Step inside George Oliphant’s house in Montclair
Long before George Olyphant became a contractor on NBC’s popular home renovation show George to the rescueHe and his wife, Zoe, resided happily in Brooklyn – until his father convinced them to divest their shares in 2010 and move to George’s former grandparents’ home in Montclair.
“We knew the house might be too much for us, but my father threatened to sell the 1912 house that had been in our family since 1942, so we agreed,” he says.
“It’s really nice to be able to start our suburban adventure here in Montclair,” says Zoe, who is originally from Vermont. “We’ve made it our own over the years by mixing the old with the new. The result is a vintage English era, reimagined in a cool New England way.
“I have fond memories of spending every holiday and summer here as a child,” George adds. “We especially like knowing that our four children go to the same school as their grandfather.”
The couple’s latest reno project is an authentic yet cozy kitchen with hand-polished cabinets, Statuario marble countertops, a red-handled Wolf stove, a Peruvian walnut island, and custom triple crown moldings.
“Our challenge was to update the kitchen in a traditional way so it didn’t feel separate from the rest of the house,” says George. “My general contractor, RTH Building Company, and cabinet maker, Steven Vanuka, really came to us.”
A tribute to George’s ancestors, the dining room features an heirloom table and chairs, original millwork, and leaded glass doors. Portrait of Scottish grandfather George Booth Oliphant closely observing holiday dinners.
“There’s been an Olyphant in this house for 80 years,” George says. “We made a lot of improvements, but we made sure to keep the good elements of this residence. I think my ancestors would agree.”
Parents and children, ages 5 to 15, spend time in the inviting living room that has a cozy Ralph Lauren-style vibe, with Restoration Hardware leather sofas and an heirloom coffee table. George’s Emmy awards occupy an antique bookcase, and Zoe’s cheerful Romo wallpaper features a bold cherry blossom pattern.
“Zoe doesn’t like the camera, but I ask her to play her part from time to time,” says George. “She has a great eye and can stand toe-to-toe with top designers. Her style is more modern, mine is more traditional, so we really define a transitional design style.”
These days, Zoe’s focus is on her work as a Realtor with Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Montclair.
The big news for the couple is that George will be launching Oliphant Construction this fall. “Besides continuing to produce the show, it was time to start my own business. It’s a natural progression since I’ve spent the last 20 years in a master class with the best contractors and designers. I’m licensed, insured and ready to go!,” he says.
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