Venus Williams' anti-trend kitchen revives a '90s fashion designers say is 'utterly timeless'

Personality without paint? Venus' retro-inspired kitchen shows it's more than possible to make a statement with natural materials

Serena Williams
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Venus Williams may be celebrated as an all-time tennis great, but did you know that the star's interests go beyond the grand slams? 

Yup, the former world No. 1 owns a Florida-based design firm, V Starr Interiors, famously responsible for decorating her sister (and tennis counterpart) Serena Williams' kitchen, which we featured recently. And, of course, Venus has brought her expertise into her own kitchen – which we're sharing below. 

As an interior designer, Venus could easily have been tempted by any number of bold kitchen trends. However, she has shown restraint, opting for a subtler approach: retro-style wood kitchen cabinets that quietly pair with a white kitchen island and neutral-painted walls. Perhaps it's no surprise? Despite her achievements on court, she's known to be calm and humble, and her 'anti-trend' kitchen – let's face it, wood kitchens have dipped in popularity somewhat in favor of bolder finishes – reflects that.

We spoke to kitchen design experts for their take.

'Wood is a great element to add to a kitchen, firstly as a texture. Not only does wood grain look fantastic as a visible element, but it also adds depth and creates a bit of a subtle wow factor,' says William Durrant, the owner of Herringbone Kitchens.

Textures aside, Durrant says these traditional wooden cabinets bring 'a tone of warmth to a space', especially when paired with sleek white paint like Venus'. 'This warmth offsets against whites as well as cool colors. The tone of the wood can create a warm atmosphere while bringing a natural element and color into the home,' he says. 

Whether we choose wooden kitchen cabinets like Venus or we incorporate these organic tones with another furnishing (such as a dresser or display unit), Durrant says that the natural-wooden aesthetic is an understated way to introduce 'elegance and style' that will 'stand the test of time.' 

But as Mor Krisher, head of design at Caesarstone, explains, there's even more to love about these natural pieces.  'Incorporating organic textures and earthy tones into the kitchen is also a wonderful way of creating a cozy and calming environment in the home,' he comments. 'Bringing a touch of the outside in through raw materials and nature-inspired designs promises to instantly uplift a kitchen and connect us to our surroundings.'

What keeps this kitchen current? 'I think it's the fluting on the cabinetry, which makes what could have been a very "safe" choice much more interesting,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief, Homes & Gardens.

Mor Krisher

Mor is head of design at Caesarstone – a global leader in premium surfaces specializing in worktops that create dynamic and inspiring spaces around the home. The brand, aims to deliver timeless beauty with functional resilience, designing surfaces for a vast range of indoor and outdoor applications.

And, unsurprisingly, Venus' white island, counters, and wall paint only emphasize the therapeutic of the wood cabinets further. 

'Natural yet sophisticated, lighter colors such as white promise to bring a serene and calm feel to a kitchen,' Mor comments. 'Utterly timeless, these hues pair beautifully with other colors and can make a quiet statement on their own through subtle detailing.' 

For the perfect starting point, we've listed our go-to white paint (available via Backdrop) below. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.