For April Brown and Sarah Sklash, becoming moteliers wasn't part of the roadmap. The two friends met at the University of Western Ontario, and post-college, Brown went into PR and marketing while Sklash worked for the provincial government. 15 years later, the duo felt like they needed a change: "Sarah and I were 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 twenties. We started to dream about having something of our own, a new creative outlet," explains Brown.
They put their heads together, and when a midcentury motor lodge in Canada's Prince Edward County came up for sale, something clicked. The result is The June Motel, a 16-room boutique stay they opened last year.
In transforming the original hotel's outdated, drab decor into the Instagrammable beauty it is now, Brown and Sklash still wanted to retain a vintage vibe. Throwback California — including roadside motels, just like this property's first chapter — guided their vision. "We were inspired by the glamour and charm of the motels in the '60s, so I really wanted to bring that era to life in a contemporary fashion," says Keri MacLellan of Four Walls, who designed the lobby. "In places like...Palm Springs the motel revival is in full swing, so we definitely pulled in a lot of that 1950s California feel."
The result is a brilliant combination of old and new: "It's retro, but in a stylish and modern way, and features bohemian touches through handmade macramés and vintage peacock chairs in the rooms," says MacLellan.