This is a love story. As in any love story worth the time it takes time to read, this one has it all: a dramatic setting, likable characters, romantic tension and a satisfying conclusion. Such is the case for Lynn and Gary Hanson who recently completed building their dream home at The Strand at Headlands.
“Lynn and I were searching for the perfect piece of property to build our home. When we landed at The Strand, we knew it was a match made in heaven,” explains Gary, from the balcony of his breathtakingly beautiful 7,600 sq. ft. “beach house” perched above Strand Beach. “It was love at first sight.”
Falling in love was the easy part. Building a home from scratch has it’s challenges, Gary admits. But the challenges of designing and building a home from the ground up not only intrigued the Hansons, “it egged us on.”
“All it took was one look at the Strand’s beachfront setting and its panoramic ocean views to know that it would be worth the effort. Lynn and I are entrepreneurs. We love this kind of thing.”
Lucky in love, lucky in life, the saying goes but for the Hansons, choosing the perfect homesite was more deliberate. Out of a 118 homesites at The Strand to choose from, the Hansons chose a site located in the South Strand on Shoreline Drive. It was the homesite’s 180 degree unobstructed views that they fell in love with.
In fact, the views from the Hanson’s property encompass the Strand’s 32-acre Conservation Park and expand all the way to San Diego, Catalina and Palos Verdes. The homesite even has magnificent views of Saddleback Mountain eastward.
But it wasn’t until they actually framed their home that they realized that every room would have breathtakingly beautiful ocean, city lights and mountain views.
“Picking such an amazing property had a lot to do with dumb luck,” says Gary, who is humble to the core. “Every lot at the Strand is unique and has great views so it wasn’t that easy zeroing in on the lot that was right for our family. I give Chris Light, our architect and Russ Schwimm, our builder a lot of credit for positioning the home on the lot in a way that captures the best views from every room.”
The inspiration for the Hanson’s home came from The Strand’s 9,000 sq. ft. oceanfront Beach Club designed by iconic Laguna Beach architect Mark Singer. The Hansons incorporated the Beach Club’s use of limestone floors and walls, 18-foot high, floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows that seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor spaces. An almost lot line to lot line pool and barbecue area complete the outdoor space.
Sustaining a love affair takes time and attention. One look at the Hanson’s newly completed home tells you that this romance took nurturing. “We put our heart and soul into designing this home,” says Lynn, who, along with Gary, did all of the interiors without the help of a designer. “We took a less-is-more approach to the entire project. We think that approach paid off.”
The couple focused on the huge amount of volume and open space in the home and selected furnishings that would enhance the space and views not detract from it. The Hanson’s instincts scored. Artist Leroy Neiman lithographs add splashes of color throughout the home while soft subtle whites, beiges and blues accent the home’s architectural features like it’s sweeping mahogany staircase and stone floors.
It’s been two years since the Hansons first fell in love with The Strand and any objective observer can see that the honeymoon is far from over.
“There is no place like the Strand,” Gary smiles. “We love our home, we love the setting and we especially love our new neighbors. It’s a great place to call home.”