STYLE AND THE CITY

Life & Style Weekend - - HOME - WORDS: TRACEY HORDERN

Who didn’t love the book Town Mouse, Coun­try Mouse as a child? I spied a new edi­tion now dis­played front and cen­tre in the win­dow of one of Syd­ney’s smarter book stores.

It made me think of some­thing I have long pon­dered: how does the life we lead and the homes we live in dif­fer from the coun­try to the city?

While I come from Aus­tralia’s largest city, I made the clas­sic, cliched sea change more than a decade ago.

Today, just as I once did, most of my friends live in ter­race houses, with a few re­sid­ing in larger homes, plus a cou­ple of friends live in apart­ments.

While charm­ing and to my eye so­phis­ti­cated, liv­ing in a ter­race house rep­re­sents a life where prop­erty – that is, space – is at a premium.

In terms of style, there’s no doubt­ing that city homes em­brace cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy with gusto. “Hey Siri, play Spill That Wine by Michael Hutchence.”

The spooky flip side of this tech­nol­ogy was il­lus­trated when I was hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with a friend and Siri in­ter­preted my words as want­ing to hear “jazz”. While con­ve­nient, even amus­ing, Siri can be a little spooky to a Lud­dite mouse like my­self.

I no­ticed art fea­tures promi­nently in city homes. But art in the city of­ten needs to of­fer a fi­nan­cial re­turn.

Es­sen­tially I could per­son­ally sur­mise that homes in the coun­try feel and look less for­mal. The edges of coun­try homes are softer and the style choices of the in­hab­i­tants ap­pear to be driven more by emo­tions than the prac­ti­cal choices made by town mouses.

And upon re­turn­ing to my hum­ble coun­try home, I would say sub­limely wel­com­ing.

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