As we approach ever closer to Christmas Day, with it only being 16 days away now, our Top 10’s have become more Christmas themed once more. This week, as chosen by you, our fantastic audience, has been probably our hardest list in a very long time to compile. We had to come up with a definition of Badly Decorated… But here’s what we think.
With it coming up to Christmas, we settled on Badly Decorated as one of our choices, but we didn’t really think what that meant. At Christmas, we cover our houses in tinsel, fairy lights and so much more, but it’s not exactly a flattering look. It’s just a “Christmas-sy” look. As such, to us, badly decorated means that for the time we see the place, it has to either have unfitting objects, bad decorations or an abundance of just poor design.
Got it? Sweet! On to this week’s list!
10) Voodoo Lady’s House – Monkey Island
Ah Voodoo Lady, you have no door on your house and you live out in the middle of a Swamp after you realised that your business, House of Mojo, just wasn’t really working out. Over the years, you’ve been in three different places and each time, your humble shop just isn’t very pretty looking. On the plus side, you do sell gum and lots of voodoo advice, so there’s something to visit.
The Voodoo Lady is a really well beloved character of the Monkey Island franchise. Her presence is always appreciated, with her quick wit and her incredible (and inexplicable) voodoo powers. Whatever you think of her, as we see in the above image from Monkey Island 3, she has a penchant for wanting to keep the weirdest decor in her home…
… Yes, I’m looking at you, giant stuffed crocodile.
9) The 40K Universe
In the distant future of the 41st century, there is only war. And gothic architecture, and cyberpunk gribbly bits, and gears, and skulls, so many skulls. Orks on the other hand- it’s more skulls. The Eldar of course are more gracefully decorated, flowing forms inspired by nature, the elegance of the towering helms, the brightly coloured Harlequins with diamond patterns decorating masks in the shape of… damn.
Necrons? Skulls. Chaos? Skulls. Tyranids? I mean it’s mostly organic, keratinous, squamous forms stretched over distended skeletons that vividly display – anyone at the back got a guess? – skulls. Don’t dare delve into the ranks of the space marines, I know that the Emperor devours psychers by the thousand so you have plenty of bodies to work with, but once you’ve ground the rest of the bones to dust, well I guess there’s a lot of skulls left over.
We get it! You like skulls!
8) Sternbild City – Tiger X Bunny
In a future where heroes are brought together by a common purpose, to be promoted by serious brands, the recorded city of Sternbild City is one metropolis which you really would be repulsed by. Now, look at the above image and tell me this is a place you’d want to live – Because if you can see you would want to live there, I’m not sure if you’re lying or trying to make me into a gullible man.
No, it’s not ugly per se, but it’s certainly decorated in a most bizarre fashion. From the statues all around the place; the strangely placed roads and bridges; the branding that’s placed on billboards everywhere, including the heroes – This is one city that forgot how to look cultured and has turned into a futuristic state; one that I hope we do not move towards in reality.
7) Tomb of Horrors – Dungeons & Dragons
Seriously this place is a deathtrap. Let’s talk architecture here, there are only so many corridors one needs, and the same applies to pillars in any given room, even if there is a throne in it. The four armed gargoyles are a bit garish, especially holding all of the orbs of varying colours without so much as a pattern.
Now, so far as motifs go I do rather like the whole open-mouthed demon heads, and go you for consistency. My concern is that I dropped my phone in one, couldn’t find it, and in searching for it I appear to have also lost an arm. Honestly I’m starting to think I’m not welcome here.
6) The Island of Myst
Now I’ll advocate the beauty of the various worlds and wonders in the Myst universe, the grace and elegance of the Ages, more works of art than levels. All that ends when you look at Myst itself.
Who puts the spaceship next to the library? Get the damn boat out of the sea, sort out your lift because it is damn well impossible to use, and why does your observatory have a dentist’s chair? And why is it in the middle of the island instead of on that nice high point of rock where you’re keeping the giant cogs? The pillar garden is nice I guess?
Atrus, get your kids in line, and then deal with your place. Get organized dammit!
5) Dee Dee’s Room – Dexter’s Lab
We originally thought Dexter’s Laboratory itself was a very ugly place; but actually when push comes to shove, there’s only one place in the whole of the Dexter’s Laboratory world which is even uglier. To be fair to Dexter’s Lab itself, it’s not ugly, more just hugely over complicated. Meanwhile, in a much simpler affair, which is genuinely ugly for its simplicity, is Dee Dee’s Room.
Whilst Dexter is a serious guy, Dee Dee believes in everything pink. Although the first time Dee Dee’s room was shown, the walls of her room weren’t pink – They were teal with yellow flowers, according to the Dexter’s Lab Wiki. Either way, it’s repulsive in that it’s so bright, it’s such an attack on anyone’s vision. It’s ugly, it’s full of toys with creepy smiles – Trust me, this isn’t a place anyone would want to live in. Unless you’re Dee Dee.
4) Austin Powers ‘Pad’
For the purposes of being “correct”, I’m going to not call this by the name Austin calls his… Ahem… Pad. Yes, Austin Powers has his pad, where he’s known to take the ladies back to, in order to show them his mojo. Which, he loses in the second film, but let’s ignore the fact he loses his mojo for a moment. This is a sentence I never thought I’d have to write, ever…
Austin is well known for being stuck in the swingin’ 60’s, so everything you see in his pad is also stuck in the swingin’ 60’s. Now, you may look at this and think “what is wrong with the 60’s?” Nothing! However, I can imagine that when we reach 2050, we’ll look back at the 90’s and 00’s as an ugly mess of a time, what with our skateboards, our nu-metal, our rap music and our Pokemons!
3) McCallister Residence – Home Alone
“AAAAAAAH” – Kevin McCallister after trying aftershave.
Okay, so we all know Home Alone and when you look at the McCallister Residence, it’s actually an alright place. It’s huge, it’s very American and all in all, it’s an alright place. It’s somewhere that, if you were raised there, you’d really not have a problem. Unless your name was Kevin McCallister, the rebellious little scamp that he is!
However, there’s something terrible about this place. See, we didn’t necessarily say that “Badly Decorated” had to be that the place had to “look bad”. No, no, dear reader, we’ve done gone duped you! The whole plot of Home Alone is Kevin surviving against the Sticky Bandits in the McCallister Residence. With traps everywhere, the McCallister Residence isn’t exactly a “nice” place. You take one wrong step, you’re going through the floors of this house.
True, the walls are… Fine… But when the entire house is a death trap, from random ropes hanging low, to floorboards which are wonky – You bet, this is one badly decorated place.
2) The Batcave
Ok, so Bats is basically known for being stylish as hell, his entire strategy is to inspire terror in those terrorising his city, to give them a symbol to bow before, to drive them underground in fear of the nightmare shadow that hunts them beneath his beacon in the sky.
All that ends at the waterfall. Do you have any idea how many times that giant penny has fallen over? How many times his T-Rex skeleton has been smashed? The garage opens straight onto the living space, there’s an open air surgery right next to where the bats crap, and the platforms that support his various toys and supercomputer have no handrails which is just edgy and unnecessarily dangerous.
You can afford a secret lair underneath a mansion, you can afford a decorator. Surely Grayson’s got better taste.
1) The Grinch’s Lair
This place is a total dump. Fact.
Well that’s that. It is a dump, the Grinch lives at a trash dump at the top of a spiral-tipped mountain, in a hollowed out cavern he’s dressed up in stylised garbage and misery. Throw in some classic Seuss artistic style tainted with bleakness to counterpart the joyous surroundings of Whoville and you’re pretty much there.
Whoville itself isn’t a picture of modern style but at least the spiralling, twirling excess and neon victoriana is pleasant and somewhat consistent and has a kitsch appeal of its own. The Grinch has a gigantic boggle-eyed symbol-playing monkey, and it really… just drives the room apart. It clashes so hard that even the acoustics turn against him. Still, no accounting for taste I guess.
With those badly decorated places out of the way with, there were just two more we seriously considered… However the first of these two is such a broad category, that we couldn’t put it into the Top 10 list itself. Meanwhile, the second on this list? I don’t know if decorated is a word you can even use…
Every Hidden Object Game
Have we not been striving for realism in games? What exactly are object finding games striving to emulate here, a kleptomaniac’s rented storage unit? In order to hide everything that you are supposed to find the scenes we are given are filled with an eclectic mixture of items and decorative articles that are ostensibly themed to the location.
But the sheer quantity of items makes for an assault on the senses. I mean that half orange has been sat there for far too long, a lamp is not a hatstand, and if you’re trying to keep cows in that barn you are going to have to tidy up those tools. I get you’re going for an aesthetic here, but tidy up for gods sakes.
A bit of a weird pick here, as Hagrid’s Hut is all in all actually quite a delightful little place. It’s literally built in such a way that Hagrid doesn’t have to go far between each bit of his home. His comfy looking chair, his kitchen close by – Gosh, really, he’s seriously got the best of the best in terms of a unique looking property, kept in a magical world, out of the way of the cruelty of some muggles.
In the Wizarding world, Hagrid is well respected as the gamekeeper. Furthermore, he later becomes the professor for the Care of Magical Creatures. It’s with this in mind, that when you look around Hagrid’s hut, you begin to realise… It’s not really decorated at all. Instead, it’s just one little place, where everything is kept to be handy. Pots and pans, plates, you name it, it’s all just piled up in places. It’s practical, but it’s hardly a bastion of beauty.
That’s it for another weeks Top 10 and yes, that was a tricky one, you amazing people. We were stumped for the better part of an hour before we suddenly clicked with what we defined as badly decorated and came up with many entries, including the surprise entry at number 3. As ever though, we’re going to remain undefeated in our Top 10’s – But if you want to take another swing at stumping us, select one of our Top 10 choices for next week!
Whilst the above places are badly decorated, don’t think that means we don’t like the place. Au contraire, we absolutely do love them! From the Voodoo Lady’s amazing shop, through to The Grinch’s Lair – We’d visit all of them and be fascinated by the odd design choices. What did you think? Did we include all the good ones? Did The Grinch deserve the number one spot here, or do you think someone else from this list deserved it more? Did we forget any badly decorated places? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.