Over the course of the past couple years, I’ve found myself staying in more hotels than usual. While some of them have been extraordinary, with others merely being mediocre places to rest my head for a night, there are a few commonalities between them that I have come to really appreciate, and have even begun to try and emulate at home.

Hotels are unfamiliar spaces, but they want you to feel at home when you walk into your room. That can sometimes be a tall order. Some hotel chains do have similar rooms at different locations, but more often than not, the room you’re walking into is quite different than any other room you’ve stayed in before.

And yet, through thoughtful interior design, they are able to achieve a familiarity despite the overwhelming novelty of the experience.

As I’ve learned through exploration and research, the subject of hotel interior design can be a pretty deep rabbit hole. Not a lot of folks are talking about it, but when you come across industry insiders who think about it for a living, the attention to detail can be quite staggering. I want to look at just a few aspects that I think make the most difference.

Much of the magic is centered around the bed, quite literally. I find most hotel bedside tables to be arranged in thoughtful and convenient ways. For starters, I don’t think I’ve been in a single hotel room in the past few years where a USB adapter wasn’t waiting there for you to plug in your phone. They usually manage to make the USB ports and power outlets blend in (as well as you can), but it’s super convenient to charge you phone, tablet, laptop, or smart watch.

The lighting is almost always on point, too. Individual reading lamps on telescoping arms are often fastened to the walls in the optimum spot so that the occupant on each side of the bed can adjust for the perfect late-night angle. For times when more lighting is needed, I’m seeing LED lightning running the length of the wall behind the bed (or the length of a headboard at least) being a common trend. This allows you to fill the room with gentle light without having an overhead light bearing down on you.

Another area that I’m usually impressed by is, strangely enough, the bathroom. Once again, everything is thought of and prepared for, and there’s a place for everything. It’s clear what each cabinet is for, and even though you have never been in that particular room before, you know where to find everything. All your needs are prepared for ahead of time, so you can just use the space as needed.

I think a lot what I like about hotels comes down to a few factors:

  • Singe-order retrieval: you don’t have to go searching through boxes, cabinets, or storage spaces to find what you’re looking for. Everything is accessible at-hand
  • Clutter-free spaces: there’s not a lot of junk piling up in every corner. Everything is neat and tidy, which makes my brain happy.
  • Convenience: your needs are anticipated before you even realize you have a need
  • Design: designs are bright, inviting, and welcoming.

I know I’m probably in the minority, but I really enjoy staying in hotels, and by applying those concepts at home, I’m creating a space that is more comfortable and functional. When it comes to interior design, I think you can do a lot worse than following modern hotel room design trends!