Is it Time to Give Your Home a Spring Makeover? The Right Window Treatments Can Refresh Any Room, Easily and Economically

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For Spring 2008, the experts at Smith+Noble are emphasizing bright color, natural materials, and fabrics specifically engineered for today's lifestyles

It's spring cleaning time again, as hints of warmer days to come motivate us - both in our wardrobes and our home furnishings -- to pack away wools and flannels in favor of cotton and linens. It's a combination of "out with the old" and "in with the new," and when it comes to what's newest in window fashions there's no better authority than Smith+Noble, America's leading retailer of custom window treatments for over 20 years.

For Spring 2008, the experts at Smith+Noble are emphasizing bright color, natural materials, and fabrics specifically engineered for today's lifestyles. And of course, in today's challenging economy, Smith+Noble anticipates consumers' desires for energy-saving and expense-reducing solutions.

In Fabric, Light & Bright is Right
Spring color palettes probably owe more to human nature than to fashion gurus: it just seems instinctual to replace winter's dark and somber tones with bright primary colors and soft pastels. Though we don't change our window dressing nearly as often as our dresses, the Smith+Noble Fabric Collection this season features 100s of colorful choices (in fact, over 1000 fabrics are available in their catalogs and online) that can be fashioned into a variety of styles in fabric shades, valances, panels and drapery. And this season, look especially for those fresh colors rendered in airy linens and rugged canvas or cotton; again a welcome change from winter-weight fabrics such as wool.

Bring the Great Outdoors In
Though warmer, longer days make us yearn to spend time out of doors, our busy schedules oftentimes make that impossible. On days when your only outdoor excursion is plodding from the parking lot to your office complex, Smith+Noble recommends coming home to a haven of natural beauty, to rooms decorated with airy and inviting reeds, bamboos and grasses. That's the appeal of Natural Woven shades, an immensely popular look that Smith+Noble pioneered a decade ago. Today the company offers natural woven shades in two styles, and dozens of materials including bamboo, reeds, grasses and woven blends. All materials come from very eco-friendly, renewable resources and the shades are crafted on hand-fed looms. Special processing techniques - including boiling, staining and smoking - create unique colors in the the finished woven wood shades which no one else offers.

Performance Fabrics for Today's Active Lives & Homes
For many, springtime's profusion of colorful blooms also triggers the onslaught of annoying allergies. Around the home, one place those harmful allergens - along with mold, mildew, pet dander and other culprits - is in the fabrics of our furniture, carpeting and window treatments.

Smith+Noble's stylish solution in window fashions is their new floral Hybrid and striped Lanai Collections of fabrics that can be custom-crafted into shades, panels, drapery, valances, bedding and decorative pillows. These performance fabrics are woven with special UV-rated, antimicrobial yarns that are both bacteria and stain resistant. And Smith+Noble offers these healthy benefits in fabrics of exceptional style and beauty that you won't see elsewhere. Though they are ideal in an outdoor setting, their great looks and soft feel make them appropriate for use in any room of the home.

Also for outdoor settings, Smith+Noble has introduced a Fusion Collection of 10 vibrant solid fabrics specially engineered to withstand heavy use and environmental abuse. Thanks to unique construction they repel stains, resist fading in direct sun, are easily cleaned, and are even fire retardant. The company also recommends these fabrics for kids' room, kitchens, dining and laundry rooms.

Like all of the 1000+ fabrics offered by Smith+Noble, these high-performance styles are also available (and reasonably priced) as yardage, so consumers can craft their own coordinating accent pieces.

Energy Savings are Welcome in Any Season
When it comes to energy consumption, many homeowners feel like they're in a "lose-lose" situation: just as winter heating costs start to fall, the thermometer goes up and the AC is switched on. In fact, for most folks heating a home in winter, and cooling it in summer, accounts for over 40% of their utility costs. Breaking those costs down, as much as 15% can be attributed to heat lost through windows in winter. And in the warm season, sun coming in windows makes air conditioning work 2 or 3 times harder than normal.

Fortunately, the folks at Smith+Noble have stylish solutions that can reduce your energy consumption, which saves you money and helps save the planet at the same time! Honeycomb cellular shades and high-tech Solar shades are both offered in the Smith+Noble catalogs and website. Honeycomb shades are terrific, light weight insulators since they rely on air pockets created by their unique cellular construction to create a barrier that keeps cold air out of a room in winter, warm air out in summer. Solar shades, which Smith+Noble offers in both a traditional roller shade style plus an elegant roman shade configuration, cut cooling costs by reducing heat transfer through your windows from the outdoors. They also effectively filter UV rays to save home furnishings, artwork and rugs from fading. The semi-sheer fabrics of Smith+Noble solar shades also dramatically cut glare in a room while preserving the view, even when lowered.

About Smith+Noble
Founded in 1987, Smith+Noble's corporate offices, customer support center and 200+ employees are located an hour east of Los Angeles in Corona, California. In the course of 20 years in business Smith+Noble has custom-crafted over eight million window treatments for America's finest homes and most discerning home owners. The company constantly searches the globe for innovative products and materials, and backs all sales with a Satisfaction Guarantee that's unique in the realm of custom-made products. To assist consumers in selecting the perfect window treatments for their needs, Smith+Noble customer service representatives receive extensive training on the style, operation and installation of every product. Smith+Noble is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI).

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Michelle Taguchi

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