Commanding magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean, Stone Manor is nestled within three acres of coastal gardens along “Lover’s Lane” in Malibu, providing the perfect setting for a romantic wedding or two.
When Lance Lindsay was a young man growing up in Southern California, Malibu was still just a 21-mile stretch of rough coastline where the mountains tumble into the sea. His family would often go horseback riding among the hills, or collect shells along the beach, at a time when the sleepy little town was just beginning to blossom as a surfing mecca.
Born of a long line of inventors and designers, Lance is the son of John C. Lindsay, one of the foremost architects of his time, who specialized in the mid-century modern style, with a number of signature buildings scattered throughout Southern California. When his father passed away, Lance inherited quite a number of doors from his father, including two big front doors which he found inspiring. Although he was only in his twenties and finances were tight, he paid to keep them preserved and stored, promising himself that one day he would “build a house around them.”
In 1987 he got his chance. The stretch of land known as “Lover’s Lane”, treasured by the locals for its view of the ocean in the moonlight, came up for sale through the grandparents of some friends. Lance leapt at the chance to purchase it, even though no utilities had been brought in, and it wasn’t easily accessible. Diving into the project, he developed the land and utilities were brought in for Stone Manor and five other properties along a private road.
With his background in design, inventing, and film production, Lance and his wife Aime designed the home to show off the stunning location and view, setting it up intentionally for photo shoots and professional filming. Built in an “L” shape, the home tracks with the sun, providing bright California sunshine to the interior of the home all day long. And since the view is exquisite, the home is oriented to provide a sweeping lawn with a view straight out to Catalina Island. With a slate aisle down the center, and a border of green hedges, it has an “infinity garden” look that draws the eye outward, while keeping the atmosphere intimate.
Because the area was still unincorporated land at the time of building, they were able to add features to the home that are unusual by today’s building standards. Four massive stone fireplaces provide not just heat but ambience and structural beauty to the home. A lot of natural spaces within open directly to natural spaces without, giving the home fresh breezes when wanted, and subtly bringing the outdoor feeling inside all year-round. Lance added beautiful water features and elegant self-designed light fixtures to the landscaping.
The interior design was largely done by Aime and Lance themselves, though they admit to being inspired both by European travels and by some of the ideas of the professional crews that have come in to convert a room overnight for productions and product launches. Two crews in particular came from Restoration Hardware and DirectTV, and Aime was so impressed she hired them to consult with her on the interior décor. The result is like a garden home that is both comfortable and indulgent, with charming details set in a natural environment. “It’s always very validating,” Aime says, “when very discerning celebrities come in and say, ‘This is us. This is perfect.’”
Lance and Aime put all their creativity and expertise into the home and the grounds. The outdoor spaces are coveted by gardeners around the world, and have been featured in magazines such as English Home and Garden and American Horticulture. Lovingly designing their own ecosystem, they have created a breathtaking outdoor garden around the home, enhancing the natural wonder of the property.
There are long pathways set up as perfect backdrops for bridal photos, a softly lit waterfall in the front drive, and private paths leading to secret retreats and intimate nooks. They even have their own grove of coastal redwoods, one of the largest in the area. In the lower terrace the landscaping truly shines, lit by Lance’s own designs of copper and brass fixtures which showcase the blooming flowers and leafy fruit trees. This is a favorite socializing site, ideal for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
And of course, the big dream of using Lance’s inherited doors was realized. One of the great sights of the home is the entrance, where the front doors greet visitors from the courtyard. Surrounded by 20,000 square feet of golden stone and lit by thousands of Tivoli lights, it is a private, peaceful enclosure that is the ideal setting for wedding receptions and evening celebrations.
As soon as house and grounds were ready, (before the trees were even four feet tall!) production companies and luxury brands began to ask if they could use the home and the landscape for product launches, fashion shows, print ads, and commercials. Everyone from Martha Stewart to Audi, The Bachelorette, to ESPN, wanted to take advantage of the singular beauty, and ideal setting, of Stone Manor. Before long, word spread, and the Lindsays found themselves fielding wedding requests by the dozen.
Surprised and delighted, they found that they loved it. “It’s an Enchanted Garden” Aime Lindsay says, “in the first season alone we did thirty-three weddings.” Already intimately familiar with the services of local professional chefs, photographers, and event planners, they had every connection in place to give wedding families and guests the most seamless and enjoyable experience possible. Stone Manor’s reputation has continued to grow over the years such that now they rent the home out for other events and to vacationers as well.
The list of visitors to Stone Manor is impressive. Celebrities, performers, athletes, politicians, and wealthy business people come to take advantage of not just the impressive views, but the red carpet treatment of guests. With five bedrooms and six bathrooms (four en-suite) it has room to sleep ten guests. The kitchen features high-end appliances, but the outdoor grill and al fresco dining area often draw people outside. Whether guests are craving an hour on the putting green, or a glass of champagne in the Jacuzzi, great care has been taken to ensure everyone gets what they want.
Though the private drive provides security and a “Paparazzi-Proof” location, downtown ‘Bu is only a few minutes away. Los Angeles is 40 minutes away by car, if you’d like to see Rodeo Drive or Sunset Boulevard. And, of course, if you love the beach, there are many world-renowned beaches nearby to choose from.
The town of Malibu has grown up through its “Surfin’ USA” years to become a high-end, chic destination, frequented by international travelers, and inhabited by plenty of celebrities. The “groovy’ little town has become the ideal location for a West Coast wedding, anniversary, or vacation. And in the entire coastal stretch, you will find only one property with the perfect combination of serenity and glamour, the Stone Manor.
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