Prince Edward County’s newest stop is a visual feast that is part Mad Men, part vintage Barbie Dream House. The June Motel on Loyalist Parkway has pops of pink, mid-century-modern inspirations, and macramé wall hangings.
Toronto transplants April Brown and Sarah Sklash took a class in the string-hitching art popularized in the 1970s to build the textiles; find them in The Wine Studio, one of the rooms named in homage to PEC’s burgeoning wine industry. The hands-on millennial entrepreneurs were set on creating an experience that is both inspiring and Instagrammable.
They opened The June Motel in May 2017, and since then, their guests have responded to the surroundings by planning their outfits to match the motifs, posing in front of the neon signs, and tagging their squad.
Before Brown and Sklash revamped the former Sportsman Motel, which once catered to an influx of anglers in the County, they went antiquing and searched Kijiji for the wicker Peacock chairs that you’ll find in each of The Classic rooms. The effect continues in the lobby with Peacock-inspired rattan stools lining the bar. The Deluxe Wine Studio has Eiffel chairs, and you’ll find palm fronds, touches of glam gold, motel trope solair chairs, and bold wallpaper throughout the building.
“Bringing that retro experience to life was what inspired us,” Sklash says. “We saw the potential to do that in a modern way with current trends. No one was doing that in Prince Edward County.”
It’s a snazzy combination of the updated and the outdated. The Brylcreemed dudes posing for the camera look like a recreation of my parents’ photos — even without the filtered retro effects one finds on Instagram.
The motel’s aesthetic makes it easy to project back to a time when life seemed simpler and to over-idealize the past as refuge from a chaotic present.