A low-maintenance home is an almost-universal desire. While there may be a few outliers who actively enjoy maintaining their home, for most of us maintenance is something we do because we have to. It’s not something we do enjoy; it happens, but we’d love to be able to abandon these chores and focus on more enjoyable elements of life instead.
The idea is that a low-maintenance home allows us to do exactly that: devote more free time to the residents, as fewer hours have to be dedicated to preserving the house. To time-poor families, the idea of less time being required for home maintenance is an incredibly attractive one… but is it really possible?
It is— but you have to keep the following golden rules in mind:
Rule #1 – Wood is not your friend
Yes, wood is a wonderful, sustainable material that offers many aesthetic benefits, but wood is also extremely problematic in terms of durability. Unless it is cared for with the utmost dedication, wood will quickly begin to crumble, splinter, and otherwise degrade.
Of course, the “utmost dedication” is almost the exact opposite of low-maintenance, so removing wood from your home is a sensible decision. You’ll usually find wooden window frames and staircases require significant maintenance, so opt for aluminium windows and faux-wood staircase and banister construction to help keep your home as low maintenance as possible.
Rule #2 – Go faux
As touched upon above, faux is absolutely the best choice if you’re looking for low-maintenance. Expand on this principle and use “fake” products throughout your home, from astroturf in the back garden to synthetic materials for your kitchen countertops.
While faux materials may be looked down on by some, the fact remains that these pieces are eternally popular. There are two reasons for this: they’re extremely affordable and, most importantly, they’re incredibly low-maintenance. So if you’re content with opting for something that looks like the real thing rather than the actual real thing, faux is always going to be a solid, low-maintenance, choice.
Rule #3 – Glossy finishes must be avoided at all costs
We all love a glossy finish; a shiny surface that reflects the light perfectly and helps a room look beautiful and well cared-for. However, glossy surfaces are the antithesis of a low-maintenance home.
These surfaces will show every speck of dust and every fingerprint, every time. If you want to cut down on your cleaning routine, then opting for matte surfaces is always going to be the best decision. Glossy surfaces look nice in glossy magazines but sadly, they’re just not compatible with real life.
Rule #4 – Waterproof is worth its weight in gold
In terms of maintenance, chances are you have never really seen water as being capable of inflicting much damage. However, water is actually incredibly detrimental to a variety of surfaces due to its high mineral content— just think of water rings on an unprotected table as an example. This can happen throughout your home, causing dried-on brown mineral deposits on tiles, degrading materials, and even causing limescale build-up that can destroy your washing machine.
As a result, genuinely waterproof items, such as furniture and flooring, are worth spending more on— you’ll save so much time in terms of the maintenance hours you’d otherwise have to spend on these pieces.
By sticking to these four golden rules of a low-maintenance home, you should be able to enjoy more free time to spend on activities you actually want— enjoy!