Real EstateHow Brooke Shields Created a London-Style Home in the...

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 Aspect.

“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 secure solution to develop up in the midst of Manhattan,” mentioned Ms. Shields, 57, who, since her days as a baby mannequin, actor {and professional} Calvin Klein denims fanatic, has starred in tv sequence and Broadway musicals, written books, designed jewellery, based the digital platform Starting is Now and appeared in plenty of films. (Her newest, “Vacation Concord,” shall 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 belongings, so to talk,” Ms. Shields mentioned.

“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 reminiscences.”

Occupation: Actor

Limitless love: “All of the issues I liked about residing within the townhouse on the Higher East Aspect 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 good squeeze, and the search was on for a brownstone.

“This had been a dream for me as a result of I needed my youngsters to have what I had had with my home on the Higher East Aspect: to have a sense of neighborhood, and to have the house which is so onerous to return by and so costly in New York,” Ms. Shields mentioned. “We appeared in all places, 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 residence into an eight-unit residence 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 mentioned. “I referred to as my husband, who was in L.A. — this was earlier than you might do full movies in your telephone — and I mentioned, ‘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 needed 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 mentioned. “The coffin nook was large for me, as a result of it was authentic to the home.”

Every little thing, it appeared, was a candidate for rehabilitation. When the basement was dug out, a number of huge rocks had been excavated, “and we put them within the yard as stools,” Ms. Shields mentioned. 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 situations, 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 needed the décor to evoke a London townhouse. For assist, she and Mr. Henchy turned to their buddy 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 severe,” Ms. Shields mentioned.

And he or she is most positively not into fetishizing her possessions. “I grew up saving issues, after which by the point I needed to put on one thing, it was both out of favor or didn’t match,” Ms. Shields mentioned. “So now my perspective 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, certainly one of England’s stateliest houses? She pours whiskey from it (admittedly, good whiskey).

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

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

However she has backed off from such finality. “I get new issues, and I discover new issues,” she mentioned. 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 beginner tennis star of the Nineteen Twenties and 30s, gained at a event. And making an allowance for 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 aspect desk that holds her rising assortment of crystal match strikers.

“I’m going to Oklahoma quickly, and I wager there are some nice little antiques locations there,” she mentioned. “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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