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Inside Our Orlando Home

In 2013, we bought a second primary residence. Our girls were working at Walt Disney World and since that was the general area that we planned to retire in, it made sense to purchase something while the market was right. Madeline went to Orlando to look at a number of homes, but she saw this one on the third house she visited and fell in love with it. We bought it without me even seeing it, but I trusted all of my girls. The house was finished a year or so earlier, but no one ever lived in it. The girls occupied it in April and when we visited we had a place to stay. The home is located in Davenport about 20 minutes south of WDW, in a beautiful neighborhood in a nice community.


In the summer of 2015, we decided to join them before I retired, since I can work from anywhere. We sold our house in Chicago around Labor Day and so it was our turn to make it feel like our home.

This is the way the outside of the house, the open family room/kitchen, the master bedroom, and the open living room/dining room all looked when Madeline first saw the house. She was there in mid-March, 2013. We closed on the house 2 weeks later.

Madeline and I both went down there later in April and we spent 10 days painting, moving in some things from Streamwood, and putting together a whole bunch of Ikea furniture

The finished Great Room and Kitchen areas

The Grand Foyer

The Living Room

The Master Bedroom occupied by Alicia and Melvin

The largest bedroom upstairs, occupied by Dana

The Powder Room with my pretty painting

First Christmas, decorated by the girls

Phase 1

The second phase of home improvements came in the summer of 2015, when we began preparing the house for our arrival. Space was going to be a premium, since we lost our big basement and we had to find creative ways to store things. We used California Closets to turn a nook into a bar, a bare laundry room into a space we could use, and an open master closet into tons of hanging and storage. We also turned the open living room/dining room into an office by adding a section of cabinets between the two and putting in a sliding glass door to close off my office.

Phase 2

We moved in over Labor Day 2015, and it really didnít take us all that long to unpack and make the place livable. The main furniture changes were in the Grand Foyer, the Master Bedroom, and the Office/Dining Room.

Phase 3

After we settled in and started living fine in the new house, it was time to start doing a project here or there to improve it more. This included the lanai, which can be seen on the page showing the outdoors. It also included doing something in the garage so we could store Christmas decorations, tools, chairs, ladders, bikes, and other things and still be able to get both cars in. We finally accomplished that goal in February 2016.

We updated our kitchen by removing the backsplash and then installing a nice glass subway tile up to the cabinets. We did the same thing at the bar.