How Brooke Shields Created a London-Style Home in the West Village

Across the time Brooke Shields celebrated her sixteenth birthday, she and her mom/supervisor, Teri, purchased a townhouse on the Higher East Facet.

“It was quiet, and it was luxurious, in that we had house in New York. We had a yard. It was such a privileged and protected method to develop up in the course of Manhattan,” stated Ms. Shields, 57, who, since her days as a toddler mannequin, actor {and professional} Calvin Klein denims fanatic, has starred in tv sequence and Broadway musicals, written books, designed jewellery, based the digital platform Beginning is Now and appeared in various films. (Her newest, “Vacation Concord,” will probably be launched this week on HBO Max.)

However circumstances and financial institution balances change, and because the years glided by, “I wanted to simplify my property, so to talk,” Ms. Shields stated.

“As I acquired older, I wasn’t working as a lot and had some selections to make. I ended up getting married, and my husband simply hated New York,” she continued, referring to Andre Agassi, the tennis star. “He talked me into promoting the home, and the day I needed to give it up was so unhappy, due to all of the Thanksgivings in that home and all of the recollections.”



Occupation: Actor

Countless love: “All of the issues I beloved about residing within the townhouse on the Higher East Facet are what my household has skilled right here. We’ve got all these traditions that my daughters actually hook into and which can be a supply of consolation to them.”


Ms. Shields relocated, divorced, remarried, purchased a loft downtown along with her new husband, Chris Henchy, a screenwriter and producer, and had two daughters, Rowan, now 19, and Grier, 16.

However finally, the loft began to really feel like a decent squeeze, and the search was on for a brownstone.

“This had been a dream for me as a result of I wished my youngsters to have what I had had with my home on the Higher East Facet: to have a sense of neighborhood, and to have the house which is so laborious to come back by and so costly in New York,” Ms. Shields stated. “We regarded all over the place, however one place was extra miserable than the following.”

Lastly, an actual property agent directed Ms. Shields’s consideration to an early Twentieth-century Greek Revival constructing within the West Village that had been transformed from a single-family dwelling into an eight-unit condominium home.

She was instantly smitten. “It had been damaged up and was actually destroyed, however it was as if I might see the entire thing sooner or later,” she stated. “I known as my husband, who was in L.A. — this was earlier than you would do full movies in your telephone — and I stated, ‘I do know you’re not right here to see it, however I simply have this loopy feeling.’”

They purchased it, closing on the deal in early 2008, and employed MADE, a Brooklyn-based design/construct agency, to do a intestine renovation. The couple’s temporary for the home was easy: Put it again the best way it was. To the extent doable, they wished to take out what was there, restore it and set it again in place.

“We tried to maintain as a lot of the flooring and the steps as we might,” Ms. Shields stated. “The coffin nook was big for me, as a result of it was unique to the home.”

Every little thing, it appeared, was a candidate for rehabilitation. When the basement was dug out, a number of large rocks had been excavated, “and we put them within the yard as stools,” Ms. Shields stated. The coal bunker was saved and repurposed to carry a wine closet from an outdated ship — Ms. Shields’s tenth anniversary current to Mr. Henchy. In some cases, issues had been salvaged from elsewhere: The stone hearth mantel in the lounge was rescued from the Plaza Resort when it was renovated in 2008.

Ms. Shields wished the décor to evoke a London townhouse. For assist, she and Mr. Henchy turned to their pal David Flint Wooden, a British designer. He nudged them towards a mixture of furnishings, supplies and intervals: hand-blocked Zuber wallpaper, Asian porcelain, neo-Classical Italian tables. Jute and Lucite are additionally represented.

The collaboration yielded areas which can be stylish however heat, that blend the elegant with the whimsical. In the lounge, Louis XVI-style armchairs and a French Empire commode coexist with small framed photos of rabbits, portraits of Ms. Shields’s daughters carrying sweet crowns and a coronary heart portray by Keith Haring, a present from the artist.

“I’m not into being austere or critical,” Ms. Shields stated.

And he or she is most positively not into fetishizing her possessions. “I grew up saving issues, after which by the point I wished to put on one thing, it was both out of fashion or didn’t match,” Ms. Shields stated. “So now my angle is, ‘What am I ready for?’”

The crystal stemware on open cabinets in a nook of the kitchen? She drinks from it. The decanter she efficiently bid on throughout an public sale at Chatsworth Home, one in all England’s stateliest properties? She pours whiskey from it (admittedly, good whiskey).

She pulled open a utensil drawer and yanked out a handful of sterling silverware gathered from numerous sources. “I really like the actual fact,” she stated, “that I can sit down and use one thing that was in somebody’s home ceaselessly.”

As a result of Ms. Shields grew up amid unpacked packing containers — “My mom by no means completed shifting in wherever” — she was initially intent, she stated, “on having this home fully completed.”

However she has backed off from such finality. “I get new issues, and I discover new issues,” she stated. Proper now, she is noodling with the association of the barware in the lounge — it features a sterling silver cup that her grandfather, Frank Shields, an novice tennis star of the Nineteen Twenties and 30s, gained at a event. And taking into consideration the current arrival of a cargo of Murano glasses, the spoils of a household journey to Italy, she is rethinking the tablescape on the eating room sideboard. Ms. Shields can also be considering an addition to the facet desk that holds her rising assortment of crystal match strikers.

“I’m going to Oklahoma quickly, and I guess there are some nice little antiques locations there,” she stated. “What do I would like? Nothing. However I’ve acquired the match strikers. Now I’d like to discover a sterling candle snuffer.”

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