Where does it come from? Nature or nurture?
Two recent events have made me ask this. Both things involve compliments paid to me, so, yeah, I'm going all narcissistic for a sec.
But, no, really, it's not about me.
The first incident was when my father in law complimented my kid's unique sense of style. She does not dress herself or carry herself like the other 5 year olds. She got a pair of Twinkle Toes for Christmas, as gift from my sister who thinks I am depriving the poor girl of sparkles. Well? She will not touch them. She says they "have too many colors" and she isn't sure what they "match." Huh.
Don't get me wrong, she likes pink and purple and all that, but she tends to be a bit matchy and restrained. She has an eye and her "favorities" (sic) tend to be thing you would not expect. Like a black Marimekko dress with a very simple pattern.
The second incident was with my cleaning man, Erwin. He's a super nice guy, and, even without much command of English, he is unfailingly polite. He says things like, "you make this house so nice," and such. Aww. I love that he notices my updates and approves of them. I understand it's a low bar to impress the man who pretty much is mostly happy that I'm not a slob, but I take what I can get, okay??? So, anyway, a few weeks ago I ran into him, which is not common since he comes just after 8 and I leave no later than 8:01. On this particular day, he gripped the new kitchen chairs, the Wegners, and said, "I love these chairs, these are the nicest chairs I have ever seen." And he stroked the back of the wishbone. Yes. Stroked. Now, I don't mean to over write his backstory, but to suggest that he knows about Hans Wegner is ridiculous. He does not. But he knows good design when he sees it. He also covets our Tivoli radio. See? The man has taste.
So, I posit, love of good design in instinctive. I suspect it sometimes gets overwritten by desire to conform to trends. And I am pretty sure it's not universal. (Yes, 40 year old fat lady in the teal tights, I'm looking at you.) But, if you are among the lucky? I think you know good when you see good.
Now, how to make sure those people take over the world?