There are many factors to consider when creating a new kitchen or bathroom design, including your layout, storage, style, and color scheme. Once the cabinets are installed, the tile is completed, and the paint has dried, you can finally enjoy your new space. Remember you also must live in and maintain your newly designed rooms, so consider choosing a style that is easy to maintain.
Taking ongoing maintenance into consideration when choosing your design’s style and materials means your room is easier to keep clean and organized. Easy maintenance also allows you to retain your design’s style and functionality for longer without it becoming cluttered. Best of all, an easy to maintain room takes less time to keep clean, leaving you more time to soak in the tub in your new bath design or enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee in your kitchen design.
Here are our top ideas for creating an easy to maintain kitchen or bathroom design.
Declutter and Decide What You Really Need
The first step in any home remodel must be to fully declutter your space. In a kitchen remodel, empty every kitchen cabinet and your pantry storage. Get rid of, donate, or recycle any item that is broken, out of date, or no longer used. Do the same for your bathroom vanity or any other bathroom storage. Look at what you have left, and make sure every item is something you need to use regularly in that room. If it is not used regularly, consider whether it can be stored somewhere else, like a linen closet, attic, or utility room. This lets you get a clear idea of what you need and therefore how much storage you require.
Upgrade Your Storage Solutions
While you may be focused on updating your cabinet style or selecting a new color scheme for your room, you must also carefully consider how much and what type of storage you require. Ample storage located exactly where you need it, and outfitted with customized storage accessories, is essential to a well-organized and clutter free kitchen or bathroom design. Once you have a place to put everything away, you will find it much easier to keep surfaces clear and therefore to clean them regularly.
Today’s bathroom and kitchen designs often combine closed storage in cabinetry with open storage in the form of floating shelves, cubbies, or glass front kitchen cabinets. This trend to include open storage is a stylish choice that adds light and depth to a room and offers space to display favorite items. In designing a low maintenance kitchen or bath design, keep in mind that open storage is a higher maintenance option than closed storage. Consider limiting or avoiding open storage and be sure you are ready to commit to maintaining any open shelves with frequent dusting.
Look at Your Room’s Layout
The layout is the foundation of any kitchen remodel or bathroom design. Your layout must fit your available space and balance your style and functionality requirements to create a space that is efficient and easy to navigate. For a bath or kitchen designed to be low maintenance, the perfect layout will also make cooking, clean up, and entertaining stress free. Consider including a separate space to quickly stow dirty dishes when hosting a dinner party. An adjacent pantry or utility room does the job, complete with countertop workspace, a sink, and even a second dishwasher. In a kitchen design make sure your sink, dishwasher, and cabinets for storing items used daily are all in the same area, making clean up a breeze. Select a layout and fixtures that make it easy to clean, like a floating vanity and curbless shower.
Enhance Your Room with Technology
Technology is part of everyday life, and the kitchen and bathroom designs are no exception. From smart phone-controlled appliances and lighting to touchless faucets and personalized toilet and shower settings, technology can help to increase your enjoyment of your home. It can also help to ensure your bathroom or kitchen design is easier to maintain. Here are a few ways that technology can minimize stress by reducing maintenance requirements.
- Touchless faucets are ideal for busy rooms, especially in homes with children. Since you can turn the faucet on and off without touching it, you avoid messy hands grabbing faucet handles and minimize spreading food and germs to your faucets.
- Smart toilets have sensor operated flushing, automated cleaning, and app-controlled settings that make daily toilet maintenance a breeze.
- Appliances with integrated technology are becoming more common in today’s kitchen designs. Among other handy features, many appliances include auto cleaning features and manage your kitchen’s inventory, helping you to know when supplies are low, so you don’t over shop and create clutter in your refrigerator or pantry.
Choose Easy to Maintain Materials and Fixtures
Bathroom Vanities and Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen cabinets and bath vanities are integral to a stylish and well-organized home. They provide essential storage, plus form the foundation of your room’s layout and, when topped with a durable countertop, offer workspace. Maximize your room’s storage potential by outfitting your cabinetry with smart storage accessories, like pull outs, drawer dividers, and compartments for every styling tool and cooking utensil. Creating this essential storage is so important to a well-organized and therefore easy to maintain home.
In terms of the cabinetry itself, go for the simplest cabinet style that fits your home’s design aesthetic. If your style is more modern, consider slab cabinet doors in a smooth surface that can be easily wiped clean. Wall hung vanity cabinets also give your room a sleek appearance and make it easier to clean bathroom floors. Avoid decorative items like intricate crown molding or corbels that can catch dirt and be more difficult to clean. If flat cabinets don’t fit your style, consider simple Shaker cabinet doors.
Also consider the finish and color you chose for your cabinetry as some are certainly easier to keep clean. A stained cabinet finish, especially in a medium shade, is the easiest finish to touch up if scratched. For painted cabinets, go for a satin finish that is easier to wipe clean but doesn’t tend to show every fingerprint. Stick to medium shades, as white or very dark colors tend to show dust and marks easier.
Your countertops cover a large surface area in any bath or kitchen design and must be able to withstand daily use including moisture, heat, sharp objects, and more. A porous natural material such as marble is more prone to stains and marks and must be resealed regularly. Porous surfaces also leave you vulnerable to bacteria accumulating, which is a big downside for any room, but especially a kitchen design.
Instead, choose a reliable surface that is as close to nonporous as possible, heat and scratch resistant, and requires very little long-term maintenance. It is hard to find one that checks all boxes, but high-quality quartz countertops come very close. They can withstand all but very high heat and are virtually nonporous. Quartz also comes in a wide range of colors and styles to match your design aesthetic.
Your choice for floor material in busy areas like kitchens or baths must be able to withstand foot traffic, pets, moisture, and the potential for dropping heavy or sharp items. A durable material that is water, stain, and scratch resistant is the ideal choice to withstand these elements and be easy to keep clean.
Hardwearing ceramic or porcelain tiles are ideal choices to withstand the elements. Minimizing grout lines with large format tiles makes the surface even easier to clean. Smooth surfaces are easier to clean than rustic textures, but smooth tiles can be a big slip hazard in moisture prone areas so may not be the best choice for a busy bath design. Consider adding underfloor heating to tile floors, as this luxurious extra also helps to dry excess moisture. Other relatively easy to maintain surfaces include luxury vinyl tile, which is a highly durable option that can mimic many natural materials.
Natural materials like hardwood floors are a beautiful choice that bring warmth to any room. They require more specific regular care and must be refinished and resealed over time to maintain their beauty. Think carefully before choosing these surfaces if you are aiming for an easy to maintain surface.
Backsplashes and Walls
Backsplashes have that name for a reason. They are intended to be a wall covering that can withstand the moisture, grease, and food splatters that are ever present in a busy kitchen design, as well as moisture in a bath design. The last thing you want in this part of your design is a surface that makes clean up more difficult. Tiles are a popular choice but remember grout lines require more careful cleaning and ongoing maintenance. For a truly low maintenance backsplash go for large format tiles or even a smooth slab surface in a natural or manufactured material. Glass is another option, particularly for a kitchen backsplash, that allows you to easily wipe the surface clean and requires almost no long-term maintenance.
Plumbing Fixtures and Shower Enclosures
For faucets, tub fillers, and showerheads, stick to brushed or satin finishes that don’t tend to show fingerprints or water spots as easily. Contemporary or transitional style fixtures have cleaner lines and fewer details to work around, meaning they are less likely to retain dirt and easier to wipe clean. Matte black fixtures are on trend, but they tend to show sediment easier, so avoid these in a low maintenance kitchen or bathroom design. Sensor faucets allow you to turn the faucet on without touching dirty hands to the handle, reducing the spread of germs and minimizing fingerprints.
Choose tubs with clean lines and a scratch resistant surface like porcelain that is more durable and easier to maintain. For shower enclosures, go for large format tile or slab surfaces with minimal grout lines, and make sure glass enclosures are frameless and coated in a material that makes them easier to clean. Keep a simple squeegee on hand for daily shower glass maintenance, which will pay off in the long run!
If you are embarking on a kitchen remodel or bathroom design for your home, why not choose design features and materials that are stylish and easy to maintain. Low maintenance kitchen and bath design means you have more free time and fewer headaches trying to keep your room looking good as new. With today’s design techniques, technology, and high-quality materials, an easy to maintain and beautiful home is within your reach. Get started on your kitchen design or bath remodel with our experienced team today!