Celebrity Style

We can't get enough of Venus Williams' interior projects – here are 5 of our favorites

We take a look at V Starr-designed spaces – and explain what you can learn from Venus's stand-out projects

Venus Williams
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Venus Williams may be best known for her talent on the tennis court, but her passion for interior design has made her a true stand-out in the celebrity design industry – thanks to her celebrated Florida-based firm, V Starr. And we can't stop scrolling through her most recent designs. 

Although the star primarily focuses on commercial design nowadays, there are some incredible decorating ideas to be found in her firm's projects – and many can be easily transferred to our own homes  (albeit in smaller, subtler ways). 

Here, we break down five of her top design projects and note some key ideas to steal from her spaces.

Our top five Venus Williams designs

Having opened V Starr studio in 2002, Venus used the project as a side passion away from the court. Since then, she has designed over xx interiors – including that of her sister, Serena. It is now a full design firm specializing in commercial design, with a history of working in the high-end residential sector. 

1. The 'On The Boards' Project

Although a full-scale restaurant renovation, V Starr's South Floridan 'On The Boards' renovation is a masterclass in decorating sympathetically with the landscape around the property, says Jennifer Ebert, deputy editor (digital) for Homes & Gardens

'Venus states the project was inspired by the lush greenery of the properties locality and really comes through in the fluted bar – a look that could easily be replicated on kitchen islands or even a garden bar,' she says. 'The addition of local photographers art work helps to tie it all in together, and I think there is a lot to learn about shopping locally and using what the environment around your home provides to help curate a space that feels not only well put together but inspired too.' 

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jen is the Deputy Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens online. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.

2. Tropical terraces

There is no shortage of bright tropical prints splattered across the curated Instagram of V Starr designs, and our news editor Megan Slack can't get enough. 

'I love the escapist feel that the tropical print tiles offer on the statement fireplace,' she begins. 'It is a really vibrant twist on traditional fireplace ideas, bringing a nice summer touch to an otherwise wintery addition to a terrace – perfect for warming up on a chiller summer's night sat out with friends and some drinks. 

'I also love how the textiles around the fireplace match with tiles without overwhelming the space with too much color when decorating with pattern,' she adds. 'It is lively but hasn't sacrificed sophistication.' 

Leafy Tropics Outdoor Pillow | $140 at Anthropologie

Leafy Tropics Outdoor Pillow | $140 at Anthropologie
Achieve a similarly light tropical look on your own patio or terrace with this tropical print outdoor pillow. Hand-crafted, the material is UV resistant, so the vibrant colors will remain for years to come. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is the news and trends editor at Homes & Gardens. She has a history in interior journalism, writing for Livingetc and Real Homes before joining the H&G team as the news editor. Prior to Future Plc, she worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds.

3. The Clubhouse at Atlantico

The Atlantico clubhouse was Venus' opportunity to combine the strong architectural lines of a modern clubhouse with soft fabrics and furniture lines to create a community space (albeit one that is steeped in luxury).

'We found inspiration in the sense of community that is created in multifunction spaces usually found in hotels,' V Starr vice-president and principal designer Sonya Haffey told Hospitality Design. 'Our design softened hard architectural elements like iron and stone with subdued plush, flowing fabrics, while subtle beachy accessories and expansive windows allow natural light to pour in. They were a key element to unifying the indoor space with what is outside.' 

The project is a perfect example of decorating with neutrals to create a space that feels open but also welcoming too. 

Sonya Haffey
Sonya Haffey

Sonya Haffey is the Principal of V Starr and has led the firm since 2009.  When she joined the company, Sonya used her extensive experience from previous roles, as founder of her own design firm, to transition V Starr from being exclusively residential to including a strong commercial basis.

4. The luxury day bed addition

Day beds have rocketed in popularity over the last few years with a sudden increase in interest in the benefits of sleeping outside, but Venus seems to have been ahead of the curve with this custom-curtained day bed in a luxury residential apartment project. 

This custom fitting by Venus and her team shows how you can easily use up space on a large patio to create a relaxed snoozing spot with a lovely Mediterranean touch that provides privacy and protection from the sun.

Leigh McAlpin of Classic Architectural suggests making your napping spot more comfortable by adding plush, weather-resistant pillows, cushions, and blankets. 'Pick materials that are both weather-resistant and simple to maintain. If privacy is a concern for you, you can also make a private area using outside curtains, as Venus has here, or get creative with trellises or carefully arranged plants. 

'You'll feel more at ease, and there won't be as many distractions as a result.'

5. Serena's "liveable luxury" wetroom

Not all of Venus' work features earthy neutrals and tropical prints, however. Demonstrating true versatility, the sports star and her team redesigned sister Serena William's luxury bathroom with a minimalist vibe.

The wet room was designed based on the bathrooms of several hotels Serena had stayed in around the world, according to the studio's Instagram, with the minimalist aesthetic achieved with stark whites, real marble, and gold accents. The only color is introduced through bathroom plants that again evoke the plant life and palm trees surrounding the home, glimpsed through the high bathroom windows. 

To create a similar look yourself, you should really follow the 'less is more' philosophy, suggests Kim Shattuck, lead interior designer at Dream Home Studio: 'Homeowners must get rid of almost everything on their sink countertops,' she declares. 'The clutter of medications, grooming paraphernalia, and knickknacks people pile around their sinks hurts my designer heart. Seriously, everything doesn't have to be within sight. 

'Instead, carefully organize everything into drawers and cabinets that are still conveniently within reach, then add a few decorative items to create a clean Zen spa bathroom vibe. 

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.