Inside vs Outside Mount Roman Shades: Which is Better for Your Windows?

Roman shades are a classic, elegant window covering that adds beauty and functionality to any room. These shades have a smooth, uniform look when closed and form soft folds when opened. Roman shades come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures, and materials to match any decor.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when selecting Roman shades is whether you want an inside mount or an outside mount. Each mounting style has its own pros and cons. Read on as I explain the key differences between inside vs outside mount roman shades.

What are Inside Mount Roman Shades?

Inside mounted Roman shades are installed within the window frame, tucked neatly inside the window casing. The shade mounts flush with the interior window sill and sides.

Inside mounts have a very clean, seamless look since the shade hides behind the window trim when closed. This style offers a more polished, built-in appearance. It maximizes the window area as well.

Since inside mounts don’t overlap the window frame, they are ideal if you want to highlight decorative trim or molding around your windows. The shade won’t obstruct beautiful architectural details.

Benefits of Inside Mount Roman Shades:

  • Streamlined, seamless appearance
  • Shades tuck discretely into the window frame
  • Don’t obstruct decorative window trim
  • Provide a built-in, polished look
  • Maximize window viewing area

What are Outside Mount Roman Shades?

What are Outside Mount Roman Shades?

Outside mounted Roman shades are installed outside the window frame, overlapping the molding and wall around the window. The shades mount to the wall or window casing using decorative brackets.

Outside mounts are ideal if you want to layer window coverings, such as adding drapes over the shade. They also allow you to create a framed look around the window for a stylish effect.

Since outside shades overlap the window, they provide fuller coverage for more light blocking if needed. They can fit a wider variety of window sizes as well.

Benefits of Outside Mount Roman Shades:

  • Allow layered window treatments
  • Create a framed look around windows
  • Provide fuller light-blocking
  • Fit a wider range of window sizes
  • Easier installation on some windows

Inside vs Outside Mount: Light Gapping

One issue to consider with inside mount shades is light gapping. This occurs when natural light leaks in around the edges of the shade. Light gaps happen because inside mounts don’t overlap the window casing.

Outside mount, shades provide better light blocking since they overlap the window frame. This eliminates light leakage and gives a full blackout if using a room-darkening fabric.

If light gaps are a concern for you, an outside mount is likely the better choice. There are a few ways to help reduce light gaps on inside mounts:

  • Add a liner behind the shade to block light
  • Use side channels to close gaps
  • Ensure proper measurement and inside frame depth
  • Layer the shade with curtains for full coverage

Inside vs Outside Mount: Privacy

Roman shades provide varying degrees of privacy depending on the fabric opacity. Light-filtering fabrics offer some privacy while still allowing daylight to filter into the room. Room darkening and blackout fabrics give full privacy by blocking light.

For maximum privacy, an outside mount provides complete coverage around the window. Inside mounts may have slight gaps at the edges that limit privacy.

Adding a liner on inside mount shades can improve privacy. But in general, outside mounts are better if privacy is your main priority.

Inside vs Outside Mount: Window Frame Coverage

One visual difference between inside and outside mounted shades is how they interact with the window frame.

Inside mounts tuck into the window casing, exposing the trim and molding around the window. This gives a clean, streamlined look showing off decorative details.

Outside mounts cover the window trim and overlap with the surrounding wall. This frames out the window for a bolder, more dramatic effect. It can make the window feel larger and draw attention.

If you want to highlight the architectural details of your windows, an inside mount is likely best. For a more stylized window treatment that maximizes shades as a design feature, outside mounts are a great option.

Inside vs Outside Mount: Ease of Installation

In most cases, inside mount shades are quicker and easier to install than outside mounts. Since inside mounts fit neatly into the window frame, you just need to attach the mounting brackets within the casing.

Outside mounts require securing brackets to the wall or molding around the window. This involves some additional measuring and getting the brackets level and spaced properly. You also need to factor in the window depth so the shade doesn’t hit the crank or sill.

However, outside mounting can be easier on some unusual window shapes and types. If you have specialty windows, an outside mount may simplify the installation.

Inside vs Outside Mount: Ideal Window Types

Here are some recommendations for which mounting style works best on different window types:

  • Standard rectangular windows – Inside mounts allow a clean, seamless look. But outsides mounts work well too for added flexibility.
  • Bay or bow windows – Outside mounts are usually best for covering the angles and recesses on bay windows. Inside mounts can have light gap issues.
  • Corner windows – Either inside or outside mounting could work on corner windows. But outside mounts may be easier to get full coverage.
  • Round or arched windows – Outside mounts are often preferable for round and arched windows to get full coverage. Inside mounts can leave gaps at the top of the arch.
  • French doors – Inside mounts give a very streamlined look to French doors. Outside mounting provides the option to layer curtains over the shades.

Inside vs Outside Mount: Child Safety

Child safety is often a priority and something to assess when choosing mount options.

Inside mounts tuck into the window frame, keeping the operating cords and pull tassels out of reach. This prevents access for curious little hands.

Some outside mounted shades have exposed cords that could be a strangulation risk for children and pets. However, cordless lift systems are available to eliminate this hazard on outside mounts.

If child safety is a concern, opt for an inside mount or a cordless outside mount shade. Also be sure to utilize any safety devices provided, like cord cleats and tensioners. Properly mounting the shade out of reach is important too.

Inside vs Outside Mount: Pet Safety

Pets can also unintentionally get tangled in exposed cords, so pet owners need to assess safety as well.

Inside mount shades keep cords hidden and out of reach. Cordless outside mounts are also safe for pets. Just be sure to utilize any safety tools provided with the shades.

Also, keep in mind that curious pets may be tempted to play with and scratch fabrics that are within reach. So inside mounts or high outside mounts are best for avoiding pet damage.

Inside vs Outside Mount: Depth Requirements

Inside vs Outside Mount: Depth Requirements

The required depth is an important factor when deciding between inside vs outside mounting.

Inside mounts need adequate frame depth to recess the shade into the window casing. A minimum of 1.5″ depth is usually needed, but 2-3″ is ideal. Large shades may require more.

Outside mounts only need sufficient depth to clear the window hardware when fully raised. Usually, 2-3″ of depth is sufficient for most outside shades.

If you lack the required mounting depth, an outside mount is likely your better option. Just take accurate measurements beforehand to ensure sufficient clearance.

Choosing the Right Mounting Option

When deciding between inside vs outside mounting for roman shades, consider these key factors:

  • Light gapping – Outside mounts provide better light-blocking
  • Privacy – Outside mounts offer fuller coverage for more privacy
  • Window coverage – Inside mounts expose trim vs outside framing the window
  • Installation – Inside mounts are usually easier to install
  • Window types – Some specialty windows favor outside mounts
  • Child safety – Inside mounts keep cords out of reach
  • Pet safety – Inside and cordless outside mounts are the safest
  • Depth requirements – Inside mounts need adequate frame depth

Take stock of your goals, window type, safety needs, and style preferences to choose the best mounting method. And don’t be afraid to ask your window professional for advice.

Pro tip: If you simply can’t decide between inside vs outside mounting, choose outside. This gives you the most flexibility even if you end up wanting an inside look later on.


Roman shades are a classic window covering style that offers beauty, functionality, and endless design possibilities. By understanding the pros and cons of inside vs outside mount Roman shades, you can choose the best option for your particular windows and needs.

Factors like light gap prevention, privacy, child safety, easier installation, and perfectly tailored fittings will inform your decision. Whether you prefer the clean, built-in look of inside mounts or the framed, stylized effect of outside mounts, Roman shades are a versatile choice with timeless appeal. With proper measurement and professional installation, they will beautifully equip your windows for light control and privacy for years to come.


What are Roman shades made of?

Roman shades come in a huge variety of fabrics like cotton, linen, polyester, wool, silk, velvet, and faux suede. Room darkening fabrics like polyester and vinyl are also options.

How do you raise and lower Roman shades?

Roman shades raise and lower using lift cords, a continuous cord loop, or a cordless system. Cordless shades use mechanisms like clutches or rings on the back to lift the fabric.

Do Roman shades work with any window?

Roman shades are highly versatile and can work with most window types and sizes. Inside mounts fit best on standard rectangular windows. Outside mounts accommodate more unusual shapes like rounds, arches, and bays.

How do you mount Roman shades on a door?

To mount Roman shades on a door, an inside mount usually works best. Attach the mounting brackets evenly across the top of the door frame to recess the shade inside when closed. Be sure to verify the door frame depth is adequate.

Can you put Roman shades on slider doors?

Yes, Roman shades work well on slider doors. An inside mount gives a very sleek look. For light blocking, opt for a room darkening or blackout fabric. Cordless lift systems are ideal for safety on sliding doors.

What rooms are Roman shades suitable for?

Roman shades work in just about any room including living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, home offices, and kids’ rooms. Bathrooms and kitchens may require moisture-resistant fabrics.

Do Roman shades come in standard sizes?

Roman shades are fully customizable, but some retailers offer pre-set sizes. Keep in mind Roman shades should be measured precisely to ensure proper fit and function. Getting them made-to-measure is best.

News Reporter
Mark Buckingham grew up in a Plumbing and HVAC family business. Mark has over 21 years of professional internet marketing and SEO experience (in results). He’s a leading expert in helping Plumbing, HVAC and Electrical businesses get to the top of Google, boost leads, get more customers and grow their company. As the founder of Skyrocket Results SEO, he's on a mission to help HVAC contractors, Plumbers and Electricians avert internet marketing mistakes, avoid wasted marketing dollars, increase profits and build wealth. His free Plumbing, HVAC and electrical company marketing blog is:

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