Alicia Keys's contemporary home exterior celebrates the seamless integration of indoor and outdoor spaces

The singer's house is incredibly unique and modern, but the principles behind it are as old as time – architects explain the ethos behind the style

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur via Getty Images)

When Alicia Keys bought the iconic La Jolla 'Razor House' in 2022, we were blown away by the architectural wonder. The sleek 10,653-square-foot mansion, designed by Wallace E. Cunningham, features in commercials for Visa and Calvin Klein and is thought to be the inspiration behind Tony Stark's lair in Iron Man. Despite its futuristic design, one of the most impressive aspects of the home is the way it embraces nature.

The 'Razor House' is known as one of the world's best homes, and for good reason. The walls are made almost completely of glass, creating an instant connection between the indoors and the vibrant blue of the California coast outside. A gorgeous infinity pool off the edge of the home drops seamlessly to the surrounding mountains. The shape of the home allows a visitor to pass from different areas of the house by going out of doors.

Architects laud the design of Keys's modern home. Jay Sanders, certified contractor and owner of Maryland Contractors and Blue Rise Roofing, states: 'The most interesting aspect is it has a bold and geometric design. The angular roof and large windows create a dynamic silhouette that's both modern and eye-catching. The use of natural materials, especially wood cladding, adds warmth to it and blends in well with its surroundings.'

However, the shape is not the most impressive: it's the choice to blur the indoors and out. Sanders tells Homes & Gardens: 'What stands out is the seamless integration of indoor and outdoor spaces. Perhaps these expansive glass walls and open-plan interiors provide for breathtaking views while creating strong links to nature. The architects have done an excellent job of balancing form and function to create a visually appealing home that also appears highly liveable.'

While it would be hard to recreate the exact style of this home enough to become a real estate trend, certain aspects of the home are becoming increasingly popular. Sanders says, 'One very popular style of home nowadays is called the 'Modern Cabin' or 'Contemporary Mountain Retreat'. Right now, we’re seeing a growing trend towards such designs, especially in scenic locations. Today's people are more interested in houses that have a modern outlook yet are still rooted in natural environments.'

Shop the Outdoor Living Room Edit

No matter the style of your property, creating an outdoor living room is a perfect way to unite the indoors and outdoors of your home. Stylish outdoor furniture brings the two extremes together.

Though this knife's edge-style house may not catch on as an architectural trend, the allure of the principles behind the design is undeniable. Uniting the in and out of doors will never be a bad idea.

Sophie Edwards
News Editor

Sophie is a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens, where she works on the Celebrity Style team. She is fascinated by the intersection of design and popular culture and is particularly excited when researching trends or interior history. Sophie is an avid pop culture fan. As an H&G editor, she has interviewed the likes of Martha Stewart, Hilary Duff, and the casts of Queer Eye and Selling Sunset. Before joining Future Publishing, Sophie worked as the Head of Content and Communications at Fig Linens and Home, a boutique luxury linens and furniture brand. She has also written features on exciting developments in the design world for Westport Magazine. Sophie has an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology and a BA in Creative Writing and Sociology from Sarah Lawrence College.