The Never-Before-Seen Backyard Where Venus Williams Unwinds off Court

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Photo credit: Serena & Lily
Photo credit: Serena & Lily

When some people finish a long day of work, they go relax in their backyards; when Venus Williams finishes a long day of work, she designs backyards. Williams founded her own design firm V Starr in 2002 when she was merely a 23-year-old tennis champion who had finished a master's degree in interior design and wanted to take her artistic passion to the next level (we'll give you a moment to reflect on your accomplishments at 23 and take a deep breath). Venus has famously decorated her sister Serena's homes—as well as hotels across the U.S.—but during lockdown last year she turned to her own Palm Beach backyard as a creative outlet and project. "I wanted a calm environment where I could re-energize after a busy day," Williams says. "But in South Florida we live outside year round, so it had to be a place where I could throw a party just as easily as I could take a nap."

Photo credit: Brantley
Photo credit: Brantley

It comes as little surprise that someone who lives in their tennis whites also gravitates toward the color in her own decorating. "My style is pretty modern and I tend to lean toward neutral colors," says Williams. "The creamy-white furniture from Serena & Lily creates a vivid contrast against the lush greenery around the pool and complements the tropical surroundings." Williams recommends investing in outdoor furniture that can withstand the unpredictable elements and to think about the long-term value of each purchase. And when it comes to playing the long game, it's safe to say Williams knows what she is talking about. Shop the pieces she used in her pool area, below.

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