JS tastemaker Christina Pérez sat down with Bobbi Brown to get us an inside look at the iconic beauty guru's new boutique hotel—The George Inn. Set to open this spring, the bijou stay is a study in eclectic common spaces, luxe creature comforts, and original 1902 architecture. Go ahead, take a look!
Montclair, New Jersey might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a travel destination, but according to beauty guru Bobbi Brown, it’s one of the best places around. “The vibe is very cool,” she says. “Montclair is very diverse, eclectic, creative, and ever-changing.”
And she should know. Brown and her husband, real estate mogul Steve Plofker, have lived in the charming New Jersey town—located just twelve miles outside of New York City—since the early days of their nearly three decade-long marriage. “I moved to Montclair the day I got back from my honeymoon; My husband and I agreed that we didn’t want to live in the city.”
It was that love for her adopted home town—plus the fact that she’d recently left her namesake beauty brand—that inspired Brown to join her husband in transforming The Georgian Inn, a landmark home built in 1902, into an design-minded boutique hotel called The George. “The timing was perfect, and I jumped on it,” says Brown. “I was very open to exploring another creative outlet.”
Plus, Brown says, the opportunity to work with her husband for the first time was too tempting to pass up. “When we travel, we stay in cool boutique hotels. We like the aesthetic, vibe, and individuality of each one. Our inspiration is drawn from what we’ve liked. This project combined two of my favorite things: design and travel.”
And speaking of design, there’s plenty to admire in the hotel’s thirty-two guest rooms and common spaces, which include a library and foyer accented by a grand staircase. “I have a simple, warm, and eclectic style,” explains Brown of her aesthetic. “We sourced pieces from all over the place— several were picked up during our travels, others were actually brought in from our personal collection. I love the whole vibe of the place. It’s interesting, relaxed, and comfortable—with a lot of attention to detail.”
Those details include plenty of the mansion’s original architectural elements—exposed brick walls, ornate crown moldings, intricately carved fireplace mantels—plus a whole slew of modern creature comforts: duvet covers by Flanneur, mattresses by Casper, coffee makers by Nespresso, and hairdryers by Dyson. Tying it all together is a sophisticated palette of neutrals offset by flashes of navy and red in the form of Union Jack flags, tartans, and stripes. “Gray is the underlying color in the hotel, but we did that purposefully so that we could add pops of color with the pillows and blankets,” Brown, a self-proclaimed anglophile says. “It is not easy to find the right shade of gray—that proved to be a lot harder than I imagined.”
As for which space at the hotel is her favorite, Brown is hesitant to commit to just one. “But if I had to, I suppose I would choose the library because it was designed specifically for people to be comfortable and to easily talk with friends, do work, or just relax there,” she says. “However, since three rooms are named after my sons, I really can’t just choose one.”
Fair enough. The George Inn opens this spring.