taste really is in the eye of the beholder

Today I’m feeling philosophical.  I’ve been sitting on the images for this post for over 6 months not knowing what to think.  As my readers, you can imagine what has come across my mind.  Everything from “OMG”, “what a waste of money”, and “kudos to the interior decorator who got that job”!  But underlying all these thoughts was really my interpretation of what constitutes “taste” and “beauty”.

Does “bad taste” really exist?  How can we be so arrogant and righteous as to label something so personal as such?  I fondly recall the avocado green kitchens of the 1970s which no one could claim to be in good taste in the 1990s (but are kinda cool in 2013).  Is taste then also limited by periods of time?  Surely there are people that dislike my aesthetic style just as much as I dislike theirs.  And does that mean theirs (or mine) is better?  It really comes down to personal opinion molded by a larger group’s convention of what constitutes beauty.  So, for example what may be beautiful in Doha, L.A. or Sao Paulo may be utterly insulting in Baltimore, Paris and Moscow … and vice versa!
And it’s precisely why I think this megahome in Bel-Air, California has been in the market for years and to my knowledge, still cannot be sold.  To my eyes (and probably many of yours), well, you know what it looks like.  But for the previous owners, surely it was a beautiful and tasteful place (and they obviously continue thinking that’s the case).  But we all have to remember that we don’t all blindly share standards of beauty.  So rather than cutting the asking price from US$40 million to US$25 million I would have invested a fraction of the difference in modernizing the interiors to satisfy a more modern, less “fancy” palate.  Homeowner: call me up – I love a challenge!
image credits: priceypads.com