It’s a similar situation to my gripe with crates – some people will be happy to stash the all out of the way, while others will want them scattered around for story or aesthetic reasons.
A Dwarven stronghold (or perhaps an Ascendancy fortress in hardmode, which has weathered repeated attacks and sieges) might take pride in its fearsome array of turrets standing guard over every choke-point and plaza. Or if we get machinery (pumps, conveyors and so on) in the future then the same thing might happen with them – some towns might find them ugly, necessary aesthetic evils; while others might take pride in their advanced industry.
I suppose that this would be a great place for individual preferences to play into it. There are a few things you could potentially use there:
racial preferences, e.g. the Ascendancy find mechanical stuff (turrets) slightly appealing while Rayya’s Children find them ugly. Conversely, RC might not be bothered by storage items (this would be crates and urns, not stockpiles with everything lying around); whereas the Ascendancy prefer their storage to be tucked away neatly out of sight.
job-based or trait-based inclinations: an engineer might consider a turret (or at least a top-tier one) to be a beautiful machine, while a farmer might consider it a clanky, ugly contraption.
“This style is growing on me”: difficult to balance, but perhaps hearthlings might become familiar with an item if it’s used regularly? The way that the background noise of a city can be comforting to someone who grew up in one, so when they move to the country all the background noises of animals and wind and so on are suddenly foreign. So, it might be that if statues are used heavily around the town, they become more appealing to the hearthlings over time.
or, the inverse of the previous – change can be jarring, but over time they settle into the routine/become familiar with it. So instead of items being more appealing over time, they lose their impact over time. An ugly item is significantly ugly at first, but soon fades to a minor annoyance (e.g. a crate starts out at -2, fades to -1 after 3 days, and after a much longer time fades to -0.5 and then to 0); but the same is true for decorations – early on they’re very attractive and have a major impact on their surroundings, but over time they fade to become just part of the scenery.
That last option opens up an interesting possibility for “renovating” the town to keep its decorations in tip-top condition. It adds in a concept of “wear and tear”, and might even be a good excuse to have an explicit system for that. Items might outright age/tarnish/change over time, so e.g. a stone table might turn into an old stone table. From there, the player has an option to restore it (probably using minimal resources but a decent chunk of work time), or leave it to keep being degraded until it turns into a worn-out stone table. A properly restored item might have a chance of becoming more appealing though, turning into an antique item (similar to how fine items used to work, a low chance of proc’ing when the job completed although it would have to replace the item rather than make a new one… not sure if that would create problems of “losing” the item, but I figure it’s less likely to be annoying than it would be when you’re trying to create a fresh wooden chair and get a fine one instead.)