Serena Williams opened up her waterfront home in Florida for the March cover of Architectural Digest.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion purchased the 14,500-square-foot property five years ago, enlisting the help of her sister, Venus Williams, to help turn the estate into her dream home.
“I was moving away from Venus for the first time in my life, so I wanted it to be really meaningful,” Serena told Architectural Digest in their March cover story. She went on to explain that she had previously lived with her sister in a Palm Beach Gardens home they had co-owned since 1998.
“You have to know your lane. I’m really good at playing tennis; I’m not as good at interiors,” she continued, explaining that’s why she let Venus--who has her own interior design firm, V Starr--have a good amount of input, while still maintaining creative control. “But I was able to learn through just watching Venus.”
When Serena first purchased the home, she had just started dating her now-husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian. The pair later welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia in September 2017. They got married in November of that year.
But, at the time, it was too early to involve her then-boyfriend in any design decisions.
“We had just met, and I wasn’t going to be like, ‘Hey, let’s do this together,’” Serena said of the beginning of the design process. “That would have been really weird for him.”
Even so, she always had her future family goals in mind when making decisions about the home.
Ohanian actually did have a hand in helping design Olympia’s bedroom, which both of them admit is probably the most extravagant room in the house. The 3-year-old’s fortress includes a custom-made castle bed complete with a slide and a handblown glass chandelier from artist Josh Fradis.
“She goes down the slide every night while we‘re thinking, ‘Man, we shouldn’t have done that, because now at bedtime, she just wants to slide,’” Serena joked. “But whatever makes her happy makes me happy.”
Other impressive spaces in the home include a gym with a sauna, a 620-square-foot closet, a massive wine cellar, a trophy room, and an infinity pool in the backyard.
According to Williams, her favorite room in the house is the front foyer, which Venus helped her convert into a gallery filled with modern art. The room features a Vintage Wurlitzer piano, a Kaws x Campana chair, and works from Radcliffe Bailey, David Kracov and more.
“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 said of the foyer-turned-gallery. “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.”
Just as impressive is the secret karaoke room, which is accessed by a secret doorway behind a bookshelf in the gallery room. The room features a small stage, aquamarine chairs, and neon sign reading “sérénade.”