As an interior designer, all of my clients come to me for beautiful and functional design. And while the clients’ styles, preferences and needs vary from project-to-project, “easy-to-clean” is almost always a requirement, especially for those with children and pets. As I source furniture and decor for a client’s home, I take the time to pay attention to the product’s construction details and cleaning codes. These small details can have a big impact on the way my clients ultimately live in their homes. And my goal is to create a haven that is not only gorgeous, but easy to live in.
Curious about what I look for when sourcing furniture and finishes? Here are some areas of your home where smart decisions can save you future headaches.
No other surface in the home attracts as much dirt and abuse as your floors. For most of my clients, we source real hardwood flooring for its beauty, durability and versatility. It’s an easy-to-clean material, but depending on the species, can scratch easily. And while I prefer hardwood, luxury vinyl tile, or LVT, can also be a viable option, particularly for basements. LVT is waterproof and guards against stains, scratches and cracks and is a cinch to clean. Another more modern option is stained concrete with a protective sealer. Its nonporous seal and minimal seams ensure that it’s impervious to spills, and can easily be mopped or swept.
Performance fabrics were created to do just that, perform. The fibers are dyed and treated prior to being woven, ensuring their ability to resist stains, spills and odors and most are easily cleaned with water. Common performance fabric brands are Sunbrella, Crypton, Revolution, Inside Out and Perennial. Leather is also another durable and easy-to-clean option. While it does need to be conditioned periodically, spills are easy to wipe up and often add to the character of the leather.
Glass is an easy choice for pieces such as dining room or coffee table tops. And it’s a great option for backsplash tiles, too. All you need is a non-abrasive alkaline cleaner like Windex or Sprayway to keep your surfaces streak-free.
The key to minimal cleaning with wood is to keep things streamlined. Opt for furniture that has simple forms rather than complicated nooks or crevices that will be a trap for dust. Wood is easy to maintain, only requiring regular wipe downs with a slightly damp, lint-free cloth.
It’s almost impossible to find a home without metal objects. Metal is a beautiful and durable material that is used for everything from door and cabinet hardware to stair balusters to end tables and decor items. Most metal only needs regular dusting and a periodic clean with a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner.
Perhaps the most important place in your home to have an easy-to-clean surface is your kitchen and bathroom countertops. While I absolutely love the look of marble, I make sure my clients and I are on the same page in terms of its risks, which include staining and scratching (but to be honest, those are what add to its character!). Other more user-friendly natural stone options include granite, quartzite and soapstone. If you’re looking for a man made material, you can opt for quartz or porcelain, which is my personal favorite and something I sourced for my own home.
With just a few smart design choices, you can have a low maintenance home that will last for decades, protecting your investment and your sanity.
Ready to get started on your own journey to a beautifully functional home? Get in touch!