Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz open the doors to their 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 cliffside. The property, nicknamed “Razor House” after the nearby Razor Point Trail, is now home to two famous inhabitants: singer Alicia Keys and her music producer husband Kasseem Dean, better known as Swizz Beatz, alongside their children Genesis and Egypt.
The duo have since given the residence their own name, “Dreamland,” filling it with artworks by Black artists, a fleet of Ferraris, an infinity pool and a recording studio tucked away in a space Dean calls “the grown up floor.” Boasting views over 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 of its December issue to the property.

Speaking to the magazine, Dean revealed that he set his heart on the home long before purchasing it. The nearly 11,000-square-foot mansion, a photo of which served as his phone 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 bit of it, is sculpture,” he added. “These beautiful ‘S’ shapes, these chevrons going down the hillside, curvatures flying in space over your head. It’s more akin to sculpture than architecture.”

An exterior view of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz's home, which previously known as "Razor House" but has been dubbed "Dreamland" by the couple.

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

When the couple’s real estate agent messaged to say the home was on the market, Dean was worried that Keys — who loved living on the East Coast — would be reluctant to move out west. “She’s Miss New York,” he said. “They might as well make a sculpture of her the (new) Statue of Liberty.”

But after the couple were invited by the the previous owner to spend a weekend exploring the house, Keys began imagining her life there, according to Architectural Digest. The singer said she was convinced to relocate during a morning meditation session at the property, as she watched parasailers floated over a nearby mountain.

“In that moment, I felt like I was witnessing a beautiful metaphor, and I wanted to not ever forget how endless we are and how the unimaginable can happen,” she told the magazine. “That’s what did it for me. I was taken.”

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 Architectural Digest

‘Wildest dream’

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

The designer brought an elegant softness to the space with Moroccan wool rugs and velvet and shearling upholstery, looking to an earthy color palette that complemented the home’s surroundings. Key items of furniture echo the building’s gentle curves, with rounded couches and circular coffee tables spotted throughout the house.

Also speaking to Architectural Digest, Behun said she didn’t want to “upstage the natural surroundings, the architecture or the art.”

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz on the cover of Architectural Digest's forthcoming December issue.

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

As prolific collectors, Keys and Dean put art at the heart their home. With a portfolio of over 1,000 artworks, amassed over two decades, the pair have lined their walls with museum-worthy pieces by the likes of KAWS and Jean Michel-Basquiat.
Black artists take the spotlight, with works by Kwame Brathwaite, Lauren Pearce and Burkinabe photographer SanlĂ© Sory given pride of place across the home. Evocative images by the civil rights-era photographer Gordon Parks also hang throughout the property, with Architectural Digest revealing that the couple own the world’s largest private collection of his 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 spent the night at the house.

Sentimental items are also woven into the home decor, including a baby grand piano that was gifted to Keys by her record label when she turned 16. Keys is quoted as saying that their home was “a place to create dreams and to be bold enough to dream your wildest dream.”

“For us to be here is a wildest dream,” she added.

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