Vintage-Inspired Lighting for Roadside Motel Renovation
If you’re a careful reader of our blog, you may remember a mention of Roscoe, New York a few years back. Located two hours north of New York City, this tiny hamlet is home to Prohibition Distillery, a fire hall-turned-distillery with some pretty cool industrial lighting. Roscoe was also home to the Red Rose Motel which operated first as a dance hall, then later as a respite for tourists passing through the area.
The motel closed its doors almost 20 years ago, but caught the attention of Erin Lindsey and Denny Brownell during their explorations for Escape Brooklyn, a blog/travel guide featuring interesting destinations beyond the five boroughs. The couple, along with partners Jon Pierre Frenza and Kris Kiger, purchased the old motel with the vision of making it a sought-after destination once again. Today we’re taking at look at the progress they’ve made in the restoration.
“The original building was built in 1938 and, over time, they added a restaurant and bar,” Erin explains. “In the 1950s, another family bought the place and added a new wing with seven motel rooms. This was the golden age of the Red Rose Motel.” Over the years, the motel changed hands many times, and the partners have heard many stories about the place.
“We were told that at one point, a prize fighter owned it,” Denny relates. “If you could land a punch on the guy, he bought you dinner.”
Although the building is blessed with good bones as they say, the renovators pulled out drop ceilings, beaver board walls, and outdated utilities. The rooms now have shiplap walls and new insulation plus modern plumbing and electrical work. Original wood flooring, discovered underneath layers of carpet and linoleum, was saved.
“We installed white shiplap to complement the natural hardwood floors,” Erin says. “We went pretty neutral in these spaces so our cool antiques can really pop. The design direction is definitely a throwback to the heyday of the Red Rose.”
When it came time to choose lighting for the renovation, Erin and Denny remembered the beautiful industrial lighting they’d seen at Prohibition Distillery in town. With a hearty recommendation for Barn Light Electric from the distillery owner, they found the perfect retro lighting to complete the project.
“We wanted to mix and match old with new and Barn Light Electric was the perfect accent for all of our spaces,” Erin notes. “We love the color selection too. We found the perfect red!”
The couple chose the vintage-inspired Rochester Vintage Industrial Cord Hung Pendant for the upper lounge and bar area. These hand spun lights, with roots in early 20th century lighting, are crafted from commercial grade steel and finished with durable porcelain enamel.
They also chose the compact Bowie Wall Sconce to dot the walls of the lower lounge, a cozy space with a double-sided leather Chesterfield couch and wood stove. These barn wall sconces also feature a Barn Red finish which add a splash of color to the walls.
On the porches where guests access their rooms, galvanized Original™ Warehouse Pendant Lights line the walkways. These American-made ceiling lights bring classic barn style to the exterior of the building. The complementary look of the Austin Wall Sconce provides lighting beside each doorway.
“Almost every day, people pull into our driveway because they’re curious,” Erin says. “More often than not, we invite them in and when they see what’s inside, they’re always shocked — in a good way! Hearing strangers compliment our work keeps us going.” The partners hope to open the bar and restaurant in the coming weeks and the motel rooms should be ready by early fall. Erin notes that one of the biggest lessons learned is patience.”
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint!” she says. “We’ve taken longer than we anticipated because we want to be very deliberate about all our decisions. Our motto is do it right once!”
You can follow the progress on The Red Rose Motel Instagram feed and stay tuned for a final reveal of this project later this fall!