It’s hard not to be mystified by the taste of others. No wonder the Romans coined the expression de gustibus non est disputandum - tastes are not to be disputed.
But I think you can make some generalizations about how taste works. I think we’re drawn to call something beautiful whenever we detect that it contains, in a concentrated form, those qualities in which we personally, or our society’s more generally, are deficient.
You’ll call a nearly blank canvas beautiful when your own life is slightly messy and your city chaotic. We call good taste, a style which can move us away from what we fear and towards what we crave. A style which carries a correct dosage of our missing virtues.
Viewed in this light, a given stylistic choice will tell us as much about what someone lacks inside as what he or she likes.