Ask the Expert: Kara Roberts on picking window treatments

July 12, 2014 | By | Comments (1)

We asked Kara Roberts, merchandising director for Smith+Noble, for her expert advice on picking the right window treatments for your home.

Kara Roberts, Smith+Noble

Kara Roberts, Smith+Noble

My 5-year-old Labradoodle loves to look out of my windows in the living room, but he keeps getting his head stuck in my blinds. What is a better option to allow him to look with ease without making it too hot in the house? –Jean Pimm, Provo, UT

One option is solar shades, which provide excellent view-through with daytime privacy and UV protection. They also reduce glare and heat transfer. Darker materials offer better view-through, and the cordless lift option eliminates cords, making it safe for pets. Add a layer of drapery for added insulation and nighttime privacy.

An alternative is cordless OptiLight Shades, which provide view-through with the sheer lowered to the eye level of the dog, and the honeycomb on the bottom provides insulation.

We just bought a gorgeous painting for our dining room that has two walls of windows (south- and west-facing) and we don’t want it to fade in the sun. How can we keep it looking brand new? –Angela Bryant, Redding, CA

Try Solar Shades, which provide UV protection, while reducing glare and heat transfer and maintaining your view. Or you might try Honeycomb Shades, which diffuse light, offer privacy, provide UV protection, and insulate against the heat and the cold.

My fiancée and I just bought a house and are overwhelmed with window treatment options! We want to be able to control light and make our home more efficient, plus we’d like some color and pattern. What’s the best option for us? –Adam Coupar, Seattle, WA

Sheer shadings give you the light control options of a horizontal blind while providing color and slight pattern detail.  They can also be layered with side panels in a coordinating print. OptiLight Shades also give light control options with the sheer on top and honeycomb in light filtering or blackout on the bottom.  Add a coordinating fabric top treatment for pattern and color.


  1. Jessy Shaw

    I have been having similar problems with picking the right blinds! My husband and I live in Cambridge and we are having a hard time choosing the right blinds for our newly remodeled living room. We want something that will be safe for the pets but keep the house cool at the same time. Those solar shades sound interesting, I will have to do some more research. Thanks for sharing.

    July 7, 2015 at 9:15 am

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