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A Star Within Reach

Venus Williams’ V Starr Interiors brings a familiar face to the commercial design world, delivering personalized service from a tight-knit team.

09/01/2017 By Jenna Lippin

V Starr Interiors recently worked on the Tennis Lounge at the Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago, which was completed this past summer. “I’ve always respected the Midtown Athletic Club, and it was meaningful to work with them in a new capacity, combining my passion for tennis with design and hospitality,” said Venus Williams In contrast to the tennis lounge’s high-energy feel, The V Suite at The Hotel at Midtown in Chicago offers a sense of rest and rejuvenation. The suite’s name pays homage to Williams and V Starr Photograph by Sal Sued The Southeast Tennis & Learning Center in Washington, D.C., is home to after-school programs for children “in an underserved community,” Williams said. Photography courtesy of V Starr Interiors The facility includes a Hall of Fame wall and other tributes to famous athletes, including Williams. Photography courtesy of V Starr Interiors She makes impromptu visits to the Center and participates in activities with the children, including hitting tennis balls. Photography courtesy of V Starr Interiors V Starr Interiors started with an eye on  residential design. While the firm focuses on commercial  projects today, particularly in hospitality, its work in higher-end multifamily living ties together V Starr Interiors started with an eye on  residential design. While the firm focuses on commercial  projects today, particularly in hospitality, its work in higher-end multifamily living ties together Doral View is a multifamily community in Doral, Fla. V Starr was brought on by Related Group of Miami to design all common areas including the main entry, waiting area, leasing offices, business All of the flooring, wallcovering, reflected ceilings, lighting, plumbing, millwork details, furniture, window treatments,  accessories, and art were specified by V Starr. V Starr’s design for The Manor at Lauderdale by the Sea in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., integrates elements of geometry with nautical undertones to create a comfortable yet modern atmosphere that matches

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Some recent notable projects from V Starr include the Tennis Lounge for the new Midtown Athletic Club facilities in Chicago. The firm also designed a suite at the adjoining hotel. The Curio conversion of the Waterstone hotel in Boca Raton, Fla., is another major venture for the firm, in which the design group provided art, accessories, and lighting for the lobby and guestrooms.

“One of the projects the V Starr Interiors team and I are most proud of is the SETLC [Southeast Tennis & Learning Center] in Washington, D.C.,” Williams noted. “The facility was constructed for after-school programs in an underserved community. We were so excited to change these kids’ lives and give them a great place to go. [It] is doing so much for young people in the area. It is such a great model that can be repeated over and over again. [We were] involved in a design that can shape young people’s lives. Kids will walk down those hallways and that’s going to be part of their childhood, creating memories for them as they grow up. I visit the Learning Center every so often. I surprise [the kids] and hit some balls or do a reading. It’s very exciting.”

Of the current “resimercial” design trend, Haffey said V Starr’s heavy hospitality portfolio reflects the blended market of today. “A consistent topic [in hospitality] over the last few years is bringing defining elements of a location and a ‘home vibe’ into hotels. If I go on a trip to India, for example, I want to walk into a hotel that feels like I am in India. We think about how we can make guests feel they are part of the community, and how to make the community feel part of that space. The original meaning of hospitality is inviting people in and being hospitable toward them. You always have to consider that; when you’re in a hotel you want to be comfortable—you should want to stay there.” 


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