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How to Design and Maintain a Clean House

Tips and tricks for designing, decorating and maintaining a clean house effortlessly.

easy to clean carpet | tips to maintain a clean house

A friend mentioned today that she would be terrified to let her boys run around our house because it’s so white. I asked “Why not?” Our girls certainly do. They run their dirty fingers on the walls and run out onto the black asphalt drive without shoes just like any other kid.

Our house is not a museum, it’s a home. In fact, that’s why our end tables are so limited in decor and our home is not over styled. Some of it’s preference, but it also comes out of practicality.

easy to clean rug | how to maintain a clean house

Anyways, I returned home to a reader’s comment asking if I have staff that cares for our home. I WISH! Wouldn’t that be amazing? I will admit, we do have someone who regularly comes to our home and cleans {so you should totally come visit that evening, okay?}, but a staff? No.

easy to clean rug

There are some misconceptions about a white house. It’s not any cleaner if you just can’t see it. That’s my philosophy! Having a “white” house allows you to see the dirt so you can address it and enjoy a clean house!

Here are my tricks on how to design and maintain a clean house {for anyone who is trying to convince their husband for a white sofa}:

easy to clean rug

Select Furniture that is Easy to Clean:

  • Slipcovered Furniture. We have had our sofas and dining room chairs for 7 years and have only cleaned the love seat once due to the treatment Restoration Hardware puts on their linen furniture. They can be washed or dry cleaned which puts my mind at ease. Wine, soda, mac and cheese, sidewalk chalk, you name it, has wiped clean with water. We have had a lot of success at the lake cottage in 2.5 year of use with IKEA slipcovered furniture as well! Red wine washed right out. Don’t ask who spilled it.
  • Leather Furniture easily wipes clean.

easy to clean carpet

Choose Flooring Wisely:

  • Wood Floors are easy to clean and often hide the dirt.
  • Incorporate Indoor Outdoor Rugs – especially when using light colors. They’re easy to clean. Frequent vacuuming keeps dirt from embedding. They almost always wipe clean with a wet cloth, but can be deep cleaned with a hose! You can see how we used them in for our basement stairs, living room, family room, breakfast room (rug was previously in guest bedroom) and in the lake cottage kitchen and entry! They’re very pet friendly! easy to clean rug
  • A little maintenance goes a long way. I use this vacuum for touch ups on both the floors and sofas.
  • Selecting carpet with durable fibers allows you to easily eliminate stains. You can read about our carpet flooring at the lake cottage here.

brick floors

Don’t allow dirt to enter the home. You may be laughing, but the best way to maintain a clean home is to keep the dirt out.

  • Brick Flooring actually collects the dirt so that it doesn’t enter the main living space. They’re suitable for the entryway and mudroom.
  • Keep a basket or boot tray by the entry to collect shoes so they don’t track in dirt.
  • Use doormats both inside and outside of a door.

farrow & ball white tie paint color

Paint Sheen Matters:

Use eggshell or higher paint sheen so that it can somewhat wipe clean. The higher the sheen, the easier to clean.

art ideas

Use Pillow Covers:

Some items need to be cleaned more than others – like throw pillows! Rather than purchasing an ensemble, purchase pillow covers and inserts so they can be washed, rather than eliminated when soiled.

slipcovered barstools

Avoid Stainless Steel:

You may have noticed our kitchen remodel almost entirely eliminated stainless steel – that’s because I can’t take the fingerprints. Our dishwasher and refrigerator are covered with easy to wipe clean panels and we purchased an oven without windows (which I’ve also found to be a challenge).

Minimize Dust:

  • Utilize cabinets to the ceiling to eliminate a common dust trap that circulates your home.
  • Add doors to a hutch.

I hope you enjoyed these tips for a clean house – I’d love to hear yours!

8 comments on “How to Design and Maintain a Clean House”

  1. Great, helpful post!  I adore everything in your beautiful home.  Where did you purchase or what brand are your appliances where you can get the panels rather than stainless steel?

  2. You always handle such comments like “having staff” so kindly! I can’t believe people would say something like that. I love your tips and there is one that I would add (and which you probably do as well). It’s to teach your children to clean up after themselves, have respect for their home and appreciate that looking after things/spaces is an active not passive practise. Sometimes it seems, based on people’s comments, that their children run free and wreak havoc and that it isn’t possible to have a clean house. Yes it is! Teach your children to be a part of the household maintenance team. Is it hard and does it take time to teach them? Of course. But so woth it in the long run as they are learning skills that will help them look after and care for their own future homes.  Just my opinion. Hope you have a great day. 

    • You’re too sweet, thank you! I couldn’t agree more! I try to raise the girls to somewhat self sufficient. They put their shoes away, school belongings away, keep their rooms picked up, help pack lunches and more. After the initial effort it has made life considerably easier and gives them a sense of responsibility.

  3. Hi,
    Great tips! Can you tell me where you bought your leather arm chairs! Love leather too!

  4. I need two chairs like the while upholstered ones with the pillows on them (to match my slipcovered sofa). Can you please tell me where you found them?

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