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Grand Slam of a Different Sort? Venus Williams Unveils Her Design Work
at the Newly Renovated Intercontinental Miami Hotel

By Madeleine Marr, The Miami HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Nov. 13, 2012--Venus Williams works hard, plays hard and relaxes even harder.

You can see how much the tennis star likes her down time at the newly renovated Intercontinental Miami Hotel.

Williams and her 10-year-old design company, V Starr Interiors, helped redo a handful of chic yet serene rooms -- including two presidential suites and a 29th-floor club lounge.

"It's great to be a part of Miami's skyline," Williams, of Palm Beach Gardens, said Monday at the Metropolis Suite. "The downtown area is so exciting right now."

The word that pops to mind in describing her signature style is timeless.

"I think it's important to make designs that will last and will appeal to people over a period of time," said the four-time gold medalist and winner of 22 Grand Slam titles.

That means a lot of mixing of textures like wood, glass and metal as well as other interesting-to-use materials.

"Right now I love lacquer," she said, pointing to a modern tray built into a table. "But I go through phases. In six months, it'll be something else."

In her pro career, Williams, 32, has stayed in her share of hotels. That's where some inspiration came from.

"I'm hard to impress!" the California native admitted, laughing. "But the ones that I do like I always try to take pictures with my phone and try to incorporate what I've seen."

The most important aspect, beside the aesthetic, is a feeling of home: "When you get back to your room you should feel like, 'OK, I don't want to leave.' "

Miami or bust

Time to shed the fur and leather: Kim Kardashian is back in the hood. The reality star returned from her trip to chilly London-town Monday, looking a little worse for wear. The Daily Mail's website posted pictures of a makeup-less Kim, hair pulled back and rings under her eyes, arriving at Miami International Airport. What, no stylist on the plane?

Stop the music

Big bummer alert: Due to poor ticket sales, the Miami Jazz Fest scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at the Klipsch Amphitheatre at Bayfront Park has been canceled, says promoter Woody Graber. Refunds are available through point of purchase. For more information go to


(c)2012 The Miami Herald

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