Caption This: A House That Loves Paint

by hookedonhouses on January 28, 2010

painted house 1

When it comes to Bad MLS photos, I thought I’d seen it all. Then a reader named Jan sent me these. She says that that it started life as a cookie-cutter condo in Des Moines, Iowa. Well, there’s nothing cookie-cutter about it now. There are few surfaces that haven’t been painted here–even the front door has been so camouflaged that it must be difficult for visitors to find the exit.

painted house-kitchen

Apparently the homeowner really loves paint…and Jesus. The rest remains a mystery. (And maybe it’s better that way.)

painted house 2

How would you caption this listing?

If this hasn’t scared you too much, visit my Bad MLS Photos page to see more strange things spotted in the real estate listings.

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Becky January 28, 2010 at 8:31 am

I think the heavens opened and the angels…threw up.

karin January 28, 2010 at 8:43 am

uh….wow. I’m speechless.

Cashon & Co. January 28, 2010 at 8:51 am

i think there were drugs involved.
call me crazy.

Oregonsun January 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

All I can say is that I am glad that I don’t live there!

Nancy January 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

It’s hard to believe that someone would actually list their condo with it looking like this.

DesignTies January 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

Jesus and the Amazingly Awful Technicolour House of Extreme Horror.

Really, there are no words to describe this mess.

I love colour, but there’s such a thing as RESTRAINT people!!!


Beth January 28, 2010 at 8:58 am

Oy vey.

Janet January 28, 2010 at 8:59 am

That one takes the cake ( and spits it back up)! Just awful!!
.-= Janet´s last blog ..PONDERING =-.

Leah January 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

You know, I don’t think the idea of paining lively swirls of color all over the walls is necessarily bad in itself. I like when people do unusual things with their houses. This fails, imo, because as a whole it is lacking in anchoring, coordination, and neatness.

Sorry, can’t think of a caption, lol.

Lili January 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

I would caption it :Yipes! lol. I mean… I MIGHT buy it for 10 bucks, but by the time you painted…uh…everything…. you would have to sink a good chunk into it. Unbelievable.

Lili January 28, 2010 at 9:16 am

Sorry, and as a side note, there are like… 5 different couches, and none of them match each other-or the walls for that matter. And I agree that drugs MAY have had something to do with it…I don’t know where Jesus came in, poor thing. But He loves even the strangest of people.

Stephanie January 28, 2010 at 9:20 am

Out of the cookie cutter, into the crayon box!
.-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Why do I continue to subject myself? Why? =-.

julienne January 28, 2010 at 9:30 am

A home for the frustrated artist!!!!!
Do you need some colour in your life?
For when neutrals just don’t cut it
Worried about the children painting on the walls? Then Don’t here
A few captions perhaps. I couldn’t live in it but the first two photos have a certain charm!!!!! Julienne

linda@LimeintheCoconut January 28, 2010 at 9:31 am

Jesus, spray paint and acid. The holy trinity.
.-= linda@LimeintheCoconut´s last blog ..And…since we didn’t win the lottery… =-.

Janell Beals January 28, 2010 at 9:36 am

I’ve only had one sip of coffee and just waking up…I believe these pictures have actually given me a headache!! And I only had to look at them for two seconds. To live there would be insane, what are the chances of this selling?! How will you ever top this listing?
.-= Janell Beals´s last blog ..A Change Of Plans =-.

Nate @ LaurelStreet January 28, 2010 at 9:44 am

This is so far beyond tragic we’re going to need some Germans to come up with a new word for it.
.-= Nate @ LaurelStreet´s last blog ..Slipcover your laptop (plus, a little anniversary) =-.

Mary Peterson January 28, 2010 at 9:44 am

“Needs fresh paint”!

Kim January 28, 2010 at 9:48 am

Looks like a bunch of pre-schoolers were let loose with the finger paints. Yikes! I can’t imagine the stress one would feel standing in the room with all that busyness around them…I’d be sick!!! Thanks for sharing…it gave me a good laugh and encouraged me that my own decorating isn’t quite so bad. =)
.-= Kim´s last blog ..Writer’s Block =-.

Sara January 28, 2010 at 9:49 am

Oooooookay then………… The only positive about the paint it that it takes the eye away from those couches….

Holly January 28, 2010 at 9:53 am

Wow. That’s something. You know, the first photo kind of puts me in mind of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. But I don’t think this one would be considered a masterpiece. It did occur to me that maybe they wanted to camouflage all that bad 80s furniture…even the green ginger jar lamp and the enormous console TV scream 1980. You just can’t hear them because of the walls!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno January 28, 2010 at 10:04 am

Oh NO! Was this seriously on the market? For reals? Well, the solution is simple. Take down all the light fixtures, tape off the appliances and flooring and get ten guys in there to spray down the entire place with KILZ and paint! Or, just burn it all down and start over. That may be quicker.
.-= Sara @ Russet Street Reno´s last blog ..Reader Reno – A Patio from Colorado =-.

Cori Heffernan January 28, 2010 at 10:06 am

High ceilings with a lovely loft, open kitchen and the decor? Early American Jesus Country Cottage Crazy. There isn’t enough primer in the world……

Cammie January 28, 2010 at 10:13 am

Finger painting gone bad.

Sarah @ Dream In Domestic January 28, 2010 at 10:18 am

I can only imagine the amount of money lost when trying to sell this house. Can you imagine trying to paint over all of that? Painting over it will probably result in uneven walls (not to mention tons of layers of primer and paint to start all over). Even the ceilings would need to be repainted. Nope, I would run away fast if I ever saw this house in person.
.-= Sarah @ Dream In Domestic´s last blog ..Think About It Thursday: Why Do We Have So Much Stuff? =-.

Sarah @ Dream In Domestic January 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

Oh, and to caption this – No need for art when the whole house is an abstract painting.
.-= Sarah @ Dream In Domestic´s last blog ..Think About It Thursday: Why Do We Have So Much Stuff? =-.

black eyed susans kitchen January 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

If I were writing this up, I would say that it is an artists abode, conducive to creativity. I wouldn’t tell the prospective clients that they will be nauseous when they walk in…maybe I would give them sun glasses to wear. Wow, what were those people thinking??
.-= black eyed susans kitchen´s last blog ..DINNER FOR ONE WITH BEATRIX POTTER =-.

greenie January 28, 2010 at 10:21 am

“Fully furnished condo for sale. Colorful interiors. Just bring your crack-pipe.”

In all seriousness, I think their are mental problems involved in this. I mean really…

MAH January 28, 2010 at 10:21 am

Hey man, bad trip man, Peace!

Jamie January 28, 2010 at 10:58 am

Oh dear…. I feel sorry for that realtor.
.-= Jamie´s last blog ..Cold feet =-.

RLG January 28, 2010 at 10:59 am

Thank you, Julie, for this timely post. My house looks glorious today b/c of this post! LMAO I feel so bad for the agent. xoxo
.-= RLG´s last blog ..Office Space =-.

Jackie W. January 28, 2010 at 10:59 am

Lived in Iowa for 3 loooong winters & that is exactly how I felt the whole time !

Janelle January 28, 2010 at 10:59 am

“Jackson Pollack ain’t got nothin’ on this guy!”

Wouldn’t that be like living inside a headache?

RLG January 28, 2010 at 10:59 am

Julia. Not Julie. Typo. :)
.-= RLG´s last blog ..Office Space =-.

Vickie January 28, 2010 at 11:14 am

FOR SALE: Tweakers Paradise! Perfect for ex Hippies with flashback disorder or family with budding graffiti artists!

Nathan January 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

Oh my Geeze. That is so hideous. Minus the (ugly, but in tact) furniture, it looks like one of those condemned houses that are taken over by street people and gangs and stuff. I didn’t even realize the furnishings in the living room at first. All I could see was the paint job. Yikes. How many coats of primer/paint do you think it would take to cover this completely? lol

greenie January 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

oops…”there” not “their”…typo…can’t believe i did that..

Rachel January 28, 2010 at 11:27 am

This is a bad advertisement for crayola, that’s for sure. All I could say was “GOOD HEAVENS”. I mean really, professional paint crew needed. :)
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Outdoor Fun =-.

Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury January 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

Wow. I’m kind of in awe of that person’s willingness to just go for it… and almost in love with the ceiling in the first pic. I want to meet the person who did it and get a peek into his/her brain for a few minutes. (only for a few minutes because I fear they might be scary and insane, but interesting nonetheless)
I would not want to be their realtor though! I wonder how many turned down the listing before one finally took it on as a “unique property” with “great bones” and “potential for transformation”.
.-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..A Few More City Farmhouses, Jill Brinson and 21 Things You Need =-.

Kelly R. January 28, 2010 at 11:38 am

I’m pretty sure that this is what schizophrenia looks like.

Cathryn January 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

“Sybill kept coloring the inside of the condo she was trapped in, although she never did find the purple crayon.”
“The great 2009 Thanksgiving broo-haha had actually begun two weeks earlier when Ethel’s mother-in-law remarked that she might have taken her ‘test new wall colors by using paint samples’ too far. Again.”
“Unknown to the general public, Ringling Bros. had established a Clown Safe House to help Midwesterner youths who needed more color in their lives. Running away to the circus had just gotten a little easier.”

Cathryn January 28, 2010 at 11:52 am

Oh, how inconsistent! They didn’t paint the loft railing. It throws the whole room off balance.

Jocelyn Stott January 28, 2010 at 11:58 am

Oh my goodness. This is something else. I don’t even know what to say except that there is no way that I could ever really relax in that house.
.-= Jocelyn Stott´s last blog ..Thanks, Mom =-.

Darla January 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

Or they committed a mass murder and couldn’t get it cleaned up.

Carol January 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I would caption this one “I still think I’m living in my parents basement”.

AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottage January 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Holy cow! I know I shouldn’t be shocked, but WOW.
.-= AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottage´s last blog ..Giveaway! Lisa Leonard Designs =-.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger January 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm


.-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Vintage Beauty =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now January 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm

“Lord, hear our prayer. This house is sinfully awful looking. Please let it sell quickly so the new owners can bring some style to it.”
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..In Case You’re Wondering What I’m Good At =-.

Pascale January 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Seeing this, I immediately thought of an Art Journaling project gone bad! However, I think this decorating concept (meaning, abstract painting on walls) could possibly work with more restraint (more “subdued,” like the ceiling), better quality, non-glossy, non-textured paints, and with the right kind of furniture…
.-= Pascale´s last blog ..We found a house…I think (01-19-10) =-.

Joan January 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Inside a migraine…. oy.
.-= Joan´s last blog ..The Island Home … =-.

margaret January 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm

This is your home on meth.

Bonnie Mattson January 28, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Fixer upper and yes, a price reduction has already been applied! In fact, they will pay you to take it off their hands!
.-= Bonnie Mattson´s last blog ..Love Is In The Air =-.

devil January 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Even Jesus couldn’t forgive this. He wouldn’t live here, either.

The listing agent must be very desperate, blind or taking the same mind-altering drugs as the owner.

Amy at The Red Chair Blog January 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm

“Inclusive Color Scheme…”
.-= Amy at The Red Chair Blog´s last blog ..A Free, Printable Decluttering Tool =-.

Derek January 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm

First of all….. MY EYES! MY EYES!

This house has got to be the home of a graffitti artist with way to much time and money. And has a thing for collecting random sofas and putting them all in the same room.
Why do I feel like grandma died and left her condo to a teenager, with an acid addiction?

Liz January 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Jesus and the sofas look a little frightened.

Cyndi January 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Uh, someone please call Ty Pennington. This condo definitely needs an “extreme makeover”!

As far as a caption goes, words fail me!
.-= Cyndi´s last blog ..Thrifting is Good! =-.

Kirk January 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

What the —?!?. This has to be indicative of some kind of mental illness. I’m not joking. Really, I’m not. Nobody in their right mind defaces a property like this. Taste is subjective but this isn’t even close to a difference in preference. Something is seriously wrong with the resident of this “home”. Honestly, I think a blind person could get a headache from being in this space. How would I caption it?

Move in ready – if you are insane!

Puna January 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Oh my Lord, where in the world do you find this stuff? Jesus Himself is offended.
.-= Puna´s last blog ..My Kitchen – Again =-.

Polly January 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm

SOOOOO beyond “bad” … oh my hell!
.-= Polly´s last blog ..A new ride. =-.

Laura January 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I am speechless!! It’s… it’s….. oh my heavens it is beyond words.

mishelle January 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Ok obviously the person who owned this is manic. I am not being cruel, i just think this is exactly how they see the world in there eyes. And they EXPRESSED it. Now the realtor who took these and listed it , may need to look for a new job…..
.-= mishelle´s last blog ..AAH MUCH BETTER! =-.

Meg January 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Yikes someone took some hard-core drugs.
Magical Mystery Flat.

Kim January 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I don’t even have the words….

Susie Q January 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Whoa…I agree. Manic. Definitely manic. And after listing this house like this? The realtor will need help as well…oye!
.-= Susie Q´s last blog ..Simply Sweet =-.

Jen @ After The Alter January 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm

oh my goodness!!! I can’t even imagine how someone would even BEGIN to sell this house!

Kim January 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I think I am going to puke. Maybe this person ended up in a mental institute and that’s why the home is on the market. Makes you wonder what went on behind these closed doors. Not even a ghost would want to dwell here.

Lorissa January 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

“He realized that perhaps storing his giant aerosol spray paint collection next to the fireplace was a bad idea”

I can’t explain the rest of the house, however. I have so many questions. What is with all the couches? And the “Jesus” posters? And who would buy this and have to repaint over all of it? (but it WOULD make for some great before and after pictures!)
.-= Lorissa´s last blog ..Last Week-Unedited =-.

Tabitha January 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm

WHOA!!!…Looks like hubbie lost the condo in the divorce and the misses refuses to clean up after him…AGAIN!
My thought is not how insanely stupid the home owner was to do such a travesty…but does the realtor not have any brains left in his/her head!!!…Go watch Design to Sell!!!
.-= Tabitha´s last blog ..Sparkling Clean Tub =-.

Blakely January 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm

how would you like to live next door ?
.-= Blakely´s last blog ..Tired =-.

anna see January 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Wow! Thanks for sharing, I think.

Would pay real money to see a before and after on this one!
.-= anna see´s last blog ..Repeat After Me: "I am a strong, capable woman…"* =-.

Annie@A View on Design January 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Just say No!
.-= Annie@A View on Design´s last blog ..Daylesford Dreaming =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints January 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Wow…I’m speechless really!
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Rekindled love =-.

angela January 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Goodness, I love Jesus too but for the love of heaven… I guess my listing would read as follows:

Van Gogh and Polluck lovers; here is a lovely little dwelling ready for those not afraid of color.
Sorry, sofas not included.
.-= angela´s last blog ..Follow me on Spitter… =-.

Beth@The Stories of A2Z January 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm

He loves paint, Jesus, and psychotropic substances! Good grief. What a nightmare. I just stumbled upon this blog that had me laughing out loud with all the horrible MSL listing pics. Sooooo funny and this picture would have fit right in.
.-= Beth@The Stories of A2Z´s last blog ..Organizing My Home "Office" =-.

Jane January 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I don’t think that picture on the mantle is Jesus. I think it’s Charles Manson! I wish I was kidding.

Jannie June 28, 2011 at 5:18 pm

That’s exactly what I thought.

That’s not Jesus…It’s Charles Manson!!

Beckie January 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm

“Perfect for Methodone Clinic; Move-in Ready!”

Do you notice a continuing theme in my comments? I really don’t do drugs, except for the prescribed ones for post-menopausal, arthritic, anxiety plagued women!
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

Beckie January 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm

It is Charles Manson’s picture on the mantel & the one in the corner of the last picture.
.-= Beckie´s last blog ..Sweet Sleep =-.

Vicki January 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Wow. I don’t even know what to say.
.-= Vicki´s last blog ..Retirement Benefits =-.

Ann January 28, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Unbelievable and gross.

Jenny January 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Visual definition of the word Schizophrenia.
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..stART: Valentine Surprise =-.

Country French Judi January 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Disgusting, how the heck could anyone live in that place for one minute! No normal person would EVER do such a thing. Proves the point THAT THERE ARE MORE CRAZY PEOPLE WALKING OUT AND ABOUT THAN IN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not for nothing but I don ‘t think the realtor is the sharpest pencil in the box for accepting it as a listing in that condition, there is more than one loose cannon here.

desiree January 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I’d offer a gift certificate for a local paint store—I don’t know how you could live in that space. It’s all so overwhelming!
.-= desiree´s last blog ..Indie Fixx Galleria: A place for Unique Finds =-.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile January 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm

I spent so much time looking at those walls that it took me a while to realize that even without the crazy painting, this place would be horrible!!! Look at that collection of furniture…

I can’t think of a caption crazy enough to capture this…
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Soothing rooms all in blue =-.

linda@LimeintheCoconut January 28, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Um. That’s not Jesus. That’s Charles Manson.

And this, kids, is a peak inside Squeaky Frommes brain.

.-= linda@LimeintheCoconut´s last blog ..And…since we didn’t win the lottery… =-.

hookedonhouses January 28, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Charles Manson seems like a real possibility based on the freakiness of the decor. I assumed it was supposed to be pictures of Jesus, though, based on the “O Magnify the Lord” banner. -Julia

Kelly January 29, 2010 at 12:33 am

Bahahaha! I really needed a chuckle today and that did it! How would caption that one?? Disturbing! Have a great night!

Deb Kennedy January 29, 2010 at 12:45 am

“After only 28 days, the New Year’s Resolution Diet of Red Bull drinks and Power Bars was starting to take its toll…..”

This is as scary as ‘Paranormal Activity’.

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish January 29, 2010 at 7:12 am

Wowza! How do you do that to a wall and then say – “Now when I put the Floral Print Couch there it will be just perfect!” (Shudder!)
.-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..Epic Fail (aka Eat From Your Pantry Week 3 Goes Bad) =-.

Sandra January 29, 2010 at 7:49 am

I have no words for this ….
.-= Sandra´s last blog ..Birthday giveaway =-.

Luci January 29, 2010 at 8:18 am

Yikes – I’m going with manic/depressive, done in the manic state – unfortunately I’ve seen this before as a resident advisor in a college dorm. One of the students went “off meds” on the advice of her boyfriend – she painted EVERY surface in the room – the spines of books on shelves, the comforters on the beds, even the windows. If you feel the need, imagine all that color in a 12×12 room with two twin beds, two dressers, two desk/bookcases and two chairs – and she painted the furniture where it stood. But listing it for sale like that…..what IS the realtor thinking?

Kimberlee J. January 29, 2010 at 10:37 am

The old hymn goes like this:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of his glory and grace.”

Looks like they need to look to Jesus for the “dimmer”.

Pat Smith at Pat's Addition January 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

For Sale: Amazing Performance Art Space, Bring Disco Ball and DJ
.-= Pat Smith at Pat’s Addition´s last blog ..Puzzle Quilt =-.

rachel @ perfectly imperfect January 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

it makes me dizzy! i can’t believe a realtor would post pictures like those… i’d take that house if it was free, but not otherwise. and i’m willing to put up with a big challenge- we bought a house with no kitchen! the vomit paint is too much for me, though.
thanks for sharing! have a great day-
.-= rachel @ perfectly imperfect´s last blog… the mostly ‘After’ pictures =-.

Kim January 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm

“Unbelievable – you’ve got to see it to believe it.”
.-= Kim´s last blog ..Spirals =-.

Claire January 29, 2010 at 10:58 pm

“The last thing Suzanna remembered was picking mushrooms in the woods.”

room service ~ decorating 101 January 30, 2010 at 8:19 am

“A Holy Mess”

Andrea Zastrow January 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

” After the murder they had cleverly stuffed the body in the striped couch.”

Janelle January 30, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Haha…I thought of another caption. Sorry if I’m copying anyone — I’m not reading through 97 comments.

“Damnit, the kids got into the paint again!”

Robin February 1, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Don’t you all want to get in there and fix it? I do. I feel bad for that house.

j February 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm

No link to the original MLS? Just wondering if the asking price reflects how much of an overhaul this mess would need.

hookedonhouses February 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Sorry, J, I was just sent the photos. No link. No idea how much it costs, but I doubt they can be asking much! -Julia

heidi @ wonder woman wannabe February 4, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I think they must love couches too! I count THREE in one room! 😉

Teresa February 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

WOW! Kinda hard on the eyes! Let me at it with some paint that is easy on the eyes!!

Dumpsta Diva February 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm

As Vern Yip would say “Looks like a rainblow threw up in there!”

Jawgs May 4, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I don’t think that’s Jesus in those pictures. I think it’s Charles Manson! Yikes!

kds June 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

“What would Jesus do?”

Kathi December 9, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I honestly think I know what this house is all about. When I was 16 our church owned a tiny house reserved for the youth group. It was painted fun for teens (like this one). It also held a Foosball table, a tiny mechanical bowling ball game, a stereo system, a popcorn machine and a working kitchen. I think this is a youth group house. Kathi
.-= Kathi´s last blog ..Black Berry Picking With My Kids =-.

hookedonhouses December 10, 2010 at 7:34 am

That’s something I hadn’t considered. Could be!

Bethany July 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Thou shall not murder thy condo.

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