10 More High Maintenance Design Choices: Are They Worth It?

Previously, I talked about high-maintenance design choices and now I have more to share.

Let’s look at 10 more design choices that we need to think twice about because they are high maintenance. I’ve made these mistakes myself so I have some personal experience. Many of these items are found in kitchens and bathrooms.

So let’s talk about some of these beautiful and sometimes trendy design choices that may be more of a hassle than they’re worth. These are just some things to think about to see if these choices are right for you.

Freestanding bathtub

1. Freestanding bathtubs

Freestanding tubs are like vessel sinks in that they can be hard to clean. I installed one in my home. I love it overall. It’s a work of art. But here’s the choice you may want to make so it’s easier to clean.

Choose one with a wide base so you can easily vacuum around and then follow up with a damp microfiber cloth or mop. I wish I had left a bit more space to get around the back, though.

Jetted tub
Jetted tub
Jetted tub

2. Jetted tubs

Built-in jetted tubs are not as popular as they once were but they are still featured in freestanding tubs. They can be difficult to clean and can harbor mold and other microbes in the jets.

It’s also suggested to avoid using Epsom salts or other bath water additions that may corrode metal parts or oils that can cause buildup in the jets.

Waterfall sink
Waterfall faucet

3. Waterfall faucets

The water tends to come out too quickly and splashes everywhere. Or, they have poor water pressure and the water comes out too slowly.

Black faucet
Black shower fixtures

4. Black shower fixtures

Some designers do not recommend black faucets, shower heads, or tile because the buildup of soap scum and calcium deposits is very visible.

I was going for a wabi-sabi Japanese look for my upstairs bath renovation and the black fixtures looked great but I agree that the build-up in the shower is bad and hard to keep up with when it comes to cleaning.

I may also need to replace black fixtures in one of our other bathrooms, too, and this time, I’ll choose brushed nickel.

High maintenance shutters
Tilt rod vs no tilt rod
Plantation shutters
How to clean shutters

5. Plantation shutters

Plantation shutters may be hard to clean and maintain. I have them and love them, but I have the widest slat which is 4½ inches wide and they do not have a tilt rod. I love the flexibility they provide for light control and privacy.

They do have to be dusted regularly. I wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth when I’m cleaning the windows so it’s not that much of a hassle.

Dark floor with a rug
Cleaning a dark floor

6. Dark floors

I have engineered hardwood floors upstairs stained dark walnut with a true black to cover the red of the original cherry floors. They are beautiful but they show every speck of dust. We have to stay on top of them.

Knowing this, it probably would not have been my first choice.

Intricate light fixtures
Intricate light fixture

7. Intricate light fixtures

Crystal or modern lighting fixtures made of natural materials like wicker and rattan are all beautiful but they can be dust magnets. They can be more difficult to clean than a typical light fixture that has fewer nooks and crannies.

If you fall in love with one, though, you may find the extra work is worth it.

Leather sofa
Leather sofa

8. Leather sofas

Leather sofas are not high-maintenance items. Depending on the type of leather, they can be stain resistant and spills can be wiped up easily. But any button-tufting makes it more difficult to clean.

Smooth surfaces don’t harbor allergens and other problems like upholstery but leather is prone to scratching.

If you don’t mind the live-in look of worn leather, which can be quite beautiful, it may be worth it. Leather may also not be as cozy as fabric.

Pot filler
Pot filler

9. Pot fillers

These are popular in higher-end kitchens and they look beautiful and can be handy. But the stovetop, where this is usually located above, is the greasiest area in the home.

So ask yourself: Do you want yet another fixture in the home that needs to be cleaned and polished?

Built-in coffee maker
Built-in coffee maker

10. Built-in coffee makers

This is another high-end feature that looks great especially if you want an integrated, streamlined look, as well as to save counterspace. They need to be cleaned and descaled regularly and serviced if they stop functioning.

Depending on your budget and lifestyle, this can be a great choice or a drain on your wallet.

High-maintenance design choices

What do you think of some of these high-maintenance items for your home? What’s worth the hassle and what’s not in your opinion? Do you have personal experiences with any of these high-maintenance designs? Leave me a comment below.

Join the conversation
2 of 33 comments
  • Judy Boyer Judy Boyer on Apr 03, 2024
    I'm not that fancy a person! Give me the tried and true older things
    • Patty Patty on May 22, 2024
      I love the privacy and light control of blinds and dusting once a week keeps them clean. No more washing and ironing sheers. I also miss Formica table and counter tops, linoleum floors, bedspreads and textured almond color kitchen appliances. All are practically indestructible and easier cleaning. The more they modernize things, the harder they are to care for. I just washed my king duvet cover and exhausted myself trying to put it back on the quilt.🥴
  • Judi Judi on May 21, 2024
    I have a copper sink in the guest bathroom. I I love it and no maintenance at all. It is used often.