Beauty Marks

Do natural imperfections make great designs more beautiful? Opinions vary but a diversity of opinions is only natural.

People have different opinions about the natural wear of materials, so-called patina, and the marks that natural metal, stone, and leather can gain over time and everyday use.

Some prefer an ‘evergreen’ look and opt for materials that have been coloured and treated to stay relatively consistent over time.

Others admire the ‘beauty marks’ of untreated materials and the changes that come with regular use and time. In some cases, vintage furniture designs with patina are prized by collectors because their scars and marks are so unique. A piece’s age is a source of pride. Its changes are natural and a reminder of nature always changing.

Alternatively, the desire for consistency is natural too. Some prefer slower change and less sensitivity from the space around them. In their view, consistency is linked to peace of mind. The beauty of objects is how different they are from us and the everchanging world.

All of us have our opinions and instinctual preferences, but we would be wise to consider others’ aesthetic viewpoints with humble respect, remembering that opinions of beauty are linked to people’s deepest values and needs – even if our personal preferences seem strong and visceral. That, too, is simply natural.