A conversation with Kenny Osehan

 

    Alexandra Wallace spoke with Kenny Osehan about growing up in a motel, preserving the integrity of a property, the bones of a house and getting in touch with Taoism.

    I have to spend time in the hotel, feeling its personality. I want to keep the integrity of the property and preserve its best assets.


    Alexandra asked Kenny to meditate on the following famed hotels and name the first thing that comes to mind for each of them.

    f The Bates Motel from Psycho


    Eerie.

    f Kellerman’s Resort from Dirty Dancing


    Privileged.

    f The Great Northern from Twin Peaks


    Rustic. Feels like the Rancho.

    f The Timberline Lodge from The Shining


    Creepy.

    f Park Hyatt Tokyo from Lost in Translation


    Lonely.

    1

    Alexandra Wallace

    You’ve made a career of breathing new life into travel properties; some of California’s most Instagram-friendly stays are thanks to your hand in their creation. What’s the biggest sign of potential in a property in need of TLC?

    Kenny Osehan

    The biggest sign is good bones and a good location.

    2

    Do you see the finished product before the project has even begun?

    No, not necessarily. I have to spend time in the hotel, feeling its personality and getting to know the environment/town in order to get a sense of what the right direction is. I want to keep the integrity of the property and preserve its best assets.

    I learned that I’m allowed to have a different ideology and philosophy than what I was taught but never related to with my Christian upbringing.

    3

    What is the current desktop background on your computer?

    Just a solid color. Coral pink.

    4

    If you could identify your Shelter Social Club properties as family members, how would you categorize them? For example, is Ojai Rancho Inn the cool older sister? Is the Alamo Motel the mysterious uncle?

    I guess the Rancho is the cool older sibling, but genderless because it doesn’t seem to be masculine or feminine.

    The Alamo feels like the younger brother who has a sweet lady by his side adding the feminine touches and helping him get in touch with his feelings.

    The Agave feels like your aunt who likes to travel to Mexico all the time.

    The Hamlet is like your uncle’s Dutch wife who makes you Dutch pancakes whenever you stay with them.

    Hopefully, once the Capri is renovated, it will feel like your sophisticated aunt who lives in another country.

    The Hummingbird currently feels like Grandma, but hopefully, once it’s renovated, it will feel like an intelligent and quirky grandpa.

    5

    What is something you believe in that you can’t prove?

    That I’ve got major ancestors who have my back.

    6

    What is the most useful class you have taken?

    I was never good at classes, or school for that matter. I guess art classes, because those are the only classes I ever liked. I actually had this one English class in high school where the teacher taught me a valuable lesson about writing. Also, there was that Taoism class in college where I learned that I’m allowed to have a different ideology and philosophy than what I was taught but never related to with my Christian upbringing.

    7

    Where do you want to be in an hour?

    In bed.

    8

    What was the most memorable hotel/motel stay of your childhood?

    I grew up in a motel (currently the Agave Inn, formerly the Travelers Motel), so my entire childhood was a memorable stay in a motel.

    Thank you.

    Data


    Conversation: 233
    Curated by: Alexandra Wallace
    Conducted by: Email
    Edited by: Morgan Enos
    Published: December 7, 2018
    Total questions: 5 + 8
    Word count: 488
    Reading time: Two minutes

    Metadata


    Renovation: Accessed
    Motel: Lived
    Teaching: Absorbed
    Upbringing: Reversed
    Ideology: Accessed
    Lesson: Absorbed

    Relation


    About the subject


    Kenny Osehan is a hotelier who runs Shelter Social Club, a series of renovated hotels throughout California. She resides in Ojai.

    About the curator


    Alexandra Wallace is a photographer, visual artist and the founder of Coyote + Oak. She resides in Orcutt, California.


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