Take inspiration from these great homes that manage to strike the balance between function and form, while staying effortless and easy to maintain
16 December 2015
Any homeowner knows that keeping your home in tiptop shape is not as easy as it sounds. How did our parents do it, back in the day? No matter how much you sweep, wipe, mop and polish, your home can never seem to stay in pristine condition. We’ve highlighted some of the problems, for example, too many shiny surfaces that need to be wiped down, and heavyset furniture that are a pain to vacuum around. We’ve also identified one of the biggest issues, which is a lack of storage. No matter how large our home is, there never seems to be enough space for all the clutter. That being said, this doesn’t mean that you have to live in a home with no possessions, or that you should hide everything you own. Take inspiration from these great homes that manage to strike the balance between function and form, while staying effortless and easy to maintain. By Deborah Jane Goon
We’re pretty sure the ample flow of natural light and the clever combination of white and wood play a huge role in the low maintenance of this flat, designed by LAANK. The entire house has a crisp, unfussy character that will stand the test of time but it is in the living room that ample customised storage really makes the difference. The stunning book storage system complete with a sliding ladder ensures the couple’s reading matter is kept organised and easily accessible. A clever low-rise entertainment console with hidden storage continues around the room and becomes bench seating along the windows – perfect as additional seating for friends while providing lots of organisational space. Combine this with the sofa that allows for easy vacuuming you’ve got the perfect combination of form versus function. It also helps that the living room is ridiculously inviting with natural light that drenches the space efficiently and gives the home an open concept that beckons you to come in and relax.
One of the sure fire ways to keep a home easy to clean is to adopt a streamlined design concept. Take this bedroom by Linear Space Concepts for instances, the mood is light and inviting but the concept is big on functionality. We love how the full-height entertainment unit anchors the space and provides storage for the TV without closing in the room. The clever design allows light to still penetrate through the room, while the double volume design keeps the room poised ready for rest and relaxation. Furniture is kept simple and off the floor to allow for easy maintenance so vacuuming and sweeping underneath is a breeze.
We don’t mean any disrespect when we say that this kitchen by Bluprin.ID is the perfect solution for anyone with an OCD cleaning tendency. The dark laminates hide finger prints and will not show scuff marks easily. The large volume of enclosed cabinetry means there’s ample space for a large array of cooking and dining essentials (and more importantly, cleaning apparatus). We love how the stainless steel splash back and counter tops are perfect for food preparation and all it takes is a quick spray and wipe and they’ll shine again. That and the close proximity to the dining table which sits at its boundary – means serving up hot delicious meals is a fuss-free affair.
The modern minimalist feel in the bathroom of this home designed by Design Rebirth makes bath time highly desirable. Even though the mostly white surfaces exude a somewhat clean freak appeal, the clever play on aesthetics rids the space of that clinical clean instantly. Mirrored storage keeps essentials hidden and allows the space to feel larger than it is. The key here is the type of surfaces are kept constant with subtle texture adding a luxurious yet unfussy appeal. We admit, it’ll be a pain to keep the mirrors, glass partitions and white marble spotless and clean, but the bathroom is always a space that needs constant care and maintenance.
Just because you want a home that is easy to maintain, need not mean you live in isolation with nothing around you. Take inspiration from this 2-bedroom condo apartment by TOPOS Design Studio which exudes a Scandinavian flair with playful after-thoughts. Thoughtful design elements including a cantilevered built-in entertainment console with open and closed cabinetry allow the space to stay functional and easy to clean. Comfortable furniture pieces like easy-to-move armchairs (and a coffee table) add to the seating space in the light-filled living area. Meanwhile in the white washed kitchen and dining space, a stunning raw wood table adds to the character of the place while keeping the home easy on the eye and a breeze to keep clean. We also love the bathroom with its top and bottom cabinetry that allows for everything to have a home so clutter doesn’t become an issue. A towel ladder also allows for drying space without cluttering the small space.
You might think that having a small apartment means it will be easy to keep it clean and tidy. While this may be true for some people, having a small home can also mean a lack of storage space. This 883 sqft apartment designed by Egg3 however illustrates some clever design ideas that allow this small apartment to be maximised and stay clutter-free. The lack of a coffee table means more space for the kids to play in while a full height shelf in the living room allows for display space and natural light to drench the space. We also love the neutral use of colour and texture while the streamlined furniture pieces really allows this space to shine.
This petite 3-bedroom HDB flat designed by Add Space has been drenched in a warm palette consisting of wood and white. Clever design touches, like easy-to-maintain floor tiles, allow the space to stay chic with very little fuss. Since the home is quite small, an emphasis was placed on creating clever wall niches and interesting storage options which have definitely added to the value of this small home. There may be a lot of surfaces to wipe down, and the angular display shelf might make you shudder when thinking of the dust caught in the corners and edges, but there’s no denying that this well-organised home has its perks.
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