Did you know curtains have been around since 3rd-century Egypt? Though they were primarily used to separate rooms, these first generation curtains inspired the use of soft window coverings. Becoming popular in 16th-century England, window coverings were commonly made from linen, flax and cotton… just like today’s roman shades and draperies!
Roman shades are just as old and date back to- you guessed it- ancient Roman times. But they were originally designed to function horizontally, like an awning. This was to block the hot sun while spectators enjoyed the spectacles at the Colosseum. Now used vertically on our windows and doors, Roman shades still function as they did back then.
We won’t bore you with a full history lesson, but it’s fun to know where our modern fabric window treatments got their start. This month, we’re expanding our Window Treatments 101 series to the most timeless treatments you can put in your home— roman shades and draperies.
We’re getting to know cellular shades as one of the most versatile and popular window coverings in design. Hence this month’s installment of Window Treatments 101. Last time, we learned the ins and outs of venetian blinds, a timeless classic. And honestly, we feel that cell shades will be the new venetian blinds. There are so many advantages to putting cellular shades in your home, most importantly being their incredible energy efficiency. Easy to use, customizable, and attractive are just some other great features of this modern classic.
Window treatments are often the most defining decor in a room. How you adorn your windows contributes greatly to the vibe of the whole space based on scale, color, and coherency of styles. In this five-part mini series about window treatments, we’re going to dive into the history, the making, and the designing of five super relevant window treatments— the first of which is Venetian Blinds. So let’s start from the beginning!
Where Did Venetian Blinds Originate?
Somehow the Italians always get credit for incredible design but the blinds we know and love aren’t actually Venetian. They were first recorded in use in 18th-century Persia and rapidly gained popularity throughout Europe, starting in Venice. They made their way over to the U.S. in 1767 and were later patented in England in 1769. Natural roll-up shades used to be the norm. But the easy light control and privacy of Venetian blinds quickly put roll-up shades on the back burner. The functionality of these blinds made them perfect for commercial and office spaces. In fact, a little company in Vermont made every Venetian blind for the Empire State Building in the 1930’s.