9 Must-Haves for Low-Maintenance Kitchen Cabinets

9 Must-Haves for Low-Maintenance Kitchen Cabinets

Save valuable elbow grease and time with these ideas for easy-to-maintain cabinets.

The heart of the home may also be the toughest room to keep clean. Every surface in your kitchen is susceptible to crumbs, dirt, stains and splatters. This is especially true of cabinets. Fortunately, there are practical ways to keep your cabinet maintenance on the lighter side. With ideas like choosing fewer decorative details and picking the right color, these nine tips will make your cabinets easier to maintain.

1. Choose a door style with minimal detail. Raised-panel door styles have nooks and crannies that are magnets for dust and dirt. Shaker-style and slab door fronts don’t, so you won’t have to spend time scrubbing every recess of your door fronts.

If you’re designing a traditional kitchen and want a more decorative door style, select a stain or paint that has a glaze. The glaze will fill the doors’ cracks and corners and better hide the dust and dirt that your cabinet doors will collect.

2. Opt for flush cabinet ends. You normally have two options for finishing the ends of your cabinets: flush ends or matching ends. Flush ends (above) are plywood ends that match the color of your cabinets. They are smooth and sleek, which means you can run a cloth over it with a few swipes. They can certainly speed up cleaning.

Matching ends feature a panel with the same style as the door fronts, and while they can bring elegance and character to your kitchen, you face the same maintenance issues with matching ends as you do with raised-panel doors. There’s simply more to scrub.

3. Cut the trimmings. Designer details like crown molding, corbels, decorative legs and light rail molding add more to love but also more to clean, especially ornate styles.

There are other designer touches you can use that require less maintenance. Try a colorful cabinet paint, eccentric lighting or colored bar stools, like in this modern kitchen.

4. Pick a stain instead of a paint. Stains and paints have pros and cons. They can both show crumbs and fingerprints, and paint definitely shows food stains and splatters.

That said, a stain is easier to touch up than paint. You can give a scratched cabinet stain a quick spruce-up with a matching permanent marker. It’s often harder with paint for two reasons. First, it’s hard to find a marker that closely matches a specific paint. Often a touch-up kit from the cabinet manufacturer is needed. Second, paint doesn’t take touch-ups the same way that stains do. You’re more likely to notice a touch-up on paint.

5. Go for a grain with a dark stain. If you’re set on a dark cabinet stain, select a wood species that features the grain, such as oak or hickory. Grains don’t show scratches, stains and crumbs as much as a clean wood species like maple does. It’s also harder to tell that a cabinet stain has been touched up when the surface has grains.

6. Invest in hardware. If you want fewer fingerprints and less wear and tear on your door fronts, purchase door pulls and knobs for all of your cabinets. They help preserve the integrity of your cabinets’ surfaces.

Steer clear of stainless steel and chrome hardware. They show fingerprints and water spots and are harder to clean. Oil-rubbed bronze, satin bronze, polished nickel, brushed nickel and white hardware are the cream of the crop as far as easy maintenance goes. Choose the look that best suits the style of your kitchen.

7. Avoid glass door fronts. They may be windows to your kitchen’s soul, but they’re also extra surfaces to clean. They manage to attract their fair share of dust, dirt and smudges. Dirt can build up easily on glass door fronts that feature mullions. You also have to keep whatever is behind those glass doors tidy.

One benefit to glass door fronts is how inviting they can make your kitchen space feel. Luckily, there’s more than one way to design a warm and welcoming kitchen. If you want a low-maintenance alternative to glass door fronts, stick with lighter cabinet stains like golden browns. They can make your guests feel just as cozy as glass door fronts do.

8. Reduce open shelving. Open shelving is a great canvas for displaying your favorite decor and cookware, whether it’s on a wall, on an island or at the end of cabinets. But it takes more time and effort to ensure that these spaces are dusted and organized. The upkeep can become overwhelming along with your daily tasks.

To shorten your to-do list, place your decor on necessary surfaces like dining tables and countertops instead of unnecessary cabinet shelves. You can also use pillows, chairs, bar stools and lighting as decorative touches.

9. Protect your sink cabinet from moisture. This is more of a preventative measure — it will help you avoid issues down the road. There are a couple of ways to help protect your sink cabinet from moisture. You can order the cabinet with an all-plywood construction (most semicustom and prefabricated cabinets are constructed of a mixture of pressed wood and plywood). An all-plywood construction makes the cabinet less penetrable. You can also purchase a cabinet mat, which looks like a tray and is placed at the base of the sink cabinet. It will serve as a moisture barrier and catch any liquid leaks or spills.

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5 Fantastic Kitchen Staging Ideas for Fall

5 Fantastic Kitchen Staging Ideas for Fall

Wow fall homebuyers with these easy staging ideas from HomeAdvisor

Selling your home in the fall means adding small seasonal elements to make your home feel warm and welcoming. And, what better place to do that than in the kitchen? Here are some ideas to help you make your kitchen — and your home — appeal to fall homebuyers:

Fall counter decor

You should always keep the countertops nearly clear when potential homebuyers are walking through. In fact, you should keep it down to about two to three essentials if you’re living there from day to day. For the fall season, you can add small elements like placemats, fruit and leaf decor (window drapings, vase, etc.).

“Fall odors”

The smell of leaves, apple pie, pumpkin and cinnamon evoke the cozy feelings of fall. Candles are nice and actually baking something “fall-like” before a showing is a sure way to make potential buyers feel more at home during a showing.

Colors of fall

Depending on the current condition of your home, you might consider a fresh coat of paint. What color you decide to use may or may not be influenced by the season. While you should always lean towards neutral colors, you might consider accent walls or cabinets in browns or dark tones of red or green if you think they would work. The cost to paint an interior room is about $380, though prices will vary depending on the size of the room.

Bringing nature in

If there are windows in the kitchen, make sure to keep them clean. Depending on the weather outside during a showing, you might open them and let the fresh air in. It helps to create a flow between nature outside and the atmosphere you’re trying to create in the kitchen. If your budget allows, you might also accent the windows with fall-like window treatments to create an even easier flow. If you don’t have these treatments, a professional home stager can sometimes find them for a reasonable price.

Natural lighting elements

Lighting is an essential element of home staging, no matter the season. In fall, in particular, it’s all about enhancing the twilight or sunset and complementing of all the fall colors. For lighting in your kitchen, consider accent and track lighting. Or, you could install recessed lighting on a dimmer switch, which will allow you to control the brightness of the kitchen to complement the mood outside.

The Kitchen Cabinet: How to Finally Organize It Perfectly

The Kitchen Cabinet: How to Finally Organize It Perfectly

If you’re like many homeowners, there’s no rhyme or reason to what goes inside the kitchen cabinet. Coffee mugs here, plates and bowls there, seasonings and culinary accouterments over there. Luckily, it’s easy to get an organization plan in place.

If you’re like many homeowners, there’s no rhyme or reason to what goes inside the kitchen cabinet. Coffee mugs here, plates and bowls there, seasonings and culinary accouterments over there. Luckily, it’s easy to get an organization plan in place. Here are some simple things to do to get those cabinets beautifully organized — and keep them that way.

Remember the Basic Principles of Organization

When it comes to the kitchen cabinet, the rules are the same whether you have open shelving or cabinet doors. Designate a place for everything (and stick to it), use containers instead of store packaging and place similar items together (baking ingredients such as flour and sugar should be positioned near each other on the shelf).

Store Items According to Use

Does your kitchen have hard-to-reach cabinets? Perhaps a cabinet above the refrigerator? Save those out-of-reach spots for kitchen gear that is seldom used. Cabinets that are easier to access should be used for everyday items like plates and bowls.

Use Attractive Containers

Whenever possible, get rid of the original packaging and store ingredients in a clear container, jar, or canister. Not only does it look attractive when you open the cabinet door, but it also makes it so much easier to keep items organized. Containers can be neatly stacked, jars arranged in an orderly fashion, and so on. No more having to hunt through a disorderly cabinet to get what you need.

Learn to Love Labels

When you bid adieu to cumbersome boxes and containers from the grocery store, you’re left with jars and canisters of ingredients. Stick a label on each one so you know exactly what you’re reaching for. Even in clear containers, quinoa and steel cut oats can look pretty similar. Browse here for some inspiring label ideas.

Use Every Inch of Space

Do your cabinets have doors? Make use of them by installing hooks to hang coffee mugs. The inside of a cabinet door is also a great spot for storing small containers of spices. You can also insert a wire shelf to stack dishes. If your home’s kitchen is on the smaller side, this is an especially helpful tip.

Add a Touch of Glam

Here’s an unexpected way to beautify your kitchen: Paint the inside of your cabinet doors. You’ll see a refreshing splash of color the next time you reach for your morning mug of coffee or evening glass of wine.

The kitchen is the hub of the home, and each kitchen cabinet should be where it all comes together. Follow the tips above to eliminate cabinet clutter and keep things organized.

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Kitchen Remodel

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Kitchen Remodel

Home Depot & Coldwell Banker Real Estate teamed up to provide you with the ultimate guide to kitchen remodeling.

Step One: How to Plan Your Kitchen Remodel

Taking the time to plan a new kitchen design is arguably the most important step in the remodeling process. A clear, well-conceived plan will guide you through each phase of the remodel and help ensure that the work progresses smoothly and stays on budget. In our first post, we show you the steps to take and provide you with some valuable remodeling design tips. Read It Here

Step Two: Creating a Budget

After deciding on a plan for your kitchen remodel, the next step is assigning a budget to the project. The easiest, most accurate way to establish a kitchen-remodeling budget is to break down the project into smaller jobs. In post #2, we show you which major remodeling expenses to calculate and other ways to keep your costs on target. Read It Here

Step Three: Put On Your Hard Hat (And Thinking Cap) Time for Construction Planning!

Kitchen-remodeling projects should follow a logical work sequence, as those that don’t are subject to problems down the line. In post #3, we provide a typical progression of work for a moderate remodeling project. Read It Here

Step Four: Picking the Right Appliances

A key component of any kitchen remodel is selecting new products that fit with your design,  budget and construction timeframe. In our final post, we take a brief look at six categories of kitchen-remodeling products. With several models, options and variations within each category, picking the right product for your specific kitchen can seem daunting. However, it’s actually a lot of fun and easier than you might think.Read It Here

9 Kitchen Design Trends to Absolutely Avoid

9 Kitchen Design Trends to Absolutely Avoid

While some kitchen trends might appeal to you, they may not appeal to others — homebuyers, in particular.

Guest Post by HomeAdvisor

Are you considering making some kitchen improvements? Or investing in anentire kitchen remodel? If so, make sure that you invest your money carefully. While some kitchen trends might appeal to you, they may not appeal to others — homebuyers, in particular. Here are some kitchen trends we suggest avoiding:

#1 Mixing metals

Never mix metals in your kitchen. Go all bronze, all copper or all stainless steel, but don’t put them arbitrarily together. This may look a little too eclectic for the average homebuyer, and you don’t want to have to replace hardware or fixtures.

#2 Creating your own counters

You might think that creating your own concrete counters will save you money, but it could actually do more harm than good. Instead, hire a professional. Or,look into alternatives like granite, quartz and other solid surface materials, which are also long lasting and visually appealing.

#3 Imitation open shelving

Open shelving is really big right now — everything’s in open view. But simply taking the doors off of your cabinets isn’t going to cut it. In fact, it looks amateur and will make buyers wonder why it was done. If you really want open shelving, install actual open shelving. Or, go with glass-door cabinets.

#4 Using “fake wood” in the kitchen

Cabinet door materials like particleboard and vinyl and wood veneer may seem cost-effective, but they often look cheap and detract from the overall value of your kitchen as a result. Plus, these “fake wood” materials can sometimes come with more maintenance and repairs than you want to deal with. When it comes to your kitchen cabinets, invest in the best materials possible.

#5 Going for an industrial look

The Industrial look — stainless steel counters, exposed ducting and bulbs, and metal shelves or cabinets — is on its way out. Unless you’re living in a loft, skip the exposed Edison bulbs and aluminum shelving and opt instead for lively materials that feel cozy and welcoming. If you need style ideas for your kitchen, talk to an experienced kitchen designer.

#6 Hiding your appliances

Specially created cabinets or “garages” take up a lot of counter space. Instead of wasting money on this, just store the moveable appliances in cabinets or cut down on how many you have. Keep the ones you use most often on the counter, but make sure it doesn’t look cluttered.

#7 Creating kitchen nooks

In the old days, kitchens nooks were dedicated to telephones, pull-down desks and other items. Nowadays, most people don’t use landlines — and most don’t want a desk in the kitchen either. If you have a nook, think about removing it. And certainly don’t add one;  it will only take up space that could be used more effectively.

#8 Diversifying appliance colors

Every year, appliance companies release products in trending colors. Don’t put stock in these. Instead, stick with reliable stainless steel — or go with black or white. And, when it’s time to sell, you won’t have to spend additional money refinishing or replacing the appliances.

#9 Wasting island space

A purposeful island is the perfect complement to a large kitchen. But if the island doesn’t have a strict purpose, it may serve only to obstruct the flow of the room. Make sure your island has a  clear purpose. Add a sink, a stove or counter space — whatever works best for the space and your budget.

A few mouthwatering Kitchens

We’d Like to Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

We couldn’t think of a better place to whip up Thanksgiving dinner than these gorgeous kitchens!

It’s not often I jump for joy at the thought of cooking a meal, but looking at these incredible kitchens stirs up my inner chef. With so many different top of the line appliances, endless counter space, and enough seating room to fit all of my friends and family, the possibilities seem endless. While having a kitchen like these (all in homes currently for sale with Coldwell Banker, of course!) is a treat all year round, Thanksgiving is the ideal time of year to really enjoy the heart of the home. Take a look at these amazing kitchens & tell us which one is your favorite in the comments section!

5 Pelicans Drive, Newport Coast, CA 92657,
Listed by Mary Ellen WeglarzColdwell Banker Residential Brokerage

This kitchen has enough counter space to put out every Thanksgiving appetizer you can possibly make!

61 Shadow Lane, Ridgefield, CT 06877
Listed by Terry ConlonColdwell Banker Residential Brokerage

The open concept flow of this beautiful kitchen allows you to interact with guests at the table while you put the finishing touches on your special Thanksgiving dishes.

4860 E Harbor Rd, Freeland, WA 98249
Listed by Richard LentzColdwell Banker BAIN

There’s no such thing as too many cooks in this kitchen! With enough room for you and a helper or two, you’ll have Thanksgiving dinner on the table in no time at all, so you can relax with a fall cocktail and really enjoy the holiday!

50 Bayside Drive, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716
Listed by Christine KuchColdwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Cooking is a lot more enjoyable when you can look out to panoramic views of Sandy Hook Bay, the New York City skyline, AND the Atlantic Ocean from this gorgeous kitchen!


No matter where you prepare Thanksgiving dinner, we hope you & your family and friends enjoy a happy, safe, and delicious holiday!

5 Trendy Kitchen Design Tips

5 Trendy Kitchen Design Tips

HomeAdvisor offers up their hottest trend tips for the kitchen.

Guest Post by HomeAdvisor

Looking to put your kitchen on point with the latest trends? Here’s how to incorporate what’s hot right now into an enduring design that will never go out of style.

#1 Give in to grey

If you want to update your kitchen’s color, consider going grey. Designers have noted that grey is racing toward the top spot for kitchen design color, especially when mixed with white or black. Grey is great for cabinets and shelving, in particular, because it complements the color of many plates and glasses — and it’s also less likely to show scratches and dents than other colors. If your cabinets are in good shape, consider talking to a painter about painting them grey.

#2 Focus on function

Your kitchen should always be functional — and these days, there are a number of innovations available to help increase efficiency. Cabinet designers have revolutionized cabinets and with the introduction of soft-close and button-activated drawers and doors, for example, which minimize wear and tear. And there are a number of pull-outs, inserts and hideaways sure to make any homeowners life a lot easier. If you’re interested in updating your cabinets, consult a professional to see what’s possible.

#3 Embrace tech

No modern kitchen is complete without some form of tech gadgetry. Install only what you’ll actually use — and what you can actually afford. Some options include:

  • Energy-saving, sensor-activated lights
  • Meat thermometers that plug into your smartphone
  • Hands-free faucets
  • A digital counter to keep track of how long food’s been open
  • Smart countertops that can measure the weight of food
  • Bluetooth-enabled frying pans
  • Remote-controlled crock pots

#4 Go with the flow

Your house has a flow; the rooms are designed to integrate into one another — dining room, living room, etc. Keep the integration of your kitchen in mind when you’re designing, and achieve a flowing aesthetic with:

  • Appliances that blend with cabinets or shelving
  • Books, vases, servingware and other pieces complementary to those in other rooms.
  • A color scheme that extends or balances the colors used throughout the rest of the house.

#5 Maximize your space

Everything in your kitchen should have and do a job. Storage should be sleek and efficient, making the most of every nook and cranny. If your cabinets aren’t performing at their peak, consider reorganizing them. You might also consider replacing some of your upper cabinets with open shelves — a growing trend that can either help or hinder in the efficiency department. If you need help designing an efficient kitchen, we recommend consulting with a designer.