A: Roman shades make a great functional alternative to drapes and come with either continuous cord loop controls or with the popular top down/bottom up feature. Most people are familiar with cord loop controls since they've been featured on blinds and shades for years. These cords are looped through the top rail and all you need to do is pull on one side of the loop to raise the shade and the other side to lower them. They're pretty safe, too since they maintain a constant length no matter how high or low the shade.
The top down/bottom up feature in roman shades is not as well known but it's just as convenient. In fact, it's one of the best secrets in the industry! This feature allows you to not only raise and lower the bottom edge of the shade, but the top half, too. This way you can get light through just the top edge of your window (which means it's perfect for when the sun is really low). You can use these shades like normal roman shades or conveniently lower the top rail to let natural light in at the top! It's such a great idea!