Curtain shopping is one of those things that seems like it should be easy but never is. Non-standard window sizes, a mind boggling range of options, and sticker shock from high prices can add up to an all-around unpleasant shopping experience. To help, here's a basic starter guide to high ($$$), medium ($$), and low ($) sources that have some good options.
High-End and Custom Curtains
This Canadian company works with clients on custom projects, and their installation gallery provides an overview of their gorgeous (and we're guessing pricey) work. Definitely one to add to the "inspiration" bookmark file.
The Shade Store
Their selling point is attentive customer service, and they offer on-site design consultation, measuring and installation assistance. They also carry several designer lines including Maharam, DwellStudio, Chilewich, and Robert Allen.
The Natural Curtain Company
Located in the UK, this company specializes in custom curtains, although they also sell several readymade styles. Even if you're not in the market for European drapes, their site is worth a look for all the gorgeous photos and ideas.
Belgian-based Libeco Home has been in business for over 150 years. They specialize in fine linens, and their lovely Linen Grommet Drapery starts at $377 per panel. (Their site also has a lot of general information on linen and how to care for it.)
Based in London, Romo has a showroom in New York and an American distribution office in Ohio. They sell mostly to the trade, but their site is a great place to look for bookmarkable photos if you're in the "ideas" stage of curtain shopping.
A good source for patterned and bohemian-chic styles, Anthropologie's curtains aren't cheap but they're also not astronomically priced.
Crate and Barrel
Their curtains are basic, accessible, and available in a bunch of different colorways.
They have some nice traditional styles in both light and heavyweight fabrics, and their curtains go on sale frequently.
If you're looking for extra-long curtains or room dividers, this is a good online "one-stop" source. They have hard-to-find sizes, a full range of drapery hardware, and their prices are reasonable, especially when you consider the expense of custom extra-long curtains.
Curtains on the Cheap
Their curtains are simple, modern, and come in 108-inch lengths if you have big windows.
They carry extra-long curtains, as well as shorter styles, and they have a big selection of colorful, patterned styles. (You can also buy fabrics off-the-bolt if you want to make your own curtains.)
They don't have a lot of options for sizes, but if you've got standard windows and need 84-inch curtains, they're a good source for trendy patterns or basic sheers.
Photo: Ravi Design