A new book explores a new way to live.

The pandemic has seen many of us review how we live; asking the big questions like what it means to live well.

Cover of the book, image of a bed by a window with a country view.

In NEW RURAL, author Ingrid Weir explores the idea, and indeed the reality, for many who live with a balance of the urban and the rural.

Here’s our review including a chat with Ingrid about the concept of the ‘new rural.’

New Rural: Where to Find It and How to Create It is a beautiful interiors book for anyone who craves a ‘tree-change’ or touches of rural magic in their home and life.

This stunning photo-filled hardback is both inspiration and a guide for those dreaming of moving to the country as well as an exploration of a new way of living that combines the space and freedom of rural existence with the connections and opportunities of the modern world.

In its most idyllic form, rural life can be a simpler life – calmer, closer to nature.

A place that releases creative inspiration.

Somewhere to welcome friends, sit out all night by the bonfire, talking and drinking wine under the stars.

Image of a rural village on a sunny day
Image is of Gold Rush town Hill End in NSW where Ingrid renovated the old school master’s house.

New Rural is also a window to the distinctive allure of Australia’s vibrant regional towns, profiling places that embody the earthiness and romance of original rural living (the Hawkesbury Highlands, the Sapphire Coast, Coober Pedy, Kyneton and Satellite Island to name a few).

There is also guidance on how to find and create your rural dream yourself, and detours to subjects such as bringing the outside in, having friends to stay, mixing the old with the new, the importance of texture, and why food eaten outside tastes better.

Authored and photographed by interior designer Ingrid Weir, this creative book is much more than a manual or a compilation of pretty interiors, it explores how you design your life.

We chatted with Ingrid about some of the ideas explored in her book and the concept of ‘New Rural’.

In the introduction to your book, you mention how the internet (and the changes brought about by the pandemic) now make it possible to design a life. How do you think the ‘new rural’ can enhance one’s life? 

Diane Von Furstenberg once described her rural hideaway – Cloudwalk – as giving her two of life’s great luxuries – time and space. So many shifts in thinking have occurred during the pandemic. New priorities have emerged. And space is definitely one of them.  Time, too, if you can work from home and don’t have to commute

I think there is a renewed appreciation of nature and being around green spaces. It connects us to our natural self in a way that is calming and soothing.

And how do you think country communities are affected by city weekenders or part timers in their towns?

You hear this issue being debated a fair bit now- and I understand why.  A strong sense of community and being part of village life is what appeals about the country. It’s energising to see people appreciating and moving to new areas – but you don’t want the balance to become distorted.

Living between the country and the city do you feel you can be a part of both communities?

I think there is a feeling of one being your primary base- where you work from usually. But that isn’t to say you can’t be part of another community. And if that place is less tied to work you can feel a sense of freedom and lightness there. Be a more carefree version of yourself...

Finding a little piece of country living – whether to live or weekend in, what are your top 3 things to consider?

1) Distance from a major city centre.  Being within a two-hour drive is enables you to go to meetings and work events if you are out in the country.  And easier to get to if you have a weekender.

2) Whether you have friends already living in the area – it helps you slip into the community in a more organic way.

3) And, perhaps most importantly – whether you have an emotional connection to the area. Does it move you in some way, pull you towards it…

New Rural is about place and space, meaning and connection. It exists at a unique intersection, bringing together Ingrid’s expertise from film and television, interior design and her personal project renovating the old schoolmaster’s house in the gold-rush town of Hill End, New South Wales.

You can get lost between these pages and wander through new ways of living.

New Rural: New Rural: Where to Find It and How to Create It is out now in book stores, other beautiful stores that stock beautiful books like these, and various online option

Author: Ingrid Weir @ingridweir

Publisher details: Hardie Grant Books Sep 2021 RRP AU $60


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