Courtney’s Childhood Dream Home

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(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Name: Michael and Courtney Glantz and sons Logan and Beckett
Location: North Barrington, Illinois
Size: 2,800 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years; Owned

The home that Courtney Glantz of A Life From Scratch shares with her husband and two sons is quite literally her dream home. As a young girl, Courtney could only guess as to what the interior of the charming Cape Cod-style home looked like; its high-pitched roof, towering brick chimney, and grey shingles looked grand on that slight hill at the end of the forest trail. But she knew that someday she wanted to live there, to raise a family in it, and to make it a home of her own.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Courtney lived nearby the house and rode her bike by it often. The more time she spent near the home, the more it filled her dreams. As she grew up, she always stayed connected in some way to the house, and when the opportunity arose to buy it, her family jumped at the chance. Courtney teamed up with a good contractor who supported her and listened to her ideas, and with the help of her favorite inspiration site, Pinterest, she embarked on a seven-year odyssey that just recently came to its conclusion.

Courtney had a vision of a classic home, but with a farmhouse twist. She started with an addition to the side of the home that became the great room. It allowed her to expand the kitchen and adorn it with a stunning La Cornue oven and an oversized Rohl farmhouse sink. The front porch was another big project, since the home didn’t actually have one to begin with. The one they built is long and beautiful, with a hanging bench and red rocking chair to greet guests.

Another important project was removing all the existing floors on the first floor and replacing them with gorgeous Carlisle large-plank wood floors. This was the most important move in setting the tone for that modern, elegant farmhouse look. The texture and graining on each white oak plank is unique and full of character, giving it that farmhouse feel, while the veiled white stain is oh-so-subtle and sophisticated. The upstairs kept the original warm wood floors, which work perfectly for the boys’ youthful rooms.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

When the foundation had finally been set, Courtney took it one step further and began to display a growing collection of artwork, mostly custom-made for, and about, her family. In the living room, there’s a hand-written work of art with family quotes like, “We can never decide if we love Montana or Florida more,” and “We are flannels in winter.” In the great room are three great photo collage pieces, in the bedroom you’ll find vintage letters of their initials over the bed, and in the entry there’s even a hand-sketched family portrait. Every item, finish and picture on the walls reflect her family.

The Glantz family is a lively, energetic modern family that fills it with love and happiness. Courtney has a hilarious sense of humor and nowhere is it more prevalent than on her lifestyle blog, A Life From Scratch, where she chronicles delicious recipes, funny banter and motherhood in a home full of boys. Follow her, and see how she’s built this wonderful home and life from scratch.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Simple Chic. I love beautiful rooms that are pared down to the essentials. Light colors rock my world, and I love to mix rustic with luxury— all the while keeping things welcoming.

Inspiration: Pinterest

Favorite Element: Of the home? Oh gosh. I would say the Cape Cod exterior. It made my heart flutter the first time I saw it. I didn’t care what was inside, I knew I could make it mine.

Biggest Challenge: Living through our master bedroom and bath renovation during the Chicago polar vortex, i.e., our two boys didn’t go to school and we could not go outside. I still shudder at the thought! My youngest was about 15 months or so at the time…you know, the age that is into EVERYTHING. And everything at that point was power tools, random pipes, nails, etc. We lived and breathed dust because heaven forbid we could open a window. That project was harder to live through than our expansion, including the gutted kitchen.

What Friends Say: My friends give me the biggest compliment I could ever receive: “The home is just so YOU.” I take great pride in the sense that as you move room-to-room, every item, finish, and picture on the wall reflects our family.

Biggest Embarrassment: For the first five years or so we lived with these awful ’70s style boxwood hedges in the front entryway. They ran deep. Unearthing them would have been an ordeal, not to mention we would be left with a concrete slab for an entryway and zero landscaping. It was a project we knew we always wanted to do, but took some time to save enough to do exactly what we envisioned… building out a big front porch complete with brick columns, a wood floor, porch swing, and, of course, new landscaping. We could not love it more!

Proudest DIY: My husband and I can handle little items; for instance, he refurbished an old bar cart for our living room, and I framed some vintage sheet music Restoration Hardware-style, etc. As far as large projects and renovations go, we left that up to our wonderful contractor. I think my proudest DIY would be designing every room myself—even our renovation. In the beginning I was so nervous and wanted to hire out a design firm, but my contractor kept giving me the confidence I needed. We could do this without a design team. And we did!

Biggest Indulgence: Hands down our new distressed white oak floors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Replacing wood flooring is never cheap but we went over and beyond, and it was worth every penny. I lay on them I love them so much! My toddler and I still will walk around and pick out our favorite planks. They all have such unique, handcrafted character! The wide plank look and light color could not fit the style of our home and our family’s needs any better.

Best Advice: Keep things authentic to the character of your home and to the character of your family. Then, you can never go wrong!

Dream Sources: I mean, everything from Restoration Hardware, please? No, in reality I do enjoy mixing things up—so while that’s a fun dream to think about, I totally prefer exactly what we have.


(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


  • Living room: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
  • Dining room: Sherwin-Williams Rainwashed
  • Great room (above): Benjamin Moore Pink Damask—my all-time favorite color
  • Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Pink Damask
  • Master bedroom: Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque
  • Hall bathroom: Benjamin Moore Pink Damask
(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


  • Black-and-white checkered marble flooring: The Tile Store
  • Hand-sketched family portrait: ElloThere on Etsy
  • Mirrored frame: Target
  • Mirror/tray: antique, painted glossy black
(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


  • Mirror buffet table: a Craigslist steal!
  • Planked wood table with bench: World Market
  • Rug: Dash & Albert
  • Wooden sign: Reclaimed Shop in Crystal Lake
  • Art: The Paris Print Shop on Etsy
  • Frames: IKEA
(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


  • Rug: Dash & Albert
  • Floors: Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
  • Oven: La Cornue via ABT
  • Quartz counters: Vicostone Statuarioa
  • Cabinets: Amish Custom Kitchens out of Chicago
  • Faucet: Rohl Perrin & Rowe via ABT
  • Sink: Rohl Shaws original fireclay white apron sink via ABT
  • Pineapple photograph: Minted, framed by FrameBridge
(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


  • Rug: Dash & Albert
  • Bay window cushion fabric: Minted
  • Bay window round table: Restoration Hardware
  • Leather couches: Restoration Hardware
  • Gold side table: Pier 1 Imports
  • Trunk coffee table: Restoration Hardware
  • Copper fan: Barn Light Electric
  • Instagram artwork: Social Print Studio, framed locally
  • Home Sweet Home print: Boutique Lumiere on Etsy
  • Frame: Target
(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)


  • Bedding: Garnet Hill
  • Rug: Restoration Hardware Kids
  • Desk: Target
  • Gallery wall: handmade, Target, The Land of Nod
  • Baseball mitt print: Minted

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Thanks, Courtney!