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Let’s face it: Your kitchen is probably one of the least clean rooms in the house. It’s generally a busy place, where family members gather to cook, dine, and even work. Every day creates new opportunities for food to splatter and stains to accumulate on cabinet surfaces. There’s always plenty of clean-up that needs to happen in the kitchen, so many homeowners look for practical, low-maintenance kitchen cabinets and ways to keep surfaces clean and beautiful.

Here are 7 great ideas for low-maintenance kitchen cabinets. 

1) Keep the design simple: Kitchen cabinets come in a wide variety of designs. Traditional-style cabinets feature overlaid layers with beveling. This creates minor grooves and corners on door and drawer fronts that look beautiful but can be magnets for grease and splattered food and are especially hard to clean.

To avoid this problem, choose a cabinet door style that is a smooth, unembellished slab –like you’ll find in a modern or contemporary kitchen. These sleek, smooth fronts are easy to wipe down. Or you can choose an easy-to-clean Shaker kitchen cabinets. This popular design has one simple frame around the doors and drawers and works well in almost every kitchen style.

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2) Avoid excess embellishment – A traditional style kitchen often includes crown molding installed at the top of the cabinets near the ceiling, corbels under the countertop, or open shelving and legs or feet on base cabinets. The embellishments are beautiful additions to the kitchen design but create additional surface area plus grooves and crevices that are not to- clean.

Dust, dirt, food particles, and grease will inevitably accumulate on those loops and curves, making them dingy. When you steer clear of the extra adornments, you can have easy-to-clean cabinets. This doesn’t mean you’ll need to avoid a traditional-style kitchen. You can get a very polished traditional look with Shaker-style cabinets.

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3) Choose stained cabinets over painted – This recommendation is counter to several popular cabinet styles, — such as white and gray kitchen cabinets. While both white and gray cabinets look attractive and fit well in many homes, if you’re looking for low-maintenance cabinets, you’ll want to choose a stained surface over a painted one.

A key advantage to stained kitchen cabinets is that you can easily touch them if there is a cut, dent, scratch, or stain on the cabinet surface. Touch-up kits are available through your cabinet dealer or at any home improvement store. You can also touch up painted cabinets but might have a difficult time matching the factory finish, and your “handiwork” could show., Over time, you’ll need to clean your painted cabinets more diligently than you would with stained cabinets.

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4) Avoid open shelving – Open shelving seems like a beautiful idea to express a little personality to your kitchen. Decorative bowls and colorful plates on open display can enhance your kitchen’s ambiance. Open shelving may not, however, be an ideal low-maintenance solution for a couple of reasons:

First, there is no barrier between your dishware and the grease, grime, and dust circulating around your kitchen, which might mean you need to wash a piece before using it.

Second, you’ll have to pay attention to your stacks and adjust as needed so the displayed items don’t look messy and askew.

Kitchen cabinet doors make it easy to safely store your dishware away from the mess and chaos that can ensue in a kitchen. This keeps your kitchen and dishware looking clean and organized.

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5) Avoid glass doors – If you’re looking for maintenance free kitchen cabinets, glass door fronts are not for you. While glass doors let you showcase your china or heirloom dishware, they are not recommended if you want a low-maintenance kitchen.

Glass doors will show every fingerprint, food smudge, and greasy splatter, more than a white painted cabinet. You will need to clean glass doors constantly to keep them smudge-free.

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6) Choose wood grain cabinets – Wood grain cabinets are still the third most popular style for homeowners, and with good reason. A kitchen cabinet with a prominent wood grain pattern can camouflage stains, grease, dust, and splatters from day-to-day cooking and baking. Cabinets made from hickory or oak have a very distinct pattern that hides damage and let you get away with less arduous cleaning.

Most cabinets on the market are made from maple or birch. These woods have a less distinct grain pattern and will show more of the kitchen mess. However, if you go with a dark stain on your maple or birch cabinets, you can create a low-maintenance kitchen. Woodgrain in the cabinetry is your friend as you search for easy-to-clean cabinets.

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7) Choose functional cabinet hardware – Hardware may seem like a decorative afterthought when designing your kitchen. But the proper cabinet hardware is a necessary part of the package for a low-maintenance kitchen. Most modern or frameless kitchen cabinets do not have handles. Instead, they have an inset on the bottom or top lip of the cabinet door for you to grab and open. Now imagine doing that with tomato sauce on your hands. Handleless cabinets can create more opportunities for food to end up on cabinet surfaces.

With the proper functional hardware in place, you’ll be able to easily wipe off the knob or handle and avoid cabinet damage. You can keep your kitchen looking new and clean longer by choosing simple, low-maintenance cabinet hardware in a metal finish like brushed nickel, polished nickel, satin, a mix of metal and ceramic or oil-rubbed bronze. In contrast, stainless steel or chrome hardware will show every fingerprint, smudge, and water spots more easily.

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Follow these seven tips to achieve low-maintenance kitchen cabinets – you can then enjoy time preparing meals and entertaining family and friends instead of constantly cleaning the kitchen! To find premium low-maintenance cabinets that are perfect for your home, visit Simply Kitchens today. Speak with a certified kitchen designer to help you plan your new low-maintenance kitchen cabinets.