A native of New York City, Brooke Shields wanted to recapture her childhood — and create similar memories for her own two daughters — when she returned to the Big Apple last year for her turn in the lead role of Morticia in Broadway's "The Addams Family." Inspired by the recent sale of the Upper East Side townhouse she grew up in, the actress vowed her next home would heal the "heartbreak" she felt seeing her mother Teri's belongings ending up in a sterile storage space. "I promised myself I would give my girls the kind of richly textured urban childhood that comes with sinking roots into a real New York neighborhood," says Shields, who opened up her Greenwich Village doors to AD. "I wanted to create for them, and us, an experience of home with a layered and resonant personal history." See More Photos of Brooke Shield's New York City Dream Home
And she did just that. With the help of designer David Flint Wood, Shields transformed the dilapidated four-story brownstone into a modern-meets-French countryside architectural marvel — but not before spending three years completely gutting the circa-1910 structure for which she paid $5.6 million. "I could see our future there," says the model-actress, who has been married to television writer Chris Henchy for a decade. "My bathtub in a niche by a window. Our daughters' playroom on the top floor. A light-flooded, parlor-floor kitchen with a big hearth and a balcony. That kind of instant certainty is rare for me — I'm a Gemini — but for once, I was sure." Demi and Ashton's Gorgeous Beverly Hills Home
The family's living room is the heart of it all, literally. A Keith Haring painting (a gift from the artist) hangs above the cozy fireplace and is flanked by portraits of Shields' two daughters, Rowan, 8, and 5-year-old Grier. Louis XVI-style armchairs, a French Empire commode, and a 1970s Lucite-base cocktail table add a touch of warmth — which is all offset by the cool Chelsea Gray wall paint.
In the kitchen, George III-style dining chairs complement the MADE table, which is positioned right in front of a fireplace decorated with glazed tiles by Mosaic del Sur. For formal meals, Shields, Henchy, and their two daughters all gather around a vintage Ralph Lauren Home marble-top pedestal table, paired with crimson Jansen chairs for a pop of color in the dining room's black-and-white setting. The Parisian touch here? Zuber's Les Lointains wallpaper, which envelops the room.
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Now that "The Addams Family" has ended its brief run on Broadway, Shields has plenty of time to sit back and relax -- and enjoy her years of hard work and patience in creating her dream home.
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