When Serena Williams purchased her waterfront home north of Miami, she was embarking on a new journey. After over 20 years, the tennis star was leaving the home she’d shared with her sister, fellow tennis champion Venus, to lay down roots in her own primary residence.
While she already owned and spent time in other secondary properties, this was an emotional milestone: “I was moving away from Venus for the first time in my life, so I wanted it to be really meaningful,” Williams told Architectural Digest.
The kitchen, designed with her personal chef. Credit: Architectural Digest
To completely transform and modernize the 14,500-square-foot, Spanish Mediterranean-style mansion, Serena enlisted V Starr, the design firm Venus founded in 2002. And now, four years later, she’s revealed the stunning end result in the pages of Architectural Digest’s March 2021 issue.
Minimal and modern, the interiors were inspired in part by hotels Serena had visited during her travels around the world. Perfectly suited to comfortable quarantine living, the house has its own gym, sauna, wine cellar, infinity pool, karaoke room (reserved for “serious karaoke singers only,” the sisters warned) and a 620-square-foot, boutique-inspired closet.
For Williams, the self-styled cook of the family, the kitchen was especially important. Designed with her private chef, it embodies what V Starr principal Sonya Haffey called “livable luxury,” with sleek wall ovens from the German heritage manufacturer Gaggenau, a cooktop from Florence’s Officine Gullo, and quartz counters balanced with the warm wood of the flooring and dining set.
The karoake room. Credit: Architectural Digest
But her favorite part of the home is the art space, built within what was originally a foyer and sitting room. With 28-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive white walls, it’s a perfect showcase for selections from Serena’s personal collection, which includes works of art and design by the likes of sculptor Leonard Drew, painter Radcliffe Bailey and KAWS.
“I am not a fan of just having spaces to have them. Maybe some people use their formal living rooms, but we don’t,” Venus explained of the design decision. “So we created a space that she can actually use and enjoy and live with the art, and invite other people to absorb it and have that emotional connection as soon as you walk in. It sets the tone for the rest of the home.”
The one thing you won’t find on the property is a tennis court.
“I wanted to separate home from work,” Serena said. “I love being home. When you have our job, you never get time to relax. So it’s good for me to be able to sit still and not do anything.”