The less cleaning you have to do, the more free time you have. Ranging from quick fixes to remodeling projects, here are some design tips that can minimize your cleaning routine.
Simply because of gravity, your floors are the dirtiest surface. Installing a central vacuum system (above) with sweep inlets in the highest traffic areas greatly reduces the time you spend sweeping and vacuuming.
Smooth floor surfaces are always easier to keep clean. Stained and sealed concrete floors (above) have fewer seams for grime-gathering and are the ultimate in durability.
If you prefer a softer floor, laminate or vinyl flooring (above) is also low maintenance and easy to clean. Hardwood floors require immediate attention to spills and splatter, so may not be the best choice for the kitchen and bathroom but work beautifully in dining rooms, hallways and family rooms.
If you have your heart set on carpet (especially in bedrooms where you tend to go barefoot), consider carpet tiles (above). If one area gets stained or damaged, change out only those tiles rather than trying to ignore or cover it up until it’s time for new wall-to-wall carpeting.
Easy Clean Walls
For homes with children or in high traffic areas, there are several quality lines of washable paint that hold their color and finish if you have to scrub the wall. And satin or semi-gloss finish is always easier to clean than matte or eggshell.
If marking on the walls is something your children are drawn to, how about letting them draw on certain walls coated with chalkboard paint?
Instead of wallpaper, investigate the improved look and feel of vinyl wallcovering. It’s easy to wipe down, and is a smart alternative to tile for kitchen and bathroom backsplashes.
Not only do you have to move furniture to clean, but it attracts its fair share of dirt and stains. A quick – and fun – fix to is to put them on wheels. Add locking casters to your tables (as shown above) and chairs, and not only is it easier to clean the areas under them, but also comes in handy for temporarily rearranging furniture for large gatherings.
Stain-resistant fabric, like leather and vinyl, make clean up a breeze (and the bonus is they don’t harbor allergens). For softer upholstery options look to stain-repellant fabric that literally deflects whatever spills out of a cup. These are considered contract-grade fabrics, but them being virtually impervious makes it worth the extra cost.
Hide the Clutter
The less stuff you have out, the less to be dusted. Furniture with built-in storage, like an ottoman (above) or end tables, let you keep items in beautiful and useful containers. With some carpentry help, the undersides of stairs and below windows are perfect places for built-in storage.
Kitchen clutter can be managed by turning unused space into an organized, walk-in pantry or a floor-to ceiling cabinet (above) that multi-tasks as a catch-all, charging station and work desk.
For help in creating a home that’s easier to clean, work with the designers and craftsmen at St. Louis remodeling company Mosby Building Arts. Here are the services they offer. Call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.
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