The scene: Chicago magazine conference room. The cast: a couple of WGN staffers, Shelterrific blogger Katie Donbavand, me, and some Tile Shop folks, fresh off the plane from HQ in Minnesota. (They brought beer! A local brew called Lakemaid.) Our task: to find the ugliest bathroom in the Chicago area. Some 300 Chicago-area homeowners submitted photos or video of their sorry bathrooms, and made a case for winning the prize from The Tile Shop: all new tile and fixtures for a new bathroom, valued up to $50,000. You may ask: what qualifies a person to judge an ugly bathroom contest? And I would answer that I’m not sure, but we knew ugly when we saw it, what was workable and what was atrocious. Mostly we agreed. A few entries we reviewed were deemed just not ugly enough. The stories were good, and so many people seemed truly deserving of a new bath. In the end, we chose the entry shown above, belonging to Suzanne and Matt Witt of Evergreen Park. The Witts bought the home seven months ago from an owner who had lived there 30 years. It shows: The bathroom floor is covered with pink linoleum square tiles, circa 1960s. The walls are covered in a combination of green and light yellow plastic tiles, some missing. The shower stall is built with a plastic surround with stubborn mold. The Witts, who are expecting a baby, will take on the project themselves, with design help from The Tile Shop. We spread the love around: Rich Richter of Rolling Meadows won all new tile to remodel his classic 1970s gold bathroom, and Jennifer Healy of Palatine won a $500 gift certificate from The Tile Shop to remodel her lime green bathroom. All in all, good clean fun!

—JAN PARR

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A Big Bucket of Ugly

The scene: Chicago magazine conference room. The cast: a couple of WGN staffers, Shelterrific blogger Katie Donbavand, me, and some Tile Shop folks, fresh off the plane from HQ in Minnesota. (They brought beer! A local brew called Lakemaid.) Our task: to find the ugliest bathroom in the Chicago area. Some 300 Chicago-area homeowners submitted photos or video of their sorry bathrooms, and made a case for winning the prize from The Tile Shop: all new tile and fixtures for a new bathroom, valued up to $50,000. You may ask: what qualifies a person to judge an ugly bathroom contest? And I would answer that I’m not sure, but we knew ugly when we saw it, what was workable and what was atrocious. Mostly we agreed. A few entries we reviewed were deemed just not ugly enough. The stories were good, and so many people seemed truly deserving of a new bath. In the end, we chose the entry shown above, belonging to Suzanne and Matt Witt of Evergreen Park. The Witts bought the home seven months ago from an owner who had lived there 30 years. It shows: The bathroom floor is covered with pink linoleum square tiles, circa 1960s. The walls are covered in a combination of green and light yellow plastic tiles, some missing. The shower stall is built with a plastic surround with stubborn mold. The Witts, who are expecting a baby, will take on the project themselves, with design help from The Tile Shop. We spread the love around: Rich Richter of Rolling Meadows won all new tile to remodel his classic 1970s gold bathroom, and Jennifer Healy of Palatine won a $500 gift certificate from The Tile Shop to remodel her lime green bathroom. All in all, good clean fun!

The scene: Chicago magazine conference room. The cast: a couple of WGN staffers, Shelterrific blogger Katie Donbavand, me, and some Tile Shop folks, fresh off the plane from HQ in Minnesota. (They brought beer! A local brew called Lakemaid.) Our task: to find the ugliest bathroom in the Chicago area. Some 300 Chicago-area homeowners submitted photos or video of their sorry bathrooms, and made a case for winning the prize from The Tile Shop: all new tile and fixtures for a new bathroom, valued up to $50,000. You may ask: what qualifies a person to judge an ugly bathroom contest? And I would answer that I’m not sure, but we knew ugly when we saw it, what was workable and what was atrocious. Mostly we agreed. A few entries we reviewed were deemed just not ugly enough. The stories were good, and so many people seemed truly deserving of a new bath. In the end, we chose the entry shown above, belonging to Suzanne and Matt Witt of Evergreen Park. The Witts bought the home seven months ago from an owner who had lived there 30 years. It shows: The bathroom floor is covered with pink linoleum square tiles, circa 1960s. The walls are covered in a combination of green and light yellow plastic tiles, some missing. The shower stall is built with a plastic surround with stubborn mold. The Witts, who are expecting a baby, will take on the project themselves, with design help from The Tile Shop. We spread the love around: Rich Richter of Rolling Meadows won all new tile to remodel his classic 1970s gold bathroom, and Jennifer Healy of Palatine won a $500 gift certificate from The Tile Shop to remodel her lime green bathroom. All in all, good clean fun!

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