While it appears healthcare has turned the page from its once lavishly appointed lobbies and two-story atriums to more efficient, practical, and—most importantly—affordable space plans, that doesn’t mean it’s closed the book on hospitality-inspired design altogether.

In fact, there are still plenty of applications for a little five-star treatment.

Think patient bathrooms with high-end fixtures, soft towels, and a tile backsplash. Or what about on-demand entertainment options, made-to-order food, or other concierge-inspired services? Sometimes it’s just a matter of scale—creating spaces that make people feel more like they’re at home than at a hospital, or hotel for that matter.

I was reminded of this when visiting the blog Freshome, where images of hospitality spaces kept reminding me of healthcare—not necessarily in a literal application of their design approaches, but more in subtle similarities. At the end of the day, the two remain closely related though drastically different.

So it stands to reason that we on the healthcare side should keep a pulse on what’s happening in hospitality, even if just to extract ideas and apply them on a smaller scale.

Freshome offers its list of the 11 Fastest Growing Trends in Hotel Interior Design, so I thought I’d diffuse it down into a five key takeaways.

  1. Think about multiuse spaces—Lobbies may be for waiting, but it’s important for people to be able to stay connected. Think about segmenting spaces into areas that promote conversation as well as some for privacy, while also allowing stations where people can plug in and be connected via WiFi, if possible.
  2. A luxurious bath—Back to that idea of the plush towels, bathrooms are a place where the clinical nature of healthcare can be toned down and inspired by the fixtures, finishes, and materials being used in the hospitality space, especially in areas like birthing units where new moms might want to soak in a deep tub.
  3. Bringing the outdoors in—From terraces and rooftop gardens to picture windows and daylighting, access to nature certainly isn’t a new concept for healthcare. Freshome says the next movement in hospitality is taking it a step further by bringing natural materials inside, such as wood paneling, stone décor, and fresh elements like water features and greenery. At the same time, thinking green from a sustainably perspective is a pro for cost control, too.
  4. Keep it local—Art programs should never take the back seat on a project, and one way hotels are looking to bring color to their spaces is by turning to local artists. Not only will art be unique for a facility but it creates a more genuine experience for visitors and patients alike.
  5. Bring it back home—At the end of the day, all of these design solutions are about making guests—or patients—feel comfortable. Technology features and simple luxuries are nice additions if the budget allows, but creating an environment where patients have the ability to listen to a favorite song or place a familiar framed photo on a bedside shelf goes a long way, too.