Nature's formula for the spectacular but tasteful: hide an exciting property inside a dull property -- examples:
African butterfly (on display, New York Museum of Natural history -- last I looked, 1992): a bright red splotch in the middle of a highly refined black design. Of course if you think the color black is spectacular color, the effect of the latter will be "gaudy" -- same principle.
Between the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art: multiple form sculptures expanded in most symmetrical ways to absorb maximum light and air -- constructed of gnarly, asymmetrical components.
Back in the East Village in the '60s I observed acid heads sitting around a "light machine" -- a contraption of blinking lights and revolving mirrors behind a translucent screen; projecting essentially an endless series of crayon streaks -- totally engrossed by the display for hours. I wondered how you could program a changing display that would entertain somebody "straight." The African butterfly display answered my question.
PS. Nature is not copyrightable. :-)