10 Minutes at Home With...

Brooke Shields Says Her Fireplace Mantel Came From NYC’s Iconic Plaza Hotel

The actor, podcaster, and most recently, star of a one-woman cabaret at Café Carlyle, tells AD all about her town house full of treasures
Brooke Shields sitting on arm of white sofa
Brooke Shields’s New York townhouse “needed a complete gut,” she told AD in 2012.Photo: William Waldron

It’s hard to imagine Brooke Shields has much time to spend at home. The fast-paced nature of her day-to-day is exactly why the actor, model, entrepreneur, and mom of two needed her house to feel like a cozy sanctuary amid the hustle and bustle of her demanding job and active social life. Despite Shields’s signature cascade of beachy waves and a decades-long career in Hollywood, the star is a native New Yorker and maintains a tasteful, antique-filled Manhattan town house, which AD toured back in 2012.

This year marked a time of introspection for the actor with the release of her Hulu documentary Pretty Baby and her recent one-woman show at Café Carlyle, Previously Owned, sponsored by Bird in Hand wine. Both projects saw Shields looking back at the various scandals, triumphs, and star-studded anecdotes of her life in the spotlight. Having “not sung a word since 2011,” she feared her cabaret chops might not be primed to open the storied uptown venue’s season, but she took the plunge and found the experience to be stressful yet rewarding. “It’s probably one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever taken on because it’s only you up there. It’s a huge responsibility,” she tells AD. “The audiences have been laughing and crying, and it’s just been joyful…. It’s been sold out forever. There’s so much goodwill.”

While the house was packed on the Upper East Side, Shields returns home to an atmosphere of tranquility in her David Flint Wood–decorated downtown dwelling. The Greenwich Village abode is part family retreat and part workspace, complete with a room that functions as her podcast studio for Now What? with Brooke Shields. It could also be argued that the residence is part museum, given its enviable decor. Original work by Keith Haring personally gifted to Shields by the artist can be found on the walls, alongside Edwardian oil portraits and images by Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon. Below, Shields unpacks what life at home looks like in the cherished time between work engagements.

Shields and her husband, Chris Henchy, teamed up with MADE, a Brooklyn design and build firm adept at the innovative reconfiguration of historic buildings, to make their New York town house a home. “We loved the way they integrated tradition with modernism and warmth of character in an interior with discipline of form,” Shields said of the partners. “That clarity was especially attractive to someone like me, who grew up surrounded by clutter.”

Photo: William Waldron

AD: What city do you live in?

Brooke Shields: New York, in Manhattan.

Describe the style of your home in one sentence.

London town house.

What is one kitchen item that you use every single day?

My juicer.

What kind of juice?


What’s your favorite home gadget or appliance?

My salad spinner. And my label maker. I actually like my label maker more. I label everything. I even labeled the label maker. It’s a source of contentment and order for me.

Speaking of order, what is your bedtime ritual?

It’s been different while I’ve been doing the show, but it’s usually cleaning my face and taking the time to do different [skincare] steps. Then I like to get into bed and read before going to sleep.

What would you say is your favorite room in your house and why?

I love my living room; I love sitting and reading on my couch, hearing people outside, looking at the two beautiful paintings of my daughters. Our fireplace mantel came from The Plaza when they redid all of their fireplaces. We have a nice little bar on this marble vintage table. And I collect match strikers, the sterling silver ones, and I have them [displayed in the living area].

I just love all the items in the room. Some of my most prized possessions are the pieces Keith Haring gave me. He made these big hearts and he drew babies all over them. And then for my 21st birthday, he wrapped up a lot of popshop stuff and decorated the whole outside of the bag, and so I framed that. And he gave me one of the first paintings he ever made when he came to New York, of a Buddha resting up against a tree. I guess he knew he was sick. He didn’t say it, but he took me to Mr. Chow’s and presented me with this. He said, “I wanted you to have one of my first pieces that I ever made by coming to New York.”

Can you describe an item in your home that you brought back from a trip?

I usually bring something back from every trip. I have these beautiful bone carved bowls from India with very intricate depictions of scenes and people. I keep them on my table.

Do you have a room or an area in your house that serves kind of an unusual purpose?

We had an extra bedroom that was where an overflow of kids would stay, or babysitters, and it’s a really teeny room. It’s like being in a train. And now I do my podcast from there, so it’s the podcast room now.

If there’s one thing you could change about the home, what would it be?

I would have more light and better lighting. We’ve got about as much natural light as possible, but I wish the rooms were able to be brighter. We don’t like recessed lights, just for aesthetics.

What is the oldest thing in your house?

Me. [Laughs.] The house itself. Everything in it, we tried to salvage and put back in. So the banisters and all the wrought iron outside is original, from the early 1900s.

What is the newest thing in the house?

Our puppy! Our perfect puppy.

Hopefully not destroying any of the oldest things in the house, right?

No, she’s really good! It’s amazing.