One of the latest companies to jump aboard the creative revamp bandwagon is the notoriously cheap Motel 6 chain. The pillar of downmarket roadside accommodations, Motel 6 is reskinning their shabby (and not chic) interiors to give them a touch of modern minimalism and an air of modest luxury.
To achieve their massive makeover, Motel 6 tapped the British design firm Priestmangoode, whose portfolio includes the much-lauded cabin design for Virgin Atlantic. Priestmangoode approached the compact rooms with an emphasis on creating clever storage solutions and a sense of openness. They achieved this with stash space under the platform beds and an integrated entertainment, lighting and closet unit. Old carpet went out the door and [faux] wood came in. Those old dingy lamps were replaced by ambient lighting.
It's no Ritz Carlton but for a room in the range of $50 per night, it looks like a far more comfortable, enjoyable place to lay your head than the Motel 6 of decades past. Unfortunately their website doesn't reflect their new design sensibility. As a portal to entice people to choose them over other low-cost lodging, it would be nice to see an equally streamlined online experience. Likewise their exteriors remain largely unchanged, which leaves much depending on the old marquees, where perhaps the old "Hot Tub and Free HBO" declaration will be replaced with "Jacobsen-esque Butterfly Chairs and Vessel Sinks."
When not working in design, Sarah Rich writes, talks and forecasts about food and consumer culture.
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