Reprinted from House and Garden Magazine.
1. Ballard Designs
What we ordered: 84-In silk panels in Dutches Blue, lined with cotton.
Delivery: Overnight for $18 plus standard delivery charges.
Quality: The 2-inch flange above the rod pocket is a pretty detail.
Fast Track: Simple and Basic. No overnight delivery for online orders.
What we ordered: Tuscan Rose cotton panels with valance trimmed in pom-poms. $68 each.
Delivery: Overnight with a $24 charge; three days $19.
Quality: Not much in the way of frills but the price was right.
Fast Track: Perfect for a little girls bedroom.
What we ordered: Pink silk taffeta panels with red edge banding, lining, interlining and French pleats, $757.
Delivery: Our rush order arrived in one week with a $49 charge, but count on three to four weeks for fabric in stock.
Quality: Beautifully made to order.
Fast Track: Choose from 29 silks or 16 tasteful linens. Plain curtains may be ordered on the web, but for fancy touches you must call.
4. The Curtain Exchange
What we ordered: Mica silk taffeta embroidered panels in taupe, $1,795
Delivery: Grab-and-go, 80 designs at 22 stores nationwide. Custom orders in a mere two to four weeks.
Quality: Opulent, as you would expect for this price.
Fast Track: Big store selection, small-store convenience, allows 48-hour trial period.