There are many perks to having a low-maintenance home, whether you are currently building one, or renovating your existing residence. For one, it can be more cost-effective in the long run.
Carpet flooring, for instance, is cheaper as compared to engineered wood. However, carpet requires more maintenance. If you have housemates with allergies and don’t have the time to vacuum and clean regularly, you may need to hire help.
The amount of time and effort needed to keep the place clear of clutter and debris balloons depending on the size of your home. Plus, there is also the weather. By creating a low-maintenance home, you can minimize the stress involved in cleaning your home.
Let our experienced interior design contractors guide you on how to create that space that requires minimal upkeep. Some of these tips are better while you are in the process of building your home. But others can be accomplished today.
Keep the walls flat
Detailed moldings, ornamental crowns, and cornices may give your walls a regal look, but each curve is another potential nook to dust. Each edge can house dust, dirt, and grime. Unless you intend to spend your weekends wiping the surfaces clean, it is best to stay away from them.
Bare walls don’t have to be boring. Instead of creating layers using physical components, why not use paint or wallpaper instead? Today’s market of decorative coatings and wall coverings include a wide variety of designs, colors, patterns, and finishes – you are bound to find a surface coating that suits your needs yet does not demand your constant attention.
Choose durable flooring
Do you live alone, with kids, seniors, have a roommate or a pet? What do you regularly do inside your home? Take note of your answers as the number of people and the activities conducted in the space can affect how much action your floor sees on a daily basis.
When it comes to flooring, choose a material that can withstand daily use and abuse. This could be anything from kids running around, grandma on her wheelchair moving from one room to another, or the sheer number of guests walking around. Whatever the case may be, choose flooring that is more than able to handle the stresses.
The most practical low-maintenance options can be expensive to install, much like in the case between carpet tiles and engineered wood. But, once you take into account the durability of the material and ease of upkeep, you will find that it pays off in the long run. With engineered wood, for instance, you won’t need to spend so much time or resources maintaining its look, feel, and condition.
Tiles are another option. The only issue is the grout around the joints and gaps as the substance can take in dirt and grime. To reduce the number of grout areas, you can opt for bigger tiles.
Better yet, why not go for parquet or vinyl? Compared to tiles, there are no joint lines or gaps, which eliminates the need for grout. Further, it’s easy to clean – in most cases, all you need is a damp mop.
Flush components to surfaces
Besides avoiding moldings, there are other ways of keeping the walls and ceilings flat. One way to reduce crevices is to have all your shelves and cabinets built into the wall. This includes all storage components, including kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, bookshelves, and areas to store entertainment consoles, among others.
To minimize cleaning surfaces, it would be wise to let your storage areas reach both the floor and the ceiling. Plus, keep all storage areas closed. Doors keep the dust away, so opt for components that have doors or drawers.
Avoid glass and mirrors
Designers often run to glass and mirrors if they need to make a space look bigger or brighter. Restaurants, boutiques, hotel lobbies, and other types of commercial spaces use this technique. It is effective, but upkeep requires a lot of effort.
Fingerprints, for one, can easily show on the surface. Dust and remnants of liquid have the same effect. If you are bothered seeing imperfections on the surface, it is best to avoid these materials.
Opening up the space can be done in other ways. Instead of resorting to shiny surfaces, you can use frosted glass to let more light inside the area or downlights for illumination. Alternatively, you can go for a lighter color palette to make the space look airy.
Go for stain-resistant soft materials
Using fabrics to upholster your sofas and similar furnishings can provide for a warm and inviting ambiance. Unfortunately, removing spills and stains on the fabric can be an immense challenge. If you have kids, pets, or like to drink wine, having furnishings covered in cloth is not recommended.
A more practical upholstery material is leather. Wiping a damp cloth is often all you need to remove any stains. Or, consider suede if you want the feel of fabric but not the effort of maintaining it.
Extend to the outdoors
How your property looks from the outside is just as important as the interiors. If you want a low-maintenance garden, plant natives.
Native plants thrive in the local soil and climate and tend to be sturdier than imports. As such, they will require less attention and effort. You can also plant trees to provide shade in the long run.
Lawns require regular mowing and care. If mowing is a chore, why not skip the lawn altogether? You can reduce the size by using gravel, pebbles, and pavers to design areas to your garden or cover the entire space.
Keeping the home clean is one of your responsibilities as a tenant or owner. But keeping it in good condition should not fill your days.
With these tips, you are in a better position to create a home that requires minimal maintenance. For more tips, contact a reputable interior designer or fit-company in your area.
Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.