Please go to our new link for Smith + Noble.
Classy DIY solutions. Smith & Noble used to be called Smith & Noble Windoware, and we were surprised when we went to review them that they have quietly grown into a windoware, rug and home decor company. While not offering scintillating design, they do offer a nice alternative to paying for expensive custom shades. You choose the shade, you do the measuring, you do the work and they'll send you exactly what you want.
Smith & Noble sells a wide range of windowware, from wood blinds, to solar shades, to honeycomb shades to curtain panels. They tend towards traditional and are noticeably absent modern, urban styles, but their solar shades come close. In our experience, they are very reliable and have excellent customer service...
Problems? We found that measuring windows for shades is tricky and on more than one occasion shades had to be returned. It can be done, just be careful! In addition, ordering off of their site can be confusing as there are so many choices to be made and color chips on the web are hard to read. You need to really know what you want in advance, and you will want to take advantage of their willingness to send you free swatches.
Finally, Smith & Noble is not cheap. A simple cotton canvas panel will cost you as much if not a little more than if you were to find it yourself at Pottery Barn or a similar store. Smith & Noble is not offering bargains, what they are offering is a wide range of choices so that you can choose exactly what you want. MGR
(ReEdited from 2004-07-27 - MGR)