Good Prices On Curtains And Shades.- Impossible Installation
Jan 16, 2003 (Updated Nov 8, 2004)
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UPDATE ON 2/15/04
Based on my prior good experience at Smith and Noble, I ordered three more honeycomb shades and one roller shade. The honeycomb shades came with brackets that were different than the ones I got with my first order described below. I had great difficulty screwing the brackets into the window frame. Even worse: the directions indicated that the shade was supposed to "snap" into the brackets. After 2 frustrating hours screwing in six brackets in two windows (with the proper tools, power drill and all) - I then proceeded to try to "snap" the shade into the bracket space. After an hour and a torn $200 shade later, I could not get them to "snap" into place. The instructions had a "troubleshooting" section that offered only this advice: if you have trouble installing the shade, make sure the brackets are aligned. My brackets were aligned with NASA-like precision. Still, no snap. After several days I was able to calm down. I finally figured out that the screws that came with the brackets were too large and the head of the screw, even when completely screwed in, blocked the shade from snapping in place. I had to unscrew all of the brackets, go to the hardware store for new screws and restart the whole process. All in all, the honeycomb shades cost me $470, a massive blood pressure increase, over ten hours of install time and probably created a need for therapy.
Two months later I was finally ready to try to install the roller shade. The brackets installed with no problem. Then I put on the shade and pulled it down. It made a horrible mechanical noise and refuses to be retracted. It was completely inoperable out of the box.
I have to revise my rating to give this company one star. I wish I could give it less.
One of my favorite pass times is looking at design magazines and decorating my home. However, I am constantly hindered from my decorating dreams by my budget. This frustration led me to Smith & Noble (www.smithandnoble.com). This company offers an amazing variety of custom curtains and shades, pillows and bedspreads at very competitive prices. We ordered a very large shade from Smith & Noble and loved the result.
There is a huge selection of window treatments. They have:
Shades: bamboo and rattan, fabrics, honeycombs, verticals and horizontals, flat and roman.
Blinds: wood, fake wood and metal.
Curtains: valances, panels, cafe and many other styles.
Drapery hardware: rods, poles and rings in a variety of finishes.
Other window coverings include shutters and cornices.
They also have coordinating rugs, pillows and bedspreads.
Smith & Noble offers many, many fabric choices in both traditional and modern styles. Some fabrics come in groupings so you can select some that coordinate. Fabric groupings include: Midtown, Old World Elegance, Tradewinds, Bohemian Spice among others. The Company will also make certain items with fabric provided by the customer.
WEB SITE OPERATION
The company has both a catalog and a web site. The catalog can give some good ideas but the web site has the full range of items the company offers. There are many web only items.
The web site has lots of pages with decorating suggestions. It is very helpful if you need guidance and are looking for a place to start.
Moving around the web site is not entirely intuitive. The first thing to do is to sign in. Once you do that, you can save pictures and your window measurements on the site. Since the price of the window coverings depends on the window size, you can't get an accurate price until you enter your measurements.
Moving around the site takes a lot of backing up and starting over. They could probably organize all of their information better, however the site is still usable and functional.
We needed a new shade for a large window in our family room. We measured the window and shopped the catalog for ideas. I played around on the site for a while because the window was large enough that it was hard to find a shade to fit. We finally found a honeycomb blind. After measuring and remeasuring the window, we ordered the shade. The shade arrived packed very well exactly on time.
The directions to install the shade were included in the shipment. They were easy to understand. We needed a drill to install the brackets that held the shade. The installation went very smoothly and took less than half an hour. The shade looked great and was better than promised.
You can order 10 swatches from the Company for $5. There is no charge for shipping. The $5 can be applied to a future order.
SHIPPING / CUSTOMER SERVICE
There is no charge for shipping any of the products. Most orders are custom work and take a few days to leave the warehouse.
There is a customer service toll-free line that is very helpful. The web site will offer a lot of cues to help you fill in the order. Our order was complicated because the window was large and an odd size. The web site offered a lot of pointers.
If you sign up for e-mail notifications, you will get occasional e-mails offering rebates off shades, free shipping and other deals. The same deals are usually included in the catalog.
This company offers rebates through Upromise and Ebates.
This is a great company for the do-it-yourselfer. You need some courage because you have to measure and install the window treatments yourself. On the other hand, the prices are much lower than what you would pay a decorator or other places that do the install and measuring for you.
We had a great experience and the customer service and web site were helpful. We have had the shade for over 6 months and it is great quality and looks better than the pictures in the catalog.
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP ON THE INTERNET? HERE ARE SOME MORE REVIEWS OF WEB STORES:
Clothing and Accessories: Talbots; The Gap; CWD Kids; Hanna Andersson; J. Jill; Tote Le Monde ; Blu Pyxie ; Miniboden; One Hanes Place; Nordstrom; Gymboree; Simple Shoes; Sierra Blue; Ebags.
Clothing and Home Goods: Lands End; Bluefly; Soft Surroundings; Garnet Hill; Sundance; L.L. Bean.
Home and Garden: Restoration Hardware; Gardeners Supply Company; Unicahome; Homeclick; FaucetDirect; Gardens Alive; West Elm; Crate & Barrel; MyKnobs; CB2.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping; Buy.com.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Discount: Overstock.com; Target.
Photo Developing: Shutterfly; Snapfish.
Baby Stuff: Babystyle; Babys Here Birth Announcements; Baby Universe; SoZo.
Miscellaneous: 1-800 contacts; Movie Tickets.com; Drugstore.com.
Rebate Sites: Upromise; Ebates.
What product did you purchase or try to purchase? shades
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