The Art of Nature

Located atop a bluff in Dana Point, this landmark residence is the very essence of romantic California coastal living


Written by Wendy Bowman     Photographs by Tyler Bowman


When Irvine-based architect David R. Olson set out to design this stunning SoCal residence, he was inspired by the elements of nature. Most notably, the site and climate. What emerged is a contemporary masterpiece overlooking the picturesque Dana Point Harbor, complete with sweeping coastline views south to San Clemente and beyond paired with seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces ideal for relaxing and entertaining while enjoying the spectacular scenery.

“The magnificent site defines the meaning of coastal indoor-outdoor living that our temperate climate offers—sun, surf, beach, coastline, bluffs, and activity on display in the harbor morning, noon and night,” says Mark Nix of Surterre Properties, who is listing the home at 24366 Santa Clara Avenue for $9.888 million. “The consistent use of building materials creates a Zen environment that is very relaxing, with the entry and backyard water features echoing soothing sounds through the entire home.”


Perched on a bluff, on a parcel consisting of a little more than a third of an acre, this magnificent, lovingly maintained residence has been showcased on annual home tours by the American Institute of Architects, Dana Point Historical Society and Orange County Museum of Art. Expect 6,469 square feet of luxurious living space highlighted by supreme finishes and touches, including soaring ceilings and windows, limestone flooring and a smart-home system. Among the most show-stopping features is a striking, mahogany-framed glass wave sculpture created by local artist Nolan Everitt that tops the living room’s granite fireplace, with its wave pattern repeated in the custom carpeting in the living room, as well as in windows and doors throughout. 

Dry stacked Santa Barbara Sandstone walls and a beautifully crafted mahogany gate accompanied by copper-clad arbors beckon one into a dramatic yet serene courtyard. Just inside the private courtyard is a detached guest house with its own entrance, a dry sauna and kitchenette. Approaching the threshold to the home, flowing water courses beneath each step of a limestone-lined “walk-on-water” feature flanked by a massive stone wall and flowing fountains that leads through a tall, commercial-grade glass front door and into a light-filled living space boasting floor-to-ceiling glass walls offering immediate ocean views.

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A hallway immediately to the left of the entryway leads to pocket doors that open to an attractive office with views of a Jacuzzi spa and the landscape beyond. Continuing down the hall, one will find a master suite featuring floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a spa-like bath, along with access to an outdoor infinity-edge spa and fountain and vistas capturing the entire depth of the property out to the glimmering ocean. Returning to the entry, the right side of the home holds a formal dining room, while steps descend to a living room showcasing tall ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and the aforementioned glass sculpture resting above the fireplace. At the rear of the property lies a professional chef’s kitchen (featuring streamlined appliances such as a six-burner stove, as well as a curved dining counter and central island that are both topped with lovely Tunis granite). Yet other features found in this area include a separate breakfast nook and a family “morning” room hosting a big-screen TV and a fireplace encased in a stone wall.

A staircase leads to the home’s large-scale living area above, replete with an additional master suite flaunting spectacular views of the jetty and beaches below. French doors open to the suite, which features a seating area; large balcony; spa-like bath with a nine-head steam shower and soothing jetted tub; and a designer showroom closet. Also on this floor is a media room with a wet bar, a duo of TVs and a large screen, as well as a second en-suite bedroom.

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Outdoors, 100 feet of bluff frontage and a diagonal-shaped lot maximizes the views and provides the perfect indoor-outdoor living environment via numerous covered and uncovered patio spaces. Accentuating the breathtaking natural surroundings is a fire pit and updated drought-tolerant landscaping completed by San Clemente-based landscape architect Daniel Stewart & Associates. Rounding out this home’s special allure is a three-car garage and ample off-street parking, as well as convenient access to nearby shopping, dining, galleries, recreational pursuits, and more.

“This architecturally significant contemporary home catches the eye of most passersby as a walled compound, evoking a curiosity to know what is beyond the symmetric stone walls and beautifully crafted wood gate and copper clad arbors,” says Nix. “Timeless is a word I hear used so often from visitors to describe this home.” This residence is indeed a symphony of the senses that plays in perfect harmony with one of the most beautiful locales on the Southern California coast.

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Presented by Mark Nix, Surterre Properties ~ | 949.633.1166