We know, we know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that. But sometimes? Well, sometimes you have to just admit that something is really, really ugly.
Such is the case of a Manassas home that just won season three of HGTV design show Ugliest House in America. The series takes viewers on a tour of—you guessed it—some of the least-attractive homes in the country. In the final episode, they crown a winner that receives a $150,000 design makeover.
So why did this Virginia spot take home the gold, beating out other houses with names like the Patchwork Opossum Pad and the Crystal Death Trap?
Well, probably because it looked like the home of your very religious great-aunt who never bought anything new after 1983. The original space, which The Prince William Times reports an adult family of four purchased in 2021 to live in together, had 42 angels and cherubs in various places—on the mantel, in a stained-glass window, incorporated into a chandelier, etc. (And that’s after the family already removed more than 100 of the figurines.) Hence HGTV’s nickname for it: “House of the Gilded Angel.”
Emphasis on “gilded”: Before the makeover, the home also had ornate tin ceilings, gaudy wallpaper, and crystal chandeliers dangling everywhere. And, in its pièce de résistance, it also had a 150-gallon fish tank in the basement.
Of course, post-makeover, the home whispers the kind of bland tastefulness HGTV is known for, a look so carefully constructed to be inoffensive that it leaves you feeling as if you could be anywhere: a model home in Topeka, Kansas; the lobby of a freshly built Comfort Suites just off the highway.
Which leaves us with the question: Which was better—the originality of the angel-filled house, or the run-of-the-mill style of the new one? Perhaps that’s a more existential piece of pondering left for another day. But we do have to wonder…where did they put all the gold cherub statues? Asking for a friend.