Michael Amini will no doubt raise a glass of Cristal bubbly if his aptly named “Palais de Cristal” mega-mansion on California’s tony Newport Coast, sells for anywhere close to its staggering $69.8 million asking price.
The founder and CEO of luxury home furnishing giant Amini Innovation Corp.—he’s universally known as the “King of Bling”—has spent the past eight years creating this, his own personal temple to no-expense-spared opulence.
How opulent? The just-completed, 15,500-square-foot, seven-bedroom Palladian-style palazzo, perched high on a hilltop overlooking the crashing Pacific close to Newport Beach, features rooms of endless marble, onyx, Swarovski crystal and 24-karat gold.
Palais de Cristal’s entryway staircases have ornate iron railings. Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates
Step through the ornate glass and-wrought-iron front doors and you’re greeted with a pair of soaring staircases, modeled after those in the historic five-star Peninsula Paris hotel, with swirly iron railings and gold-leaf detailing.
Now look up at the stained-glass dome in the foyer’s soaring ceiling. Named by Amini “The Eye of the Phoenix,” the multi-colored centerpiece, created by the famed glass-blowers at LA’s Judson Studios, includes Swarovski crystal-and-gold pendants suspended from a central “eye.”
Palais de Cristal’s “Eye of the Phoenix.” Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates
Keep on walking all the way to the rear of the home, and you’ll be mesmerized by the explosion of color bursting from the oversized swimming pool.
Called “Sunrise to Sunset,” the elaborate mosaic was created by the artisans at Britain’s Craig Bragby Pools, who hand-painted the tiles to reflect the sunrise at one end, and sunset at the other.
Palais de Cristal’s pool. Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates
Now take the staircase down to the lower-level entertaining “pavilion” with a belly-up bar worthy of a classic Manhattan hotel. Close by is a screening room with state-of-the-art projection and sound, and a ceiling of twinkling LED lights, Rolls-Royce Phantom-style, mimicking a starry night.
Palais de Cristal’s theater. Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates
But to experience the true pièce de résistance, step into the home’s garage. Yes, the garage. In its traditional role, it offers space for up to 15 cars in air conditioned comfort, with Venetian plaster walls and two-inch-thick marble flooring. At the flick of a few switches, however, the 3,725-square-foot space transforms into a nightclub, with thumping sound system, laser-light gear and smoke makers. The electric turntable that spins cars around also doubles as a revolving dance floor.
“My aim with the house was to create a legacy of who I am and what I like. Every step of the way, my goal was to make sure everything was unique, and created with no expense spared” Amini, 64, tells Robb Report.
The entrepreneur originally bought the half-acre home site back in 2007, paying $5.1 million. Working with Orange County luxury home builder Tony Valentine Construction, the original plan was to complete the mansion in under four years.
Palais de Cristal offer views of the Pacific through Ionian-style columns. Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates
“First we were hit by the 2008 financial collapse. Then I threw out the original designs and essentially started again. In reality, work didn’t fully commence until 2013. Of course, the pandemic of the last year slowed everything down,” he explains.
While Amini worked closely with local interior designer Sue Capelli, of Passione Inc, pretty much every piece of furniture, every fixture and fitting was designed or picked by him.
And his verdict on his opulent Cristal Palace? “It’s everything I hoped for,” he says.
But seeing the home finally completed, Amini has decided that with his two sons now grown and gone, the home is just too big for him and his wife.
So he’s now selling the residence, fully furnished, and fully equipped down to designer toothbrushes, towels, soaps and shampoo. No doubt there’s Cristal Champagne in the fridge, too.
Rex McKown and Marcy Weinstein, of McKown Weinstein and Associates of Compass, hold the coveted listing.
Check out more photos of the Palais de Cristal below:
The living room. Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates
The master bedroom. Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates
The in-home bar. Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates
Palais de Cristal’s arched thresholds. Photo: Courtesy of David Heath of Western Exposure for McKown Weinstein & Associates