They say every house has a story, and the Stone House in Malibu has a lot to say.
There are moments of nostalgia (architecture reminiscent of the Côte d’Azur stone farmhouses) and awe (a dramatic living room with walls opening to the ocean). There are even elements of surprise (a Pinot Noir vineyard).
Poetry. Yes, poetry along the Pacific.
Listed by Ellen Francisco of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Malibu, the Stone House is the latest realization of Jaman Properties—a husband-and-wife team that has built homes for everyone from Fran Drescher to Conan O’Brien. With backgrounds in show business—producer, Michael Manheim and screenwriter, Janus Cercone specialize in storytelling. Explains Cercone: “We spend a lot of time listening to what story each property wants to tell. We identify the central characters of that narrative, then make all subsequent design choices based on fitting those fictional inhabitants, their needs and dreams. Most of the time, the imaginary owner and the real owner turn out to be identical. It’s kind of magical.”
You could say that the Stone House story opens with a scene recalling your last vacation in the South of France. Its hand-cut limestone exterior, 200-year-old front door, antique detailing and quaint fountained courtyard—touched with Malibu’s salty ocean air—evoke summers spent idling along the sea.
“We think a lot about our prospective buyers: how they like to dress, how they like to entertain, how they want to live day to day, and most importantly, how they want to feel in the house,” says Cercone.
And so, the Stone House will most likely star a high-powered person or couple that wants to escape “the noise of life.” The serenity offered behind its jasmine-covered walls is like a warm embrace, “so that the minute you walk into this house, you are completely protected. We wanted this home to be nurturing and inspiring—a place where a creative person can open themselves up to inspiration.”
Inspiration… in the form of unobstructed ocean views and a broad deck stretching out to sea. Inspiring… in the form of a full-story master suite with “a sybaritic Pacific-view soaking tub and Bluetooth-compatible steam room. Inspiring…in the form of a 30-vine Pinot Noir, Côte de Beaune “mini-vini” that produces about two cases a year. “It’s a place where things grow and ideas bloom,” says Cercone.
Still, the buyer who can afford a $9,985,000 three-bedroom beach house likes to “bloom” in other ways too—like when it’s time to throw a dinner party. This antique-meets-contemporary house was made for such a sophisticated person. The chef-designed kitchen takes cues from the great French kitchens of the past with its La Cornue range, yet embraces the contemporary with a mirrored backsplash that reflects the Pacific.
A club room with a 500-bottle temperature controlled wine storage offers libations while screening a movie or enjoying Game Night and the living spaces also welcome guests with two wood-burning fireplaces, a sea-side fire pit and an audio system inside and out. The gas-lanterned entry has enough parking for five cars and gated access to Pacific Coast Highway for additional parking.
Concludes Cercone: “This home has two speeds: recluse and party.” We’ve already had a party for 150 people, now it’s up to the new owners to break that record!”
With that challenge, the Stone House story continues…it’s just waiting for the next stars.