Kitchens are officially the most used room in American homes, not only for family members, but also guests—a fact that makes homeowners far more likely to invest in the design of their kitchen. Sleek countertops, colorful splashbacks, and heated wood-effect flooring are just a few features that interior designers are constantly tempting consumers with. If you are looking into a kitchen renovation, however, functionality is just as important as beauty. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure your kitchen is as easy-to-clean as it is visually appealing.
Choosing The Right Materials
Kitchen flooring is one of the sleekest design elements you can incorporate into your design but this feature is also the part of the kitchen that gets messiest (apart from your countertops). For your flooring, choose sturdy, stain-resistant materials like stained concrete, tiles, or wood-effect laminate floors (if you like the look of wood). Hardwood makes for stunning looks, but this material is more vulnerable to spills. For your countertops, some of the easiest materials to clean include stainless steel, engineered quartz, soapstone, and granite. If you go for granite, know that you will need to have it sealed annually. However, this is a low-cost procedure that will keep your countertop in tip-top condition.
Decorative Elements that Can Withstand Heat and Humidity
The kitchen can be one of the warmest and most humid rooms in your home, especially if you are into making soup and slow-cooked dishes. A good exhaust can help, but you should also be mindful of the decorative elements you place on kitchen shelves, islands, and countertops. Typical small decor items that liven up chic kitchens include utensil holders, vintage dish racks and cutlery stands, and multi-photo frames with family pictures. You can have wooden picture frames on the wall or wooden utensil holders, but keep them as far as possible from sources of steam and heat. Ensure your frames are covered in glass, and give them a wipe-down around once a week to ensure they are grease- and stain-free.
Paint used to be the standard wall covering for kitchens, but today, there are a myriad of kitchen-friendly wallpaper types that can easily be cleaned with a humid cloth. There are three main types of wallpaper which are recommended for kitchen use: vinyl, Novamura, and washable varieties. If you are an assiduous cook, washable wallpaper could be your best bet, as it contains a transparent coating that makes it highly stain resistant and easy to wipe clean.
Think About Your Cabinet Positioning
Some of the hardest parts of a kitchen to clean are the surfaces above high furniture items such as cabinets. Even if you have a good exhaust fan, these surfaces can still collect droplets of grease or dust, and in some cases, you need a ladder to reach them. You can save on having to clean these surfaces by opting for cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling. If you are totally redesigning your kitchen or starting your design plans from scratch, consider having low-lying furniture which you can easily reach to clean. This is easier to do if you have a lot of space. When kitchens are small, you may have no choice but to make the most of your wall space, but you can avoid strife by ensuring they reach the ceiling.
Keeping Lighting Features Far from Your Stove
Lighting is, by nature, one of the highest items in any kitchen, and it can also be destroyed or dirtied by grease and dust. For your stove areas, choose recessed lights or a hood with its own inbuilt lights. Your main lighting can comprise pendant or chandelier-style lighting situated above your kitchen island. Lights made of steel, glass, metal, or plastic are easiest to clean, and they don’t absorb the smell of cooking fumes. Meanwhile, LED strips for indirect and colored lighting embellish practically any piece of kitchen furniture and as they are low, they are also easy to keep clean.
Go For an Induction Cooktop
Induction cooktops are known for their flat, sleek, easy-to-clean surface. Opting for this type of cooktop enables you to reduce your clean-up time (after preparing a meal) by 10 to 15 minutes. The reason why induction hobs are such a good bet is that they use electromagnetic energy to direct heat to compatible cookware. This enables them to cool off very quickly and be ready for cleaning. Usually, food just slides off an induction cooktop when you clean the latte with a wet rag. If any grease is stuck to the surface, simply wait until it is warm, not hot, then hold a dedicated scraper flatly against the grease spot, moving it gently so you don’t scratch the glass.
The kitchen is arguably one of the most worthwhile parts of a home to renovate. When making design choices, keep ease of cleaning in mind. Choose optimal materials for your flooring and walls, and keep small decorative items away from the reach of steam and food stains. Consider placing your main lighting features far from the stove, opting for a hood with inbuilt lights if possible. Opt for pendant or other low-lying lights that are easy to reach when you’re cleaning. Finally, choose an induction cooktop for fast cleaning and a sleek, modern look.