I vividly remember arriving at Signora Fabbrini’s house in Firenze, on my first day of my junior year abroad program. She was an elegant and elderly woman who spoke only Italian. I sat down at the dining room table with her for lunch, and was gently asked not to pull the grapes off and leave the stem behind–this reminded Signora Fabbrini of bones. Twenty years later, I can’t look at grape stems in a bowl without feeling visually assaulted.
There are a lot of things like this that bother me–yesterday I was admiring my fruit bowl with pomegranates, lemons, avocados…and there was a label on the pomegranate. It totally disrupted the harmony of the arrangement. I pulled it off.
Our kitchen is original to the previous owner, done in my least favorite color, almond. With other repairs taking precedence, I painted the walls white. Nothing to do about the floor and the countertops, but my husband and I had a very fun night duct-taping the appliances. I’d rather look at this:
than an almond refrigerator.
I don’t like to look at things that aren’t attractive. At the same time, I find rusted metal, old buildings with layers of peeling paint, the oil refinery on the way home to my parents’ house in NJ
(image from www.hysafebuzz.com)
So I am wondering, what makes something visually appealing to a person? Is it the formal characteristics-color, composition, line? Or something else? Why do the grape stems bother me and Signora Fabbrini? How can I tolerate the mess from my children and not cope with an almond fridge?