Motel Room Postcards of the 1950s and '60s

Stephen Coles

Amid some ill-considered carpets and drapes, the motel interiors pictured in Roadsidepictures’ glorious set of postcards do feature a few bright spots. To wit (clockwise from top left): Saarinen-esque table and chairs bring sophistication to an otherwise banal space; a daring color scheme contrasts warm wood paneling with cool blue; a homey, modern sitting area transforms a motel room into a living room; and simple wall-mounted lighting is a tasteful alternative to bulky bedside lamps.

A long-time Flickr friend, Roadside (Allen) has one of the most comprehensive collections of mid-century subjects and found ephemera on the Web. Highlights include his sets of vintage electronics, advertising and packaging, signs, supermarket signage, the La Concha Motel, and other postcards.

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  1. 01.08.09 — Drew

    The motel postcards idea is wonderful and brilliant. This is just the kind of thing I like to see in Mid-Century design. I love the campiness and the fun of it, especially the travel aspect. The motel rooms look wonderful. I stayed in a motel outside of Toledo, OH in the early 90’s that had red velvet curtains and a round bed and all the mid-century motel campiness one could desire. We should start a campaign against redecorating!

  2. 01.08.09 — Susie TG

    These are awesome. Similarly, we caught a movie on cable called “Vacancy”. It had awesome Danish Mod/Mid Century motel furnishings in it. It’s a gore thriller, so the lighting was set pretty dim throughout the movie. IMHO, it was a blast just to watch it for the set design. It also had quite cool end credits.

  3. 01.19.09 Keith

    Great cards. I loved them. Wow! I’d love to stay in a room like any of those. That’s right up the alley of what I dig. Thanks for posting them. Cheers!

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