Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz open the doors of their art-filled California mansion

Written by Megan C. Hills, CNN

In the mountains north of San Diego, a modernist mansion made of white concrete and glass rises from the cliff. Nicknamed “Razor House” after the nearby Razor Point Trail, the property is now home to two famous inhabitants: the singer Alicia Keys and her husband, music producer Kasseem Dean, better known as Swizz Beatz, along with their sons Genesis and Egypt.
Since then, the duo have given the residence its own name, “Dreamland”, filling it with works of art by black artists, a fleet of Ferraris, an infinity pool and a recording studio hidden in a space that Dean calls “the adult floor.” Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the home is said to have inspired Tony Stark’s mansion in the “Iron Man” franchise, according to Architectural Digest, which is dedicating the cover story from its December issue to the property.

Speaking to the magazine, Dean revealed that he put his heart into the house long before buying it. The nearly 11,000-square-foot mansion, a photo of which served as her phone’s wallpaper for eight years before the couple moved in, was “incredibly important to me,” he is quoted as saying.

“Every wall in this house, every part of it, is sculpture,” he added. “These beautiful ‘S’ shapes, these chevrons coming down the slope, curvatures flying in the space above your head. It’s more like sculpture than architecture.”

An exterior view of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s home, which was previously known as “Razor House” but which the couple have named “Dreamland.” Credit: Courtesy of Architectural Digest

When the couple’s real estate agent texted him that the house was for sale, Dean was concerned that Keys, who loved living on the east coast, would be reluctant to move west. “This is Miss New York,” he said. “They might as well make a sculpture of her, the (new) Statue of Liberty.”

But after the previous owner invited the couple to spend a weekend exploring the house, Keys began to imagine life there, according to Architectural Digest. The singer said she was convinced to move in during a morning meditation session at the property, as she watched the paratroopers hover over a nearby mountain.

“At that moment, I felt like I was witnessing a beautiful metaphor, and I never wanted to forget how endless we are and how the unimaginable can happen,” he told the magazine. “That’s what he did for me. They took me.”

An artwork by Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola hangs in the family dining room.

An artwork by Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola hangs in the family dining room. Credit: Courtesy of Architectural Digest

‘Wildest dream’

After finally purchasing the home in 2019, Keys and Dean commissioned New York-based interior designer Kelly Behun to transform the space into “Dreamland.” (Dean was a longtime fan of Behun, describing her as a person with a “soul”).

The designer brought an elegant softness to the space with Moroccan wool rugs and velvet and shearling upholstery, seeking an earthy color palette that complemented the home environment. Key furnishings echo the smooth curves of the building, with rounded sofas and circular coffee tables dotted throughout the house.

Also speaking to Architectural Digest, Behun said he didn’t want to “overshadow the natural environment, architecture or art.”

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz on the cover of the upcoming December issue of Architectural Digest.

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz on the cover of the upcoming December issue of Architectural Digest. Credit: Courtesy of Architectural Digest

As prolific collectors, Keys and Dean put art in the heart of your home. With a portfolio of more than 1,000 works of art, accumulated over two decades, the couple have lined their walls with museum-worthy pieces from artists such as KAWS and Jean Michel-Basquiat.
Black artists take center stage, with works by Kwame Brathwaite, Lauren Pearce and Burkina Faso photographer Sanlé Sory taking pride of place throughout the house. Evocative Images from the Civil Rights Era Photographer Gordon parks They also hang throughout the property, with Architectural Digest revealing that the couple own the world’s largest private collection of their work.

“I love that 90 percent of the art in the house is by artists who are now our friends,” Dean said, adding that some of them have even partied or stayed overnight at the house.

Sentimental elements are intertwined in home décor as well, including a baby grand piano gifted by his record label to Keys when he turned 16. Keys is quoted as saying that his home was “a place to create dreams and be bold enough to dream your wildest dream.”

“For us to be here is a crazier dream,” he added.

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