The definition of a window mistreatment was first coined by my decorating heroine, The Nester. She started blogging about window mistreatments years ago, but I like to believe that women have been mistreating windows since before time began :) By mistreatment I don't mean women beating their windows with a baseball bat (though that would be hilarious). I mean decorating your windows at a low cost using as little sewing as possible. The official Nester definition of a mistreatment is as follows:
Mistreatment: (n). covering for a window that is quick, cheap and pretty. may or may not need hardware does not require sewing. a real designer’s worst nightmare.
Mistreating: (v). the act of treating a window with dignity and respect without use of the following: hundreds of dollars, sewing, time, crying, divorce, child neglect…
My friend Rachel was visiting me from Tennessee a few weekends ago and she had just hung the most beautiful mistreatment. No curtain rod required...just tacked it directly to the door! And...she used French Country fabric...it's so beautiful I about fell out the first time I saw a picture of it! I made her send me those fabo photos of her mistreatment so I could share its beauty with the world ;o) Don'tcha just love it? I seriously want to have a tea and crumpets party right beside her mistreatment...I would be in heaven. Thanks, Rach, for sharing!
As I went to the fabric store (The Fabric Emporium located beside the Old Mt. Pleasant Wally World) yesterday trying to finish up a last minute addition to our soon to be revealed guest room, the ladies that work at this wonderful place claimed that they were looking for someone with a little upholstery experience. They knew that I had reupholstered a chair for my guest room and half-heartedly offered me a reupholstery job. Mercy. What were they thinking? I've only reupholstered two chairs...ever. One was a disaster and the other was a success. Definitely nothing to brag about for sure. I have to believe they were joking about the position because a) they don't know me from Adam b) they've never seen my work (my two very simple chairs) c) they don't know that I'm a product of The Nester, the queen of cutting corners and d) they most certainly don't know my history of reupholstering a chair using a glue gun, along with hanging window mistreatments using clothes pins and potato chip clips. I wanted to share my dirty little mistreatment secrets with them right then and there, but I saved myself the embarrassment and went along my merry way.
As I got home that evening, I was thinking why in the world was I embarrassed to share my story? Why couldn't I tell these classically trained designer ladies the truth about my sewing secrets? I think it's because I take pleasure in knowing that I can create something that looks like something they, the expert designers, would make...but I can do it at a third of the cost. Have you ever seen the Pixar movie, Ratatouille? The main theme throughout the movie was "anybody can cook." What I'm here to say to you is that you don't have to be a classically trained designer in order to decorate. If you know how to operate a glue gun, hammer some nails in a wall, and gather fabric using a safety pin, you are well on your way! Please don't think that I'm saying never hire a decorator. I love professional decorators (the non-snooty kind) and secretly envy their job. If I could go back to school and do it all over again, I'd probably want to be classically trained too. And...I love those decorator ladies at The Fabric Emporium. They aren't snooty like the ladies from the "other" decorator store. The Emporium ladies are so helpful and even have some wonderful ideas to share...and I love that their prices are perfect (ahem, cheap) for my kind of decorating. But, for the time being, I believe I'll go on letting these women think that I'm just as talented as they are...It's our little secret ;o)
So, if you're thinking about decorating with fabric, now is your chance! You can be a decorator too...make a quick trip to the Fabric Emporium, use your imagination, work with what you have, and bust out that glue gun ASAP! For inspiration, here are some pics of the window mistreatments that are hung at our house. All the trim is hot glued...and don'tcha just love my potato chip clips ;)
If you have some mistreatments that you'd like to share, email me at email@example.com and I'll post them on my blog!