Inside Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s Art-Filled Modernist Home Overlooking the Pacific Ocean 

A hectic schedule, however, didn’t keep Dean from being a hands-on collaborator during the nine-month-long project, says Behun. “He lives and breathes that house; he understands every square inch of it. Being remote would normally be an obstacle, [but] he was so in tune with what he knew he wanted, and that’s why everything just clicked.” Erected in 2007, the cantilevered structure comprises floor-to-ceiling glass, white concrete, grand walkways, manicured courtyards, and floating staircases. Keen on making the home more family-friendly and less like a place a “superhero would live in,” Behun brought in warmth by introducing wood elements, Moroccan wool rugs, and seating upholstered in soft fabrics like shearling and cotton velvet. The palette leans heavily on colors that harmonize with the views—golden sands, caramel browns, buttery cognacs. “The interiors don’t in any way shout; they’re simple and timeless,” says Behun, later adding, “It was never going to be about trying to upstage the natural surroundings, the architecture, or the art.”

Dean and Keys’s art collection, amassed over 20 years and totaling more than 1,000 works, is as extensive as it is enviable. Years ago, the couple chose to focus on acquiring pieces by African American and African artists, ranging from Kehinde Wiley and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye to Barkley L. Hendricks and Henry Taylor. They also possess a treasure trove of Gordon Parks images—the largest in private hands. “It really feels like he’s a grandfather to us,” says Keys of the celebrated lensman. “To be able to keep his collection together and for it to live in the home of Black artists is really very emotional for me.”

In the primary bedroom, a pair of 1940’s Sven Staaf chairs upholstered in shearling from Hostler Burrows flank an oak and stone mosaic side table with rope accents by Kelly Behun Studio from The Invisible Collection.

Frank Frances Studio

According to Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, “Alicia and Kasseem see themselves not only as collectors of art but as custodians of the culture.” She continues, “Over the years, I’ve watched their collection develop as their vision has widened and expanded to create a collection that really represents the breadth and depth of the work being made by Black artists.” Dean, a member of the board of the Brooklyn Museum, and Keys also collect to be in close community with fellow creatives. “I love that 90 percent of the art in the house is by artists who are now our friends,” Dean boasts. “We’ve broken bread with them, they’ve partied at our house, they’ve spent the night. It’s not transactional for us.”

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