When Liz McCutcheon moved to Poquott in 2004, she had only ever seen pictures of their new home on White Pine Lane.
Moving cross country for the second time, her husband Ray McCutcheon had gone ahead to Long Island from Valencia, California and found the home, a five-bedroom, four-bathroom Victorian built in 1996 on one acre, for which they paid $1,275,000. Liz McCutcheon hadn't yet seen it in person, but having moved six times, she wanted to expedite the process of relocation.
"The realtor was nervous," she said. "She said, 'I can't believe you bought the house without seeing it.' I thought the neighborhood was very nice. I liked how the houses were all different."
Right away, they began to make it their own. The McCutcheons have redone the moldings, added archways on the main level, replaced the carpeting, painted nearly everything, installed new appliances, added an island to the kitchen, put in new light fixtures and hardware, refinished the wood floors, added an outdoor bar, and installed a new stairway railing. The result is a home they are proud of, one which their friends and visitors have genuinely admired, full of distinctive details and carefully selected accents.
Liz McCutcheon designed the bulk of the interior themes herself, built around antique furniture they had refinished and inspired by prints and other memories they acquired while traveling.
"From moving all the time, you get an idea of what you want and what you don't like," she said.
Alongside the framed professional artwork and prints, the McCutcheons display artwork by their children, Katie, 18, and Kyle, 16. The years of drawings and paintings show the kids growing up just like the portraits on the wall along the staircase.
As they get ready to send Katie off to college this fall, the McCutcheons see the family spending a few more years in Poquott before moving again, saying it may be too expensive a community to allow them to retire there.
"If you have little kids, this is a great place," Liz McCutcheon said. "It's safe and quiet."