Top 5 Tips for Easy to Maintain Kitchen and Bath Design
July 29, 2022
If you are embarking on a new kitchen or bathroom design, what are your top priorities? You may want a fresh kitchen layout, or maybe you can’t wait to create your ultimate luxury shower style. There are many fun and exciting decisions to make in a home remodel, especially when picking out products to bring your design vision to life.
Remember when you start the design process to create a space that fits your lifestyle. You must be comfortable in your new kitchen or bathroom, but you also have to clean and maintain it. Choosing a style and products that are easy to maintain allows you to retain your room’s style and functionality for longer while making your life easier. This means you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying a glass of wine with a friend on your new island (without worrying about a spill staining your countertop).
Start planning with our top five tips for creating an easy-to-maintain kitchen or bath design.
1. Start with a clear-out.
With any home remodel, the first step is always to fully declutter your room. Empty every cabinet, shelf, and countertop space, and go through your pantry, linen closet, and beverage bar. Get rid of anything that is broken, out-of-date, or no longer used. This is a great time to donate nearly new kitchen goods or excess pantry items to a local charity. Safely dispose of old, out-of-date medications from your medicine cabinet. Be sure to recycle any packaging where possible!
If you have any items that are not regularly used in the kitchen or bathroom, consider storing them somewhere else like a linen closet, utility space, or garage. Now examine what you have left and make sure everything is an item you need and will use. This is your starting point for planning your kitchen or bathroom storage.
2. Create the perfect layout.
An easy-to-maintain kitchen or bathroom design must be efficient and simple to navigate, and this starts with the layout. As the foundation of any kitchen or bath, your layout must meet both your functional and style needs, while maximizing your room’s available space. An experienced kitchen and bath design expert can help you find the perfect layout for your space and determine if you can expand your existing room by moving a wall.
Incorporate adjacent rooms into your overall plan for extra storage and workspace to alleviate the pressure on a busy kitchen design or a master bathroom. A separate pantry or utility room could provide storage shelves or be equipped with cabinetry to match your kitchen cabinets. A full walk-in pantry becomes an extension of your kitchen design where you can prep food for a party or stow dirty dishes after a holiday dinner. Include a sink and second dishwasher to make clean-up even easier.
Likewise, a hall linen closet takes the pressure off your bathroom design to store spare toiletries and extra towels. A clever layout that utilizes all available space keeps surfaces clear and makes it easier to clean and maintain these busy rooms.
3. Fill it with amazing storage solutions.
Once you have figured out the ideal layout for your room and selected your cabinetry, you can now fill it with storage solutions that make it impossible not to stay organized. Work with your kitchen and bathroom design expert to find the ideal storage solutions that meet your needs. Here are some of our favorite storage accessories that will transform a bathroom or kitchen design:
- Deep drawers are ideal for holding heavy pots and lids, dishes, and mugs, all organized with peg storage or dividers to keep everything in place.
- Drawers in a bathroom vanity cabinet are ideal for toiletries but even better when equipped with storage inserts that keep everything neatly stowed, while shallow drawers can be designed for jewelry or makeup storage.
- Pullouts can be customized to your space and needs. Tall units designed for cans and bottles are ideal for a pantry. Narrow pullouts fit neatly into awkward spaces and hold everything from spices and oils to special inserts equipped for cooking utensils. In a bathroom design, these pullouts are used to store hairdryers and other styling tools, with built-in outlets so you can plug in and use your devices straight from the cabinet.
- Awkward corners become essential storage when outfitted with accessories like a Super Susan or magic corner swing out.
- Heavy baking trays, cutting boards, and serving trays are kept in line with vertical tray dividers.
These storage solutions and more will help you keep countertops clear and everything organized and ready to use, which is essential in creating a low-maintenance home. Open storage is a popular option in today’s kitchen remodels and bathroom designs but may not be the best choice for a low-maintenance space. Floating shelves are ideal for storing a few key items and for accessorizing your room. Recessed storage niches are a must-have for a luxury shower, ideally situated to hold shower essentials. In a low-maintenance kitchen or bathroom design, consider limiting open storage unless you can commit to maintaining it.
4. Let technology give you a helping hand.
Technology is present in every aspect of modern life, including the kitchen and bathrooms. Integrated entertainment, smart appliances and shower systems, and app-controlled lighting all take your home to the next level and help to enhance your enjoyment of your home. A few technological advances stand out in promoting an easier-to-maintain space.
Touchless faucets mean you can turn the faucet on and off while cooking without having to touch the handles. Preparing your favorite chicken dish? Get those hands clean without spreading germs and best of all without having to immediately disinfect the faucet. This is ideal for a home with young children to avoid messy fingers leaving marks on the faucet.
Smart toilets are becoming a more popular choice for today’s bathroom designs. They offer sensor flushing and automated cleaning, among other features, to make everyone’s least favorite cleaning job so much easier.
5. Select easy-to-maintain features.
Kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities
Cabinetry forms the basis of your kitchen or bathroom design layout, workspace, and storage. It is essential to creating a well-organized home and sets the tone for your style. In addition to outfitting your kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity with storage accessories, the style and finish you choose influence ongoing maintenance requirements for cabinetry.
Choose cabinets with the simplest door style that fits your home’s design aesthetic. Extra embellishment on a cabinet face traps dirt and grease and makes it more difficult to clean. The easiest surface to clean is a smooth, slab door style. Shaker doors are an alternative that fit most design styles but with limited crevices to clean around. Extra decorative features like corbels and crown molding add to your regular cleaning requirements, so bear this in mind when selecting your final vanity or kitchen cabinet design. Wall-hung vanities are a contemporary, spa-style feature that make cleaning around the cabinet easier since the full floor surface is accessible.
A stained finish cabinet in a medium shade is one of the easiest surfaces to touch up if it becomes scratched. For painted cabinetry, go for a medium shade in a satin finish that is easier to wipe clean. White painted cabinets tend to show every fingerprint while dark finishes show dust and water spots easily, so avoid these shades if you want to keep your cabinets easy to maintain.
In a busy kitchen or bathroom design, your flooring is a superhero that must withstand constant foot traffic, pets, kids, and moisture. Hardwood is a popular choice but is very prone to warping from moisture. It can also scratch or ding from pets’ claws and dropping heavy items. Wood is not suitable for a high moisture zone like a regularly used bathroom design, and if you do choose it for your kitchen make sure you are prepared to follow recommended guidelines for cleaning and maintenance.
An alternative is Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) which can mimic the appearance of hardwood in a moisture proof surface. While LVP can be scratched or dented by very sharp or heavy items, it is a highly durable surface perfect for a busy home and, best of all, a plank can be easily replaced if it does become damaged. Luxury Vinyl Tile can also mimic other materials like natural stone, making it an ideal choice for achieving the style you want in a low-maintenance surface.
Ceramic and porcelain tile is a hardwearing surface that is ideal for a bathroom remodel and fits perfectly in a kitchen design. Go for large format tiles to minimize grout lines if you want to reduce the requirement for cleaning and ongoing maintenance. Adding underfloor heating to bathroom tile floors is a luxurious feature that also helps to dry any excess moisture.
The backsplash has become a style accessory, but it also serves an essential function in a busy kitchen or bathroom design. In bathrooms, your backsplash needs to withstand moisture, but in a kitchen, it must stand up to water, grease, heat, food splatters, and more. This can be one of the toughest surfaces to keep clean in a kitchen if you choose the wrong material. For a relatively easy-to-clean surface stick to a large format, smooth tiles, or better yet a slab backsplash that can be easily wiped. Grout lines are tough to clean and require long-term maintenance so the more grout lines your backsplash has the harder it will be to maintain.
Your plumbing fixtures serve the essential role of delivering water on demand to your kitchen and bathrooms. This includes everything from sinks and tubs to faucets, tub fillers, and showerheads. When choosing metallic features, stick to brushed or satin finishes as they don’t show fingerprints and water spots as easily. Matte black tends to show up water sediment so you may want to avoid this trendy finish. Go for fixtures with simple lines, like a contemporary or transitional style. You will thank yourself when you can easily wipe them clean without having to work around intricate detailing. Even better include sensor faucets to avoid fingerprints and germs.
Curbless shower enclosures that are either fully open or else have a frameless glass door are ideal, as there are fewer crevices to catch dirt and clean around. For daily maintenance of glass shower enclosures, a squeegee is your best friend. Keep it in the shower and make sure everyone uses it daily to clean the shower glass. This simple, regular maintenance keeps soap scum and water marks away and makes weekly cleaning even easier. Similarly, with bathtubs select a model with simple lines and a scratch-resistant surface, like a porcelain tub.
Countertops are another surface that see a lot of activity in a kitchen or bathroom They must be able to withstand anything from high heat to sharp objects, moisture, spills, and grease. There are many top choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops, but if you want to find a material that looks great, is durable, and is easy to clean and maintain, you can’t go wrong with quartz. Engineered quartz can withstand all but extremely high heat and is virtually nonporous. It comes in a range of colors and styles and is simple to clean and maintain.
You don’t have to sacrifice style to get an easy to clean and maintain bathroom or kitchen design. Create a layout and storage to maximize efficiency and reduce clutter, then choose materials that look beautiful but are simple to keep looking good as new. Get inspired in our project gallery and contact our experienced design team to start planning your easy-to-maintain home.