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12 Of The Ugliest Things You Can Have In Your Home Are Any In Yours
There's ironic ugly—think intentionally tacky Christmas sweaters—and then there's ugly ugly. We're not sure where unlovely designs come from and why they inspire a collective cringe, but sadly, they often end up inside your home.
Sometimes awful objects are cleverly disguised as gifts from well-meaning friends. Other times ick is inherited from a taste-challenged aunt. Or quite possibly, a certain brand of ugliness came with the home when you bought it in the form of fixtures. Whatever the case, you might have grown so used to an unpleasant object around your house that it seems, if not beautiful, at least tolerable—but trust us, it isn't.
To help you identify (and, we hope, purge) the awful artifacts in your home, we've put together this helpful list of the ugliest things you might actually own.
People love their pets so much they sometimes grab paints and take up a brush to capture their animal's lovable personality on canvas, some of which now hang at the Museum of Bad Art. Alas, these pet owners overlook just one tiny thing—they have no artistic talent. It's best to chuck those bad paintings and take a nice photograph that'll do your pet justice. (If you insist.)
That singing Big Mouth Billy Bass above the fireplace and the joke-telling Rodney Dangerfield figure in the den? These battery-operated plastic novelties might seem like a great way to bring a laugh into a home, but their tinny wisecracks are bound to get old fast, like, 5 minutes after they go up on your wall.
Dolls are sweet and lovely in the hands of children. But when they sit—unplayed with—on chairs or stare out from beds, just collecting dust, they are frightening.
Yes, exercise machines are meant to be utilitarian and functional. That doesn't mean that some workout equipment found in the home isn't exceptionally hideous. Luckily, since most in-home gyms are rarely used, the unsightliness is usually hidden by exercise equipment's real use: a place to hang clothes.
Hard rock vases
Yes, you read that right, hard rock vases. Because nothing says "bang your head" like a vessel meant to lovingly display nature's colorful bounty—be it a cowboy boot emblazoned with the AC/DC band logo or a tall vase proudly rocking the Kiss band name. What type of flowers do these vases hold? Probably black, or dead, roses.
Complicated toilet seats
Go ahead, renovate your bathroom. Add some plush towels and maybe a colorful bathmat. But swapping out your tasteful toilet seat for one that is designed with faux gold and diamonds, purple leopard print, or an absolutely weird mess of kittens? No. Toilet seats should be functional. There are better ways—and places—to make a statement about your personality.
Despite the fact that no magazine called Decorating With Clowns exists, there are an awful lot of clown-inspired items for the home: figurines, portraits, and even inflatable models. And as was made painfully clear by Stephen King stories and an annual Halloween-inspired clown panic, clowns freak people out—present company included.
Call it what you will, a furbelow or a frill. But the gathering of cloth for no apparent reason is not just fussy, it can also be downright blech. These ruffles usually appear above windows in dreadful fabrics—a sad sight to see while doing the dishes.
Itchy throw blankets
The worst offenders in the ugly blanket department are the crocheted variety that come in colorful squares and zigzags.
Drop ceiling fluorescent lighting
Grid-style lighting is among the worst of 1980s decor, and it's stuck around almost 40 years now. But it's time to put a stake through the heart of this cumbersome box that hangs from the ceiling emitting unflattering light.
Paula figurines took the '70s by storm. A precursor to today's texts and emojis, each one had a cute, expressive character and a funny saying engraved on the base. There is just one problem—they aren't at all cute or funny.
Margaret Heidenry is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Boston Magazine.
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