When Michael and Lucille Jensen purchased the Granite Belt Motel back in September 2018, little did they know their journey of bringing their ‘grungy’ 70’s style motel back to life would test their physical and mental abilities.
The motel was in serious need of a total overhaul after serving guests well for over 50 years. The structure was very sound but the rooms and facilities needed to be completely renovated and refurbished to bring the property back to life.
Refurbishing started with the reception and managers residence first then commenced the renovating of the 19 motel rooms. The project was only just finished last month after three and a half years, with some finishing touches, which included the installation of a Electric Vehicle Charging Station for our guests and installing 20kw of solar panels to reduce our carbon footprint.
Guests’ expectations have certainly changed from the beginning with the property originally featuring a car washing bay and double beds in all of the units. We love to tell our guests, after they comment “Is this a new property?” that we have replaced everything in the rooms except for the front doors. These were kept as they are solid silky oak (our personal favourite hard wood timber). Being of plentiful supply back in mid-1900’s, not surprisingly we found many of the wall frames in the building to be constructed of dressed silky oak, and it was used in the original cabinetry edging as well. We have salvaged all the silky oak to be repurposed. We were so happy to be able to sell lots of the fixtures and fitting to be repurposed and re-loved rather than tipped.
Some of the interesting things we found along the way were the bank of switches in the reception area to turn off the power to the air conditioners in any of the units! Not sure how that would go in guest review these days! We unearthed all the colours of the rainbow from the carpet called Coral Reef to the floral wallpapers. We opted for a contemporary grey/blue colour palette for our refurbishment after research revealed that the colour blue is the most calming for sleep.
We were able to repurpose two of the breezeway brick walls. Interestingly the brick was called the wineglass brick (pretty apt for the Granite Belt Wine Region).
Our love of a little bird called the Blue Wren has made an influence throughout the refurbishment from our WIFI password to the cheeky one in our signage. It brings back memories of watching a pair at our house along the creek in Bridge st. The male dances for the female and we enjoyed watching this love affair played out along our office windowsill.
Michael and Lucille are pleased that the refurbishment of their beautiful motel allows their guests a lovely place to rest their head after a long day’s drive or after a day of exploring our favourite little spot – The Granite Belt.