High up in the Malibu hills, Stone Manor is a little closer to heaven than most places, and has a view commensurate with its proximity to Paradise. From its secluded niche at the end of its own private road, the estate overlooks a vast swath of the Pacific, stretching from Catalina to Santa Monica Bay. And while the panoramic vista is definitely something to write home about, the house and grounds are equally grand.
SERGEY GREEN PHOTOGRAPHY
The mansion, with its thick walls and stone façade, is reminiscent of an English manor. It presides over a series of formally landscaped terraces, which step down to the edge of the property and share a common backdrop of sea and sky. Ceremonies are usually held on the upper terrace, a broad U-shaped lawn with a slate aisle down its center. The bride makes her entrance from the house where, from the top of a stone stairway, she can survey the entire scene below: guests seated on the grass, a border of fiery bougainvillea and deep green hedges, and the Malibu coastline in the distance.
AMY & STUART PHOTOGRAPHY
After the ceremony, it’s a genuine pleasure to stroll down the flagstone pathways, under bougainvillea-draped stone arches and past acres of blooming flowers and trees. The lower terrace is really an orchard, which can be set up for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Guests mingle beneath a leafy canopy of fruit trees and watch the sun set over the ocean. In another corner of the property they can sip champagne and chat at umbrella-shaded tables on the flagstone pool deck, to the accompaniment of a waterfall cascading into the pool.
BEAUTIFUL DAY PHOTOGRAHY
Receptions are held in the courtyard at the entrance to the house. Made of golden stone, it’s softly illuminated by copper and amber carriage lights that cast a honeyed glow during evening celebrations. At one end of the courtyard a waterfall flows down the terraced hillside, which is threaded with pathways and shaded by 30-foot trees. An option for smaller gatherings is the Garden House, a stone pavilion with a large, open-air terrace. This patio is completely enclosed by a glass windbreak, so diners can enjoy the ocean view without interference from ocean breezes. The pavilion can also be set up with tables, but it’s most often used for dancing. Stone walls support a whitewashed pine, peaked ceiling, and multiple sets of French doors on all sides let in plenty of light and air. At night, the starry sky seems to come all the way down to the ground, thanks to thousands of Tivoli lights glowing in the surrounding hedges, arches and trees.
Building Stone Manor took seven years and 14,000 tons of stone to complete. The result is a heavenly home in a gorgeous setting. And although the streets here are paved with slate, not gold, we’re confident that even the angels consider it a job well done.
DONALD NORRIS PHOTOGRAPHY
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