Contest

Here we are again, at the end of an excellent year for celebrating the most dubious of home improvements. We’ve seen revolting home interiors, botched paint jobs, grotesque house exteriors and raunchy furniture. As the year closes up like puckering lips under the mistletoe, let’s dump out the foulest examples and say good riddance, 2011!

The ugliest fence

Photo by Rick's Fencing

Photo by Rick's Fencing

There are lots of contenders but few winners. Oregon’s Rick’s Fencing chose this Corvallis fence as the worst of the year in its annual contest. If good fences make good neighbors, avoid living next door to this place. The homeowner (mercifully unnamed here) won “100 feet of free fencing materials” from Rick’s.

Arresting door of the year

Photo by New Jersey.com

Photo by New Jersey.com

Ohio police officer Michael Cleary submitted this photo to New Jersey.com’s annual ugly door contest. One voter remarked: “I expect that door to open and Liberace to be standing there.” Since Liberace passed in 1987, I reckon he would easily look better than the door. If this photo isn’t enough to induce vomiting, watch five minutes of any movie with Ashton Kutcher.

Tackiest lamp of the year

Photo by Find Great Stuff

Photo by Find Great Stuff

A Tennessee woman created this lamp for a single Gatlinburg man in the hopes of keeping him warm on winter nights. I’d prefer setting a bonfire on the sofa and singing “Tenting Tonight”  to my ferret.

Fixer-urper

Photo by Milwaukee Rennaisance

Photo by Milwaukee Rennaisance

The wood may still be salvageable underneath the siding in this most-foul of outdoor treatments. I’d recommend running a jackhammer across the surface and then dynamiting the rest of the place.

Worst carpet of the decade

Photo by Las Vegas Carpets

Photo by Las Vegas Carpets

Earlier this year, I ran a retrospective of ugly carpets from Vegas. This is what you call a “throw rug”; you roll it up and throw it in the dumpster.

Here’s to a New Year luxuriant in décor and dazzling with fine taste. But I doubt it!

Inside Kentucky’s Unique, Ugliest-Lamp Contest

Oh, take me down the Dixie Highway into Louisville and the Kentucky State Fair! Every August the local favorite, Lynn’s Paradise Café, sponsors the Ugliest-Lamp Contest that rounds up some of the more depressing examples of poor taste anyone could want — no matter which side of the Mason-Dixon Line you call home.

Photo by Tumblr

Photo by Tumblr

The contest pays homage to astonishingly homely lamps in three categories: Born Ugly, Made Ugly, or Leg Lamp (Glam Gam). That means if you can find a decent lamp and render it ugly, you qualify for category two. But, friends, what does that say about you?

Leave the love light burning

Photo by Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Photo by Kentucky Department of Agriculture

The photo of this winning entry comes from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. This unique winner in the Born Ugly category captured the blue-ribbon for “ugliest of the uglies”. You might could call it a distinction.

Going nuts over lamps

Photo by Conrad Reynolds

Photo by Conrad Reynolds

Yes, practically anything goes at the KY Fair. But not everything! Louisville.com cites the rules: “No religious, political or sexually themed lamps, lamps must be in working order, lamps must be safe to move (i.e. no barbed wire or broken glass, etc.), and lamps must be of a weight that a human being can move them — no fork lifts!”

Decorating with altered states

Photo by Jessica Elliott

Photo by Jessica Elliott

This photo by Jessica Elliott shows the depth to which Kentuckians are willing to plummet to convert a decent, ordinary lamp into an objets d′art that will take deliberate forgetting. By the way, the winner earns a free breakfast a week at sponsor Lynn’s Paradise Café.

Worth a thousand ugly pictures

Photo by D. P. Lee

Photo by D. P. Lee

I know pictures say more than words, but humor me a moment and read the descriptions for some of the 2010 winners. Let your imagination fly.

  • Mark & Denise Wicker, Elizabethtown, KY – Medieval-looking with furry brown shade
  • Judy Lloyd, Jeffersonville, IN – Parrot lamp with teal shade
  • Tanya Walker, Crestwood, KY – Ralphie Lamp with moving head
  • Glenn Alcorn, Sheperdsville, KY – Pole Dancer Lamp

Simply inspirational!

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)

    Ben

  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.