So, when you hear the word “motel” what do you picture in your head? Probably something like this…
It may also conjure up images of some murder victim lying on a bed in a seedy roadside motel on an episode of Criminal Minds. No? Just me? Regardless, it’s true, there are a lot of creepy motels out there. However, motels were once part of a very cool culture. I started thinking about vintage motels on my trip to Cape Cod. As Cape Cod is a tourism mecca there are a lot of accommodation options – many of which certainly date back to he mid-century. And a few of the motels still have maintained that retro look without seeming, well…old and creepy. I also think that there must be a lot of great stories that came out of those motels in their hey-days of the 50s and 60s. Hold up….book idea. Travel across Canada and the US chronicling the stories of iconic mid-century motels. It’s probably already been done, but if not….don’t steal my idea.
To me, there is something intriguing about what these places once were. You look at these pictures and you can’t help but feel like you have just pulled up in a 1962 Buick Station Wagon (with no seatbelts) to enjoy a weekend poolside (without sunscreen). Ok, so not all the decisions of that era were good ones…
And design wise, two things really stand out to me. First, the use of colour; the bold shades of the room doors, the brightly striped poolside umbrellas, and the motel signage. Speaking of signage, we gotta talk about the fonts. These motels are really a lesson in typography. Just look at the “Beach Carousel” above.
Oh and the names….cannot forget to mention the names….
I came across a great example of an old motel being revitalized when I was looking for place to stay in Cape Cod. A place called the Harbour Hotel just outside Provincetown has upgraded an older motel without sacrificing it’s mid-century motel feel. It’s considered a hotel now, and it’s not exactly priced at motel rates, but they have done a excellent job redesigning the space that pays tribute to what it once was. For more photos click here.
See? Motels aren’t so bad.
Quickly, before I go….the bidding is underway on the Upcycle Challenge pieces…..there are some amazeballs items and all proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity! Click here to bid!
And there is still time to vote for your fave as part of the challenge…you can vote once per day!
Have a great day!