What is an Austrian Shade?

An Austrian Shade is a type of window covering known for its elegant, gathered fabric design.


An Austrian Shade, also sometimes called an Austrian blind, is a functional and decorative window covering characterized by its soft, vertical gathers of fabric which can create a dramatic and elegant look. Unlike flat or plain window treatments, Austrian Shades incorporate a series of cords running through rings on the back of the fabric. When these cords are pulled, the fabric lifts in a series of soft, scalloped folds, offering a luxurious appearance and the option to control the amount of light entering a room.

Austrian Shades are an excellent choice for adding a touch of sophistication and old-world charm to any interior space. They are particularly suited for traditional, Victorian, or romantic design styles, but can also add an interesting contrast in more modern settings. Due to their intricate design and the amount of fabric used, these shades can serve both as a focal point in a room and a practical solution for privacy and light control.

When selecting an Austrian Shade, it's important to consider the fabric's weight and transparency to ensure it meets your light filtering and privacy needs. Heavier fabrics offer more privacy and can add dramatic volume, while lighter fabrics provide a softer look and allow more natural light to filter through.


Austrian Shades are commonly used in formal dining rooms, living rooms, or bedrooms where an added level of elegance and sophistication is desired. They can be made from a variety of fabrics, including silk, velvet, or lightweight cotton, and are often embellished with tassels, fringes, or other decorative elements to enhance their luxurious appearance.


  • How do you operate an Austrian Shade?

    An Austrian Shade is operated by a series of cords that, when pulled, lift the fabric in soft, scalloped folds. This mechanism allows for easy adjustment of both privacy and light levels in a room.

  • Can Austrian Shades be custom made?

    Yes, Austrian Shades can be custom made to fit specific window sizes and to match the design and fabric preferences of a space. This flexibility makes them a popular choice for those looking to achieve a particular aesthetic or fit in their home.

  • Are Austrian Shades suitable for all window sizes?

    While Austrian Shades can be customized for various window sizes, they are best suited for medium to large windows due to the dramatic effect of the gathered fabric. Small windows may not showcase the shade's full elegance.

Practical Application

When incorporating an Austrian Shade into your design, consider the room's overall style and the function of the shade. For a luxurious look, opt for rich fabrics like velvet or silk, and ensure the color and texture complement other elements in the room. Consider the fabric's opacity based on your privacy and light control needs. Lastly, ensure the shade is properly measured and installed for smooth operation and an elegant appearance.