Betsy DeVos's summer monstrosity is pure McMansion Hell

Kate "McMansion Hell" Wagner is carrying $42,000 in student debt; heiress Betsy "Marie Antoinette" DeVos is the anti-public-school advocate whom Donald Trump put in charge of the nation's public schools, and one of her first official acts was to end the rules limiting sleazy student debt-collection tactics, even as Trump was ending debt relief for students defrauded by diploma mills (like, say, Trump University).

DeVos's money is a kind of slurry of war-crime dividends and pyramid scheme wealth, and it's been piled so high and deep that she literally owns ten yachts.

Even with all those holes in the water to pour her money into, DeVos still has plenty to spend, which is how she came to own a 22,000 square foot "summer home" in Holland, Michigan with three bedrooms, ten bathrooms (3.3 per bedroom!), three kitchens (one per bedroom!), eight dishwashers (2.66 per kitchen!), 13 porches and an elevator.

Wagner's given DeVos's monstrous summer place the McMansion Hell treatment, with extra helpings of acerbic wit as befits such an archvillain.

Betsy’s house is, in general a mess. The home attempts to play on the historical American school of architecture known as the shingle style. This style, often seen by historians as a combination of the emerging Arts and Crafts movement and 19th-century eclecticism, is known for its extensive use of shingles as a building material and its multi-massed (massing is a fancy word for a building’s three-dimensional forms) architectural complexity. Betsy likely went with this style because it is very popular in New England and in coastal enclaves of the rich and famous in general.

Even though Betsy is riffing on the shingle style, there is a difference between architectural complexity and a mess, just as there is a difference between a masterful use of vocabulary and replacing every word in a sentence with the longest synonym you can find in the thesaurus.

Betsy’s house looks like a compound of multiple unfinished parts, and nothing about its hulking facade really gels. This is partially because it has no fewer than 13 window styles — yes, I counted them — and because each of the wings of the house tries (perhaps intentionally) to be very visually different from the next.

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