“Even in paradise, things get ugly,” Retta points out.
In each of this show’s five episodes, she visits three homes and picks the worst of the trio. From these five finalists, an ultimate winner (or should we say loser?) will be selected to receive a $150,000 renovation from “Windy City Rehab” designer Alison Victoria.
In the fourth episode, “Ugly Homes of the Pacific,” Retta says, “This region has got a lot of pretty from California to Washington, but the ugly is lurking out there among the mountains, the lakes, and the beaches.”
And she’s right: These houses have some of the weirdest, most nonsensical features you’ve ever seen. Check them out—either for laughs or in case you might actually have one of them in your own home.
1. Linoleum floors, walls, and ceilings
Retta’s first stop is a truly obnoxious-looking house in her hometown of Los Angeles. Built in 1955, it has five bedrooms and two baths.
It’s also covered from floor to ceiling with linoleum. Literally. For some reason, the previous owner covered the floors, walls, and even some parts of the ceiling with this dated synthetic.
“At least it’s waterproof,” says Evan, a co-homeowner. “You can mop the floors and the walls at the same time.”
“I can’t with the linoleum! Literally, I feel like I have vertigo,” Retta cries.
2. Flimsy paneling
Next, Retta drives up to Susanville in Northern California, where homeowners Rob and Amber bought a really weird four-bedroom, three-bath home because it’s on Eagle Lake and has a gorgeous view. It’s not bad on the outside, but the inside reveals myriad flaws, including cheap paneling in every room but the kitchen.
This is not the nice wood paneling that could look beautiful painted white. This is the cheap, synthetic kind your grandparents might have had in their basement.
In fact, says Retta, “I don’t love it because I have plenty of it at my parents’ house.”
All the flimsy paneling would likely be the first thing Victoria rips out if these homeowners win.
3. Unsafe staircase
In this second home, there’s a trap door in the ceiling of the living room. When it’s open, a small, shaky drop-down staircase descends. It’s amazing that Retta, or anyone else, makes it to the second floor safely.
And get this: There’s not just a stuffy attic up there. There are also two bedrooms and a bathroom! An elevator was supposed to be installed when the original owners built the home, explains Rob.
The worst part is that there’s no way the staircase can be opened from upstairs. If it’s folded back up into the ceiling and the trap door is closed, whoever is up there is stuck. How did the original owners ever get this house permitted?
“This is like a murder house,” says Retta.
4. A red room
One of those upstairs bedrooms is small and stuffy, made to feel even more cramped by red carpeting on the floors, red curtains, and rough, red-tinted wood paneling on the walls.
“The red carpet, the red drapes, the red wood—it’s like ‘REDRUM,'” Retta says.
5. A room without a view
The final stop on Retta’s tour of the Pacific states is Grants Pass in Oregon wine country, where Beth and Casey have bought a small home originally built by a “mushroom scientist.” (No one will say what kind of mushrooms he was growing there, but we can take a wild guess.)
They purchased the property for the gorgeous green farmland, but unfortunately, there are no windows on the main floor looking out on it. There are some windows on the side of the house, but they’re part of a stifling, hot sunroom where no one can bear to spend any time—even the plants in there died.
“Casey says sometimes he feels like he’s in the hull of a ship,” says Beth.
“You can’t even see the 20 acres of paradise on the outside because you have no windows,” Retta laments, giving a clear indication of what Victoria would do with that sweaty sunroom if she ever got her hands on it.
Which house is the ugliest of all?
As many flaws as all of these homes have, the one that comes out worst is the “Linoleum Ranch” in Los Angeles, probably because it’s a hot mess inside and out.
“All that square footage of linoleum,” Retta says, shaking her head. We have to agree.