Book Reviews

 DESIGN AND DECOR NO. 5: City Farmhouse Style: Designs for a modern country life

“If you have found that you have a genuine love of the past, then follow your dream to make farmhouse style a part of your home.” Kim Leggett

DESIGN AND DECOR NO. 5: City Farmhouse Style: Designs For A Modern Country Life by Kim Leggett

Number five in an ongoing series of reviews on design and décor books

Written by Cece M. Scott

“If you have found that you have a genuine love of the past, then follow your dream to make farmhouse style a part of your home.” Kim Leggett

Wouldn’t you just love to be chilling in a colourfully bright Muskoka chair right about now, eyes wide shut, nostrils wide open as you inhale the smell of a freshly-picked-freshly-baked raspberry pie that is cooling on the kitchen windowsill right above your head?

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The real and significant movement afoot these past many months of city folk, tired of sheltering in place in their bite-sized condos or in homes that sit one-atop-the-other, doing their best to satiate their inner country girl or country boy – have caused an exponential explosion in out-of-city-house sales.

With a new way of living and a new way of thinking, the charm and laidback style of both old style farmhouses, as well as newly imagined ones, are enjoying a renaissance in popularity.  Dreamy wraparound porches with cane-backed rocking chairs, gingerbread trim, and the wide open spaces of verdant green pastures, offer renewed peace and serenity, and the kind of deep and easy breathing that doesn’t require one of those bulky CPAP machines.

Well my new life on the ranch kinda took me aback
Ain’t much a city girl like me was ready to hack
Missed my X-Large coffee and assorted Tim pack
Oh Lord, What Happened, I’m a Country Girl!

Whether your aspirations lean towards a ‘the way-we-were’ kind of farmhouse look, or expressive Uptown/Suburban City Farmhouse styles, the ideas on how to create those specific looks and ambiance are captured with great panache in Kim Leggett’s book, City Farmhouse Style, Designs for a Modern Country Life.

Broken into chapters that address each style of farmhouse, the colourful text and images in City Farmhouse Style help readers visualize which approach best matches their vision and lifestyle. Country container gardens with fledging herbs and bulbs, antique slatted cupboards stuffed with happy flowered tablecloths, a delightful 1930s apothecary reimagined as a stunning piece of art, and playfully designed lanterns made from folded book pages. (Quick aside: I have a wreath made out of pages torn from a book on Mick Jagger, and every time I look at it, I can’t help bursting out into one of my favoutite Stones tunes – which, would be all of them). Leggett includes DIY’s on how to create city farmhouse urban gardens and sheds – ones that can be morphed into restful backyard retreats –  as well as easy-to-execute suggestions such as turning antique windows into ‘true showstoppers.’ 

My favourite though, (and believe me, you will find lots of favourites in City Farmhouse Style, no matter what farmhouse style look you are after), is the Writer’s Loft – a sanctuary retreat showcasing personal collections that inspire and crank up the creative juices, as imagined by singer/songwriter, Sheryl Crow, of All I Wanna Do, (Is have some fun), fame.

Legget gets that we aren’t all as talented as she is as it relates to seeing the possibilities of particular spaces, so she uses imaginative phrases to get her point across in parsed down-to-earth language. “In a mostly white space, use bold accents as a graphic form of eyeliner,” she advises.

City Farmhouse Style offers a fun, informative, and instructional guide on how to actualize your farmhouse dreams whether they are city-centric or country-lovely.

Check out what happens when a city girl goes country by clicking here

Oh Lord (What happened) I’m A Country Girl! (

Horse in barn high res resizedPhotography by Cece Scott *Photography (




FREE Zoom Book Club Event on April 29th at 2.P.M.

Cece and Jen of Art Your Service will be hosting Toronto Star columnist, Moira Welsh, as she reads and chats about her new book, Happily Ever Older, a book that explores new and creative ways to live well with purpose and intent as we age.

Register now for this timely and highly enlightening FREE event by sending an email to

Make sure to pop back on the weekend to read Cece’s reviews of Happily Ever Older, so that you are in-the-know for April 29th  Book Club Event.

If you want to make your rooms sing, check out Cece’s review of Beata Heuman’s book, Every Room Should Sing, here Design and Decor No. 4: Every Room Should Sing (

Looking to create fresh-air spaces that make you think of warm summer breezes? Read Cece’s review of Sarah Richardson’s City + Country

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More country themes can be found in Cece’s review of Courtney Allison’s French Country Cottage

As well as Cece’s review of Cozy White Cottage Design and Decor book review: No. 3 Cozy White Cottage (

Cece is the feature cover writer for several prestigious publications and is an informed, connected and enthusiastic book blogger at Her first book, The Love Story, was published in 2019. Her second book will be coming out in the spring of 2021.

Cece is also working on a book of Daily Reflections for Auto Immune Condition Warriors.

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