The June Motel is a quaint and trendy motel located in the Prince Edward county in Ontario, Canada. April Brown and Sarah Sklash are best friends and creator expressed their love for Prince Edward county, design and experience. Spaceez presents to you April Brown representing the June.
Please tell us about the June Motel and the history behind it; and how you came to acquire it?
Sarah and I were both looking for that next chapter in both our careers and personal lives. The daily grind in Toronto was no longer as fulfilling as it once was when we were in our early 20s. We started to dream about having something of our own, a new creative outlet. Meanwhile, Sarah and I had been coming out to Prince Edward County with our friends for years. Her and her boyfriend had recently bought a cottage in the area, so we had seen first-hand how it’d grown in popularity year-over-year. Luckily, Sarah had a strong pulse on the real-estate market in the area. Truthfully though, there was a little fate in how it all worked out as well. This motel had merely come up in conversation, but we instantly thought “we should buy that motel”. We drove out to look at the motel one week later, two months later put in an offer and less than six months from that initial conversation, we moved into the dingy roadside motel that it once was!
Did the motel always had an eclectic, artistic feel to it?
Not at all! It was called the Sportsman Motel and it was a popular stay for fishermen and hunters in the area. The only artwork was a sign that said, “No Gutting Fish in Room!”. For us, finding something that was old and outdated was part of the fun! We really wanted to infuse new life into the motel and reinvent the entire experience of staying at a motel.
Was it the needs of space that pushed towards this type of design or was it something that came from your insight.
A bit of both! We were inspired by the larger motel revival trend that was happening in California, Palm Springs, Miami, etc. So a big part of our design stemmed for that iconic motel era – neon signs, funky wallpaper and mid-century furniture. However, as travelers ourselves, we understand that where you stay has a big impact on how you see and experience a destination. So it was important for us to use our insight to create a larger experience for our guests.
Give us the concept or thought process that led to the current look of the June?
One of our favorite design mantras is “find a piece you love, and build from there”. For us that was the funky palm print wallpaper that you see in The Classic rooms at the motel. For us this was the perfect balance between retro, motel vibes and current trends! It also helped that it was instagramable, which is a huge part of all our designs. We designed the place knowing our target audience would be social media savvy millennials, so a highly visual experience would be important.
How did your both backgrounds help with your business and design approach?
I think we approached the project as travelers and millennials, versus hoteliers or moteliers – I think it helped to really put ourselves into our guests’ shoes! We were caught thinking “this is how it’s always been done”, instead we shifted our thinking to “wow, this is how it should be done”.
What are your absolute favorite things about the June? Is there anything that is often missed by visitors and you would like us to see or talk about?
We both absolutely love the communal elements of the motel – the indoor/outdoor Lobby Bar. This is absolutely the heartbeat of The June, and it’s really special to see our guests come together in the evenings for wine and s’mores at the campfire.
Some pointers you would like to share with us about the motel from a business owner’s perspective. (The do-s and don’t-s one should think about. What in your opinion makes for a good motel design?)
Focusing on creating a visual, instagramable experience has been huge for us! In just over a year, we’ve grown our Instagram to 22.5K followers and the majority of our guests who book with us say that they found us on Instagram. It’s a really powerful platform when you’re leveraging it correctly!
As well, our guests love the thoughtful details that go into the room. We think through every item and even the signage to make sure it all contributes to the overall aesthetic and experience. We’re ‘Good Wine & Good Vibes’, and we make sure that shines through in the little details. So we put Sage diffusers in the rooms, specialty soap and body oil from a local apothecary, sound machines, nice wine glasses and more. We even pour you a welcome glass of wine on arrival!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us and our readers?
You can find us on Instagram at @thejunemotel and @motelierlife. We also just launched an online giftshop, making it easy for our guests to shop the room, and all our favorite things. You can purchase our wallpaper, lamps, throw pillows and more at www.shopthejunemotel.com.