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One-of-a-Kind Disney-Inspired Victorian For Sale on the North Fork

By  | July 7, 2023 | published on behindthehedges

Having previously restored a 19th-century Greek Revival estate in Nissequogue, Deb and Syd Dufton were confident they’d be able to create a magnificent homestead on the Cutchogue parcel they purchased in 2004. What they didn’t realize is that they would find inspiration at the most magical place on Earth.

“We loved it, but having a house from 1860 is a great deal of work and every little project turns into an enormous project,” says Syd, a technology executive.

For their new home, a sprawling Victorian home that sits on 8.9 acres on a tidal pond on West Creek, they wanted to achieve a historic look that would fit in with the Italianate homes they’d often admired while visiting the North Fork on weekends.

“We built it to look old on the outside, but inside it has all the luxuries of a brand new home,” says Syd, noting that the couple served as general contractors and hired Westhampton Beach-based architect Diane Herold to design the house, which took nearly two years to build.

During that summer vacation, the family toured the east coast, from Maine to Florida, making notes of the home styles they liked along the way. Charleston, South Carolina and Cape May, New Jersey won unanimous high praise.

At Disneyworld’s Main Street USA, they were struck by the Victorian/early 20th-century façade and the many color schemes, which reminded them of homes in Greenport.

“So, we decided on that look and feel,” says Syd.

Located at 13555 New Suffolk Avenue — and impossible to miss — this 10,000-square-foot blue-hued home features seven en suite bedrooms, six full and four half baths. There is a large foyer with a marble floor, 10-foot high cathedral ceilings, wide-planked, pegged hardwood floors and five fireplaces, including one outdoors on the porch. Much of the interior is painted in bold colors: deep blues and reds.

“We really think it brings an energy and a creativity to the house,” Syd says.

To enhance that old Victorian look, they had the lighting manufacturer who did the lighting for Disney World create the old Victorian sconces and chandeliers and added push-button electric instead of light switches, like those found in homes from that period.

“Even the stairs are low-rise, like in the old estates, and are very comfortable to walk up,” Syd says.

Borrowing from Charleston architecture, they included balconies that span the entire first and second levels and added French doors to all the bedrooms that open out into the porch and overlook West Creek.

Because the home is surrounded by water, with sailing, fishing, and clamming just steps away in summer, they put the heated 32-foot pool and hot tub inside for the slower winter season and added a water park slide and a radiant heated floor.

The top of the house has a cupola — accessible via the attic and offering spectacular views — similar to those found on many sea captain’s houses in Greenport, notes Deb.

“Some people call it a widow’s walk, where the women would go out and wait for their husbands’ ships to come in, hoping that they came back. We put that up there to be historically accurate.”…

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