First-Time Homeowners Win Chicago’s Ugliest Bathrooom
Evergreen Park couple, expecting first child, win complete bathroommakeover
in The Tile Shop’s Ugly Bathroom Giveaway
CHICAGO (February 15, 2010) – The search is over. After sorting through hundreds of entries, The Tile Shop has identified an ugly upstairs bathroom in a 1950s Cape Cod located in Evergreen Park as Chicago’s Ugliest Bathroom. The bathroom was a hands-down winner for its do-it-yourself nightmarish décor consisting of pink linoleum, yellow plastic tiles, and mega fluorescent lights.
And for having their bathroom declared as Chicago’s Ugliest, first-time homeowners Matthew and Suzanne Witt, who are expecting their first child in July, have won a complete bathroom makeover for their upstairs bathroom, valued up to $50,000,courtesy of The Tile Shop (www.tileshop.com), a leading retailer of high quality natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tile from all over the world.
The contest was conducted by The Tile Shop’s seven stores located throughout greater Chicago (Deerfield, Lake Zurich, Lombard, Naperville,Schaumburg, Tinley and Countryside). The contest judges included: Jan Parr, editor of Chicago Home & Garden magazine; Lindsey Kreutzer, producer of WGN-AM’s Mr. Fix-It radio program; Katie Donbavand, blogger, Shelteriffic; Mary Helen Cutler, account manager, Chicago Home &Garden magazine; Adam Collopy, account manager, WGN-AM; and representatives from The Tile Shop.
The upstairs bathroom of the Witt’s 1950s-era Cape Cod home located in Evergreen Park was selected based on a 2-minute video that Matthew Witt submitted under the title “Please Help Me Tile Shop” to The Tile Shop. Witt secretly filmed the video one evening when his wife was in bed, but had second thoughts and showed the video to her before submitting it.
“She never thought we would win,” said Matt Witt, an information technology consultant. “Suzanne didn’t think our bathroom was ugly enough to be a good contender.”
Married in 2008, the Witts purchased their four-bedroom Evergreen Park home seven months ago from the previous owner who had lived in the house for 30 years. The home was the Witt’s first home purchase, which qualified them for the Federal government mortgage tax credit for first-time home buyers. The couple are expecting their first child in July, who will join them and their dog, Jack, a jack russell terrier. Suzanne Witt works as a communications manager with a legal services company.
“When we purchased the home, we knew it would be a fixer-upper,” said Matt. “We started to make head way on many of the other rooms, doing much of the work ourselves. But the upstairs bathroom was in such poor shape and looked like such a beast of a project that we kept putting it off.”
The Witt’s upstairs bathroom is one of two bathrooms in the home. It’s about 10 feet by 8 feetand includes a stand-up shower stall, toilet and vanity. The décor of the bathroom can best be described as a do-it-yourselfer nightmare. The bathroom floor is covered with pink linoleum square tiles dating back to the early 1960s. The walls have a combination of green and light yellow plastic tiles (not ceramic) punctuated with three, two-foot long fluorescent lights. The shower stall is built with a plastic surround that is molding at the base.
“I’m so glad I entered because I wanted to create a bathroom that would be a little sanctuary for Suzanne,” said Matt Witt. “Suzanne used to be a travel writer and together, we’ve traveled many places. I’d love to create a bathroom with the The Tile Shop’s help, that reminds Suzanne of this beautiful, serene bathroom at a hotel she visited in Manchester, England.”
The Witts will receive all materials necessary to create their dream bathroom, from the tub and shower to all of the fixtures and beautiful Tile Shop tile, along with the expert advice for a successful do-it-yourselfer model. In addition to materials and expert advice provided by The Tile Shop, the Witts will receive bathroom products from the contest’s other sponsors, which included: Kohler bathroom products, Ferguson lighting products, and Chicago Home + Garden magazine.
“Taking on a bathroom remodel can test the bonds of a couple’s relationship,” said Brynley Umpleby, general manager of The Tile Shop in Lombard, IL. “But because TheTile Shop caters to the do-it-yourselfer, we can give the Witts the confidence to create their dream bathroom and at the same time, avoid the stress of taking on a big remodeling project.”
Hundreds of Ugly Bathrooms
The Tile Shop’s Chicago-area stores received hundreds of entries from throughout greater Chicagoland. The winning bathroom was selected based on ugliest (in photos or video), the homeowner’s story about their ugly bathroom and their dreams for a new bathroom, and the potential for transforming an ugly bathroom into a dream bathroom with Tile Shop products.
“We received a lot of gold, avocado green and pink entries,”said Megan Hoy, marketing director for The Tile Shop, “in other words,bathrooms that hadn’t been remodeled since the 1960s or 1970s when those colors were in style. We also received some photos of some pretty bizarre bathrooms, such as the zebra-themed bathroom and the bathroom where the shower walls were lined with full-length mirrors.”
In addition to the Witts, The Tile Shop awarded prizes to three other homeowners whose bathrooms were among the ugliest of the entries received. The runner-ups included:
· 2nd Place: Rich Richter, Rolling Meadows,Ill., who wins all new tile (floor, walls, shower) from The Tile Shop to remodel his classic 1970s gold bathroom.
· 3rd Place: Jennifer Healy, Palatine, Ill., who a $500 gift certificate from The Tile Shop to remodel her lime green bathroom.
To help do-it-yourselfers turn their ugly bathrooms into dream bathrooms, The Tile Shop trains its associates to guide anyone, from the tile-novice to the frequent do-it-yourselfer, on the ins and outs of remodeling a bathroom. In addition, The Tile Shop offers free, how-to materials and videos on how to remodel your bathroomon its web site, www.tileshop.com, and free "Do it Yourself Seminars" every Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. at eachTile Shop store in the Chicago area.
About The Tile Shop
Founded in 1984, The Tile Shop, based in Plymouth, MN., is dedicated to providing consumers and tile professionals with an unparalleled selection of world-class product, focused on showcasing the extraordinary beauty and value found in ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tile. The company operates 49 stores in 17 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, NorthCarolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin).