Design Tips For a Clean Kitchen

We've already covered general home design tips that will make spring cleaning easier. However, each room of your house poses its own challenges when it comes to freshening up – the kitchen, especially.

Of all the rooms in a home, the kitchen is probably the easiest to make dirty, and the one people spend the most time cleaning. Scrubbing it down is not just a matter of keeping up appearances, but also maintaining a proper level of hygiene. Fortunately, you don't have to cut down on the meals you prepare to keep a kitchen spic-and-span. If you're in the process of designing your kitchen, consider these ideas that will make cleaning up on a daily basis less of a chore. 

Cleanable surfaces
A general strategy for keeping your home clean is to install floors that can be easily mopped and dusted. The same idea applies to kitchen surfaces, the most essential being countertops. The less nooks and crannies in your countertops the better. Instead of installing tiled counters, invest in a material that's easy to wipe down. Granite has long been the popular choice for people wanting a quality, low-maintenance countertop with plenty of personal character. However, granite does require occasional sealing. Houzz recommended stainless steel, quartz, Corian and laminates as options that neither have grout nor require sealing. Another option is to install large porcelain tiles which have less grout lines than smaller tiles, are cost-effective and easy to install. 

You may also want to pay attention to your backsplash. Surfaces such as glass, stone or laminate only require a simple wipe to clean. Just like your countertops, the fewer grout lines, the better. Glass looks especially nice, though it may require a window-cleaning product to keep it from getting streaky. Stone, while expensive, also looks the cleanest. Laminate will be your cheapest option.

Efficient layout
Messes can easily happen when the layout of your kitchen is not efficient. As Better Homes and Gardens noted, spills are more likely to occur the farther you have to carry things, such as a pot from the sink to the stove. To solve this problem, make sure your kitchen has a well-designed arrangement of your sink, oven, refrigerator and trash. The work triangle of this craftsman house plan is efficient in that the chef need not work far to reach the stove, the sink or the refrigerator. Additionally, there is plenty of counter space to prepare food on either side of both the sink and stove. You may also want to consider installing a lower-level drawer for recycling and garbage, so scraps and excess may easily be disposed. 

Integrated drain boards
In your pursuit of easily cleanable countertops, consider an integrated drain board. The design is basically a short section of sloped countertop that drains directly into the sink – perfect for drying large pots and pans without the trouble of setting up a drying rack. All that's required for cleaning is soap and water. 

Plenty of storage
Cooking tools can easily pile up in a kitchen. If you don't have the proper storage for it all, you may end up with cluttered counters and overstuff cabinets. Such messes can make it hard to find ingredients and cook comfortably. By designing with storage in mind, you can make sure that everything has its own place. Even if you're working with small house plans, many blueprints make maximal use of an efficient kitchen space. Frugal homeowners may also want to implement wall hooks, under-island storage space and other creative storage solutions. To keep a clean look, it's also possible to install appliance cabinets for items such as mixers, blenders and food processors.