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.
Rustic. Feels like the Rancho.
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?
The biggest sign is good bones and a good location.
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.
What is the current desktop background on your computer?
Just a solid color. Coral pink.
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.
What is something you believe in that you can’t prove?
That I’ve got major ancestors who have my back.
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.
Where do you want to be in an hour?
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.
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
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