During a recent getaway at a lovely resort on the coast, I noted the services, amenities and decor, and wondered, “What is it about staying in a hotel that makes us feel so pampered, appreciated and ultimately relaxed? What are things that we could add to our own homes to increase our comfort level on a daily basis?”

The lobby might welcome guests with a glass of local wine, the smell of fresh-baked cookies, the sight of a beautiful flower arrangement, the comfort of sitting near a roaring fire or the purposeful look of coordinated fabrics and artworks. These things immediately evoke a feeling of warmth and a promise of enjoyable possibilities. Ironically, a nice hotel lobby makes us feel “at home.”

Aforementioned amenities may include a swimming pool, sauna, exercise room, massage services and outdoor sitting areas, or simply a hammock tucked in the trees. Rooms are usually clean, neat and sparsely decorated, and sometimes offer complimentary toiletries, a terrycloth bathrobe, clean fluffy towels and nice bedding with an abundance of pillows. There may be a balcony with chairs and a table. And turndown service could even result in a mint on your pillow.

Not all places offer this complete list of services, but even the simplest motels will have the basic amenities, like clean sheets and towels, soaps, shampoo, conditioner and comfortable beds. It is interesting that we expect these “comforts of home,” but may not take the time to provide them for ourselves, or maybe even our guests.

At your own place, it would be easy to minimize the clutter in your lobby (I mean the living area) and place a bowl of fruit or vase of fresh flowers on the coffee table. Keep your living room simple, functional and coordinated. Create a cozy sitting area so that when you finally get a minute to yourself, you have an inviting place to relax.

Taking a warm bath is another possibility. A few oversized bath towels, some candles and bath gel are small investments that bring a lot of comfort to your daily bath or shower.

Upgrading your or adding additional pillows to your bed can be a quick purchase that yields huge rewards. A comfortable bed can be an inviting cocoon at the end of the day, so consider improving your linens and bedding one item at a time or when you can.

Hotel furnishings are usually simple, with a large bed, two side tables, two lamps, a television, a closet, a dresser and sometimes a small seating area. There may be one or two matching pictures and a mirror on the walls. That’s really all you need to spend your nights in comfort, and simply minimizing the stuff around us can instantly create a calming effect.

Take inspiration from the simple pleasures experienced when staying away from home, and incorporate them into your daily life. We all deserve some downtime to escape and retreat from the world, even within the walls of our own homes.

Tonight, place a mint on your pillow.

Linda Lawrence is the owner of HouseCalls for Redesign. Contact her at housecalls4redesign@comcast.net or 728-2732, or visit housecalls4redesign.com.

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