A Taste of Provence
For Michael Patton
and Lily Liang, their Provençal-style home
in Malaga Cove is a
for nature, family
- Written byMarlene Stang
When South Bay residents Michael Patton and Lily Liang discovered the land on which their home stands, it was naturally love at first sight. Malaga Cove epitomizes everything that’s most beautiful about southern California—its rocky cliffs, stunning ocean views and forested nature preserves inspire artists and visitors every day.
Along with iconic South Bay architect Tony Ashai, the couple embarked on a major renovation of the original 2,000-square-foot, Spanish-style house they purchased. A definite and very personal vision galvanized their efforts: to bring Provence to Palos Verdes. Visit their expansive, 7,200-square-foot home and you’re struck by its intimacy. The lush landscaping is verdant with lavender, olive trees and cypress. And the estate itself—a testament to their passion for authenticity— displays such recognizably Provencal details as ample stone, a rustic tile roof and working shutters. Of course, this is only where the journey begins.
Doric columns rise from a cement balustrade, supporting the wrought iron gazebo that Lily and Michael designed themselves. Inspired by a classic French scroll pattern, they sought to create a picturesque space in which to enjoy the view.
"The location—with such privacy and views of the forest, ocean, coves and city lights—captured our hearts. Michael and I are both very busy in our work, and this home is a sanctuary where we truly relax. We appreciate the quiet and peace we experience here."
Here also, the sense of an outdoor enclave is achieved with cement columns that display a tree bark finish and the fantasy of a wild rose vine in relief. Trompe l’oeil cherubs in flight over the stately dining table offer a dramatic counterpoint to such natural details as hickory floors and several plein air paintings.