woman dusting

Tips for an Easy to Clean House Design

Cleaning and maintaining the house regularly can be challenging. The more people and the more space you have, the more demanding it is.

When it comes to designing and decorating the house, I’ve always been more inclined to look for easy to clean furniture and accessories than follow current trends!

cleaning home sign

Before we moved into our current house years ago, we had some renovations done. I had a one year old, was working full time and shortly after became pregnant with the second.  I’m not even kidding when I say that many of the design choices I made were based on what was easy to clean and what would hide dirt the best!

As beautiful as the white kitchen look is, I personally stuck to maple wood cabinets and black patterned countertops! But I’m learning that you don’t have to live in fear of extra cleaning when decorating your home. You can make many design and home décor choices that reduce your cleaning time and effort.

Making an Easy to Clean Home

Ideally, with some regular daily cleaning – tidying up should take no longer than 30 minutes, and a chore a day such as cleaning the floors or dusting would also take no longer than 30 to 40 minutes.

The best way to manage this cleaning is to be organized with daily and weekly routine checklists, and to have easy to clean surfaces and accents in the house. 

cleaning checklists

Easy to Clean Interior Design

As you plan the design of your home or walk through your favorite home décor stores, think about incorporating materials into your home that will allow for easy cleaning, in addition to what attracts your eye.

Surfaces

Typically the easiest surfaces to clean will be non-porous.  This means the surfaces are smooth and sealed so that liquid and air cannot pass through it.

Color

Patterned materials are great for hiding dirt, as well as medium and earth toned colors. You would want to try to avoid solid colors, such as white or black.  These colors tend to show every bit of dirt and any little scratch or scuff mark. 

modern family room with storage and patterned rug

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Storage

Its best to keep your surfaces as clear as possible and there are two ways to do this. One is to have a good amount of storage and the second is to declutter often.

Things can pile up really quickly. If you want to keep your cleaning time to a minimum, its best to deal with the clutter on a daily basis before it gets out of control, and store everything where it belongs.

Low maintenance home décor

Think Minimalism

Buy fewer items that are larger and make more of a statement instead of many smaller items. Its best to avoid too many accessories that require dusting in your home. Remember the saying less is more.  The less you have, the less cleaning you have to do and the more time you have to do other things.  

large art statement piece

Look at Low Maintenance Styles

Typically things that are more sleek looking and have less carved in designs or crevices are easier to clean and less likely to collect dust.

Styles such as modern farmhouse typically include some rustic furniture and accents that can be harder to clean than the more sleek and polished décor in contemporary designs. Try to achieve the right balance of a modern look without sacrificing the added warmth you are aiming for.  

How to Decorate your House to Make Cleaning Easy

1. Think About your Furniture Selection

Sometimes I wonder if we buy more furniture than we really need. At least the days of buying a hutch and buffet for the dining room are gone! Those traditional pieces were a monstrosity taking up half the room and displaying one set of fine china that was rarely used.

People still do get sideboards but with all the cabinet space available in modern kitchens, think about if its really necessary.

Really plan out your furniture needs. If you buy accent chairs and end tables that have no real purpose and take up space, you will end up putting more accessories on them and have more cleaning to do.

Also, I have read quite a few articles on easy to clean furniture selection and one common suggestion is to buy furniture with wheels or casters. Yes its great for moving furniture to vacuum underneath – until your toddler pushes your coffee table into the kitchen. I can see the practical aspect, but sorry, it doesn’t even look good to have all your furniture on wheels.

Upholstery

Are Slipcovers Worth it?

Another suggestion I have seen a lot of online is to get slipcovers for sofas and accent chairs. I have only owned one sofa slipcover. I know that quality matters and the ones that do not bunch up and attract lint can be pricey. I also have no interest in doing another load of laundry with them, making sure they don’t look wrinkled and trying to get them back on nicely again every time.

Leather and Fabric Material

Instead of investing in good quality slipcovers, consider putting the extra money toward a leather or faux leather sofa. Just sweep a duster over the sofa and you are done and occasionally use a wet cloth or a leather cleaner to wipe over it.

leather sofa to display easy to clean material

You can read more about faux leather sofas here.

Some of the easiest to clean sofa fabrics include:

  • Microfibre
  • Velvet
  • Wool

You can read more about the easiest to clean sofa fabrics here.

Elevated

Buy lightweight furniture, sleek and modern. Many pieces are now elevated so you can easily vacuum under the floor. If you prefer to not have to rush over with the vacuum every time you see the dust collecting then skip it.

Also look for flat, smooth surfaces.  Furniture with accents such as engraved designs can easily collect dust.

2. Ease Up on the Cushions or Throw Pillows

I think we tend to go a little overboard with the throw pillows on sofas and chairs and our beds. For easier cleaning, consider cutting back on the number of throw cushions. Less can still add the burst of color or warmth you are looking for. Plus you can make the bed faster!

large cushion with cover

I have also recently purchased cushion covers instead of a whole cushion. The main reason I did this was because the ones I had were good quality and holding their shape well so I didn’t want to fully replace them. Just wash the covers when needed.

3. Skip the Floating and Open Shelves

Floating and open shelving can definitely be a beautiful accent to any room.  But you will have to lift each and every item off of those shelves and dust them regularly.

I was tempted to put shelves on either side of the fireplace as this seemed to be the thing to do. But the thought of doing that extra dusting made me look into other options.

Consider artwork or a beautiful mirror to complement the space.

large art statement piece

4. Easy to Clean Surfaces – Floors, Tiles and Countertops

From my personal experience with home renovations, I would say to stay away from polished or high gloss floors because smudges and water marks are highly visible on them. Also, I put large floor tiles in my kitchen and just love them, not only for the look but also there are less grout lines to deal with.

This is a really comprehensive guide on the easiest bathroom tiles to clean.

earth tone colored large bathroom tiles

Ceramic and porcelain tile flooring in the kitchen gets top pick for easiest to clean, as well as vinyl. Check out this guide to learn more about the different flooring options.

For countertops, what are easy surfaces to clean?

  • Quartz
  • Soapstone
  • Recycled Glass
  • Laminate

You can read more about the best low maintenance countertops here.

5. The Style of Kitchen Cupboards

Kitchen cupboards that don’t extend to the ceiling will only collect dust.  Its even worse if you put accessories at the top. Extend the cabinets and also consider the flat front style. Other styles such as the shaker look will have little ledges for dust to settle.

flat cupboards reaching to the ceiling

6. Select Bigger Wall Art

Although a gallery wall with frames displaying family pictures and artwork can look great, you probably guessed that I’m going to say that its just more dusting to do!

Go for a larger statement piece instead so there is just one frame to look after.

large wall art

7. Go with Recessed or Pot Lights

Light fixtures and chandeliers can quickly accumulate dust and cobwebs. Recessed lights do require a light dusting sometimes but they are much easier to maintain and look bright and modern, especially in the kitchen.

kitchen with recessed lights

8. Get Frosted Glass Shower Doors

Frosted glass shower doors can hide water spots (though I would continue to squeegee it!). When you don’t have time to clean the shower, frosted glass is more forgiving. Frosted glass just needs to be cleaned with a non-abrasive alkaline cleaner like Windex.  

9. Consider Stainless Steel Alternatives

Stainless steel appliances look great but smudge and show finger prints easily. If you don’t clean them up quickly, they look dirty pretty fast.

10. Use Washable Indoor Mats

Machine washable mats are a quick and easy way to get your mats clean.

You can also use indoor/outdoor mats. They are easy to vacuum up the dirt, however not all absorb water depending on the material. So if you live in a place where it snows, it will all stay on top of the mat and will have to be dried off.

We hope these tips will help you shave off some of the time it takes you to clean!

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