A beautiful home is often equated with extra work to maintain its beauty. However, an attractive home and a clean home are not mutually exclusive. These days, many interior finishes are made to be easier to maintain than they were in years past.
Improved paint finishes are a good example of the trend to improve cleaning. For years, wall paints have been designed to make application easier than maintenance. Now many wall paints are designed so that they go on easily, look attractive – and are cleanable, too. Some will even take scrubbing. Look for satin and eg-shel type finishes from your favorite paint brand.
Trim paint, as well, chosen with cleaning in mind, can make beautiful décor more practical. Most painters and homeowners tend to choose semi-gloss for the trim paint finish. However, high-gloss trim paint is not only easier to clean, it’s also more durable, withstanding chips and wear better over time. Next time you’re ready to choose trim or wall paint, select finishes and brands that can stand up to routine maintenance and cleaning. Decorating bookshelves sparingly will save you time and energy. Although bookshelves are beautiful areas to display objects and books, they are also giant dust magnets. If possible, reduce the number of items on bookshelves to only a few per shelf. This makes dusting easier and less time consuming than shelves lined with lots of small knickknacks. Better still, have glass doors installed over the shelves so that items inside don’t become dusty as quickly.
Use display cases for collectibles. If you have fine or intricate collectibles, purchase glass display cases to group the items together (which always looks good) and keep them clean at the same time. Choose simple plumbing fixtures. When replacing or selecting plumbing fixtures, make a selection based on how easy to clean the fixtures are. You will want to choose fixtures that you can clean behind and that don’t have so many small crevices that make cleaning more difficult. Select window coverings with dust in mind. Blinds are natural dust catchers. So make sure that the blinds you choose can be easily wiped clean, sprayed with water or vacuumed. While vertical blinds may be easier to clean, choose carefully or they can make your home look dated. Another clean window option is the old-fashioned roll-up shade. Closed at night and opened in the morning, this style of blind doesn’t have a chance to hang around and catch dust night and day like mini-blinds do. If you need to block light from a room, consider lining curtains with a blackout liner and eliminate the blinds altogether.
Purchase fabric protection for furniture and carpeting to extend the life and looks of your furniture. When buying furnishings, there is a balance to strike between what feels good, looks attractive and will wear well or withstand kids, pets and spills. Whenever possible, purchase the fabric protection offered by some furniture stores and manufacturers. These coatings help repel stains and make fabrics on your furniture look better and wear longer. The same is true with carpeting. Always select carpeting with the best spill protection possible. Choose washable bed coverings to cut down on allergens. Queen- or king-sized comforters can be beautiful and luxurious, but often difficult to fit into the washing machine. Instead of standard comforters, choose matelasse, bedspreads or duvets with fabrics that can be thrown into the washer and properly cleaned – something you’ll appreciate if you have a large or nasty spill. Washing bed linens also helps reduce allergens. Obviously, there are some décor ideas that will require more upkeep. But with a little thought you can decorate with cleaning in mind. This will not only reduce the cleaning you have to do but will keep your home cleaner longer and increase the enjoyment you get from it.