I like things to be aesthetically pleasing, but not to the extent of prioritising form over function, or style over substance. Things in my world have to be practical to use as well as pretty to look at. Take, for example, the humble teapot. The sole purpose of a teapot is to provide a vessel for the brewing and pouring out of tea. Its basic requirements include a reasonable-sized removable lid on top that nevertheless stays firmly in place while pouring, a heavyish handle on one side to help tip the pot to the correct angle while pouring, and a smooth-functioning spout on the opposite side from which to pour the brewed tea effectively from pot to cup.
However, so many beautiful-looking teapots today fail dismally in all three basic requirements. Loose lids often fall off when the pot is tipped up, fiddly fancy handles are frequently uncomfortable to hold and impossible to safely grip-and-tip once the teapot is full, and spouts are sometimes so poorly designed and/ or positioned (perhaps too narrow or too wide a mouth, or simply set at too impractical an angle) that they pour badly, if at all. Some flood, some dribble, and some irritatingly become blocked by tea-leaves or tea-bags almost immediately.
Once I experienced a particularly-pretty-but-pathetically-useless teapot (belonging to a good friend) that had to be tipped up at such a precarious angle in an attempt to pour a cup of tea that as much scalding liquid exited from around the ill-fitting lid as through the spout. Needless to say, that beautiful-but-brainless teapot quickly found itself relegated to early retirement, reduced to being no more than an ornamental vase for flowers on the kitchen windowsill.
And the worst thing is, there’s no way of knowing beforehand how your particular choice of potential teapot will pour. You can perhaps check the lid fits well enough, and the handle holds at least the empty weight well – but how on earth do you test the spout’s pouring capabilities in a liquid-free environment? Of course, all teapots should pour adequately – and if not can generally be returned and refunded as unfit for purpose – but who wants that level of hassle in the quest for a decent cup of tea? 🙂