Filled with statement art from paintings by Toyin Ojih Odutola, to Gordon Parks photographs (which they have the largest private collection of in the country) and a bevy of African masks and pieces, the home is a modernist “dreamland.” After having his eyes on Wallace E. Cunningham’s architectural wonder for years, even making an image of it his screensaver, Swizz got lucky when the home, which is said to have inspired Tony Stark’s mansion in Ironman, went on sale. The couple purchased the home in La Jolla in 2019 and have since worked with designer Kelly Behun to make the 11,000 square-foot property their own, filled with their tastes and important details from their life (like the grand piano Keys was given when she signed to Columbia Records at 16).
The home is fantastic, with its views of the Pacific Ocean and its design, which Cunningham tells AD is “a sculpture. “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.”
Behun helped to make it into a warm family home, as the couple and sons Egypt and Genesis all reside in it on the West Coast. She chose cozy pieces like shearling chairs and a chenille sectional sofa, an opulent velvet sofa, some gorgeous ebonized furniture alongside photographs in the garage of all places, and more. Every inch of the home is filled with pieces from the couple’s collection of more than 1,000 works. As they took AD through their home, you feel inspired, which is what they want people to feel when they enter the space.
“When you hear a song or something we’ve produced, the foundation is to make people feel good and feel loved. That’s what our art is about,” Keys says. “When you come into our home, that’s exactly what we want you to feel. We want you to feel loved, to feel safe, to feel relaxed. We want you to have a great meal. We want you to feel inspired.”
We were quite inspired by the space, so much so that we looked around for decor inspired by some of the gorgeous pieces in their home. From an affordable but still chic shearling chair from Target, to smaller touches like a fine China tea set and ceramic pieces that provide additional character to the home, and pricey investment pieces, here’s how you can do an artistic, modern home like Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.
(Note: All pieces selected are inspired by decor/personal touches you’ll find in their home tour below.)