. The shades will hang over the entire window – from the very top of the frame or wall just above the frame to the bottom of the window or sill.
What makes these modern?
With outside-mount woven woods, you get even more of that organic texture. Modern spaces inspired by Scandinavian design philosophies will appreciate the added earthiness, especially when paired with plain, matte black accents and potted plants.
Since outside-mount woven woods literally cover more square footage, this type of mounting can also make a window appear larger. This visual effect helps expand the room overall, giving it that open feel, hallmarked by modern homes.
Interior Design Tips for Choosing Your Modern Shades
It might be a close call between the top four modern shades highlighted above. After all, they will each earn you major style points. That said, there are a few ways you can narrow down the selection. Below are key factors to consider when deciding which of these modern shades are the right fit for your space.
The Function of the Room
Modern design is all about function over form, which is why the first thing you should account for is functionality. What is the purpose of the space you’re decorating? A kids’ playroom will require a much different level of lighting and mood than your bathroom.
Dining – Mood lighting is appropriate for a dining room. In addition to the right chandelier or pendant, you can use woven woods to let in a little bit of sun. These not-so-solid window treatments will cast dramatic shadows over your dinner table for a meal to remember.
Sleeping – No one wants to be woken up before their alarm clock. To prevent any premature sunlight in your bedrooms, add Roman shades or woven woods with blackout lining. If you’re decorating for a little one, consider custom nursery window treatments to promote optimal sleep at all times of the day.
Entertaining – Living rooms and other high-trafficked areas where guests gather need to feel cozy but not sleep-inducing. Depending on the fabric you choose, privacy Roman shades or unlined woven woods would work in these entertaining spaces. There is one caveat: home theatres. If your room is strictly for watching movies on a big screen, go for blackout Roman shades.
Prepping/working – Rooms like your kitchen, bathroom or home office need a lot of natural light when you’re using them, but can be shut down and closed off when you’re not. A solid flat Roman shade will do a great job of block light and conserving energy during those off hours. Besides, your home office and bathrooms require maximum privacy.
The Shape and Size of Your Windows
Standard rectangular windows can take either outside or inside mounting. The deciding factor is really the depth and shape of your window trim. For inside mounting, you need at least one inch of depth. Of course, you can get more details and tips by watching our video on when to choose inside mount window shades.
If you have oddly shaped windows or molding that doesn’t look very modern, outside mounting might be the way to go. It will even out any imperfections. In most cases, less molding means more flexibility with your window coverings. Meanwhile, more molding or multiple windows might force you to choose one type of mounting over another.
The Other Décor Accessories
Window treatments should always complement your furnishings and accent pieces. In a modern-style home, that may mean letting your window coverings blend into the walls for a perfectly streamlined look. You can achieve that with outside-mounted flat Roman shades in the same color palette as your walls. Everhem’s 100% linen Roman shade in Cloud works well for pure white walls.
Or, you might want to use your window treatments to create contrast within the space. Inside- and outside-mounted woven woods add a nice pop of texture in a bold and exciting way. Not to mention, the golden undertones in certain woven wood shade blends are a beautiful match for trendy brass finishes often found in modern homes.
Ultimately, though, there’s no one way to do modern. You might cozy up to Scandinavian-style sleek or prefer to throw it back to mid-century modern. These preferences will influence which of these modern shades you choose for your home’s interior. Take this into consideration, or shoot us an email at email@example.com if you have any questions. We’re happy to help you resolve any design dilemmas. But one thing we don’t want you to worry about is your window covering options. With our custom treatments, your modern design will pull together as easily as our shades pull up and down.