Sink Into Style: Everything You Need to Know About Kitchen Sinks
Think about how frequently you and your family use your kitchen sink. From rinsing your hands to washing produce and doing dishes, the sound of the kitchen faucet being turned on and off is constant. Because they receive nearly nonstop use, sinks are often placed in a prominent spot in the kitchen, which means this utilitarian item needs to look good and complement the overall space.
With this in mind, selecting the correct sink, in both its form and function, and ensuring that it’s in the right spot in the kitchen, is a primary concern when our designers begin working with a client on a new kitchen or a kitchen renovation.
Kitchen Sink 101
There are two basic styles of kitchen sinks available: single-bowl and double-bowl. It’s important to consider your lifestyle and cooking habits when deciding which style will work best for you.
A single-bowl sink, like the one above, is a popular choice. Pros: It’s large enough to wash baking sheets and fully submerge a casserole dish in need of a good soak. A single-bowl also has a nice, sleek look, especially an under-mounted sink, one that is affixed beneath the countertop like this. Cons: If a dish drainer is a constant presence in your kitchen, a single-bowl sink means it would likely end up on the countertop.
Many people prefer a double-bowl sink. With some, each bowl is the same size and shape, while others, such as this one, are asymmetrical. The curve at the back of the left-hand bowl adds visual interest and also increases its size just a bit. Pros: A spot for a dish drainer, one that’s nearly out of sight, is a big pro for many people, as is being able to soak veggies and still wash one’s hands. Cons: Cleaning a cookie sheet can be challenging, as would be soaking that aforementioned stubborn casserole dish.
The Style File
As we mentioned, a kitchen sink is typically in a prominent location within in a kitchen, which means choosing the right look is nearly as important as considering a sink’s functionality.
Both single-bowl and double-sinks, like those above, are available in a variety of materials such as stainless steel, porcelain and enameled cast iron. Copper is another option and can be a fun choice in a historic home, while concrete can add an industrial edge to a contemporary or transitional space.
In this kitchen, our designer chose what is often referred to as a “farmhouse sink,” also known as “apron” and “apron-front.” Rendered in white porcelain and with contemporary lines, it’s a great choice for a transitional-style kitchen. Below is an apron-front sink in marble, the same material as the countertops; such a cool look! Pros: It’s an eye-catching style that can beautifully complement the look of virtually any kitchen. Cons: None, really, although some people prefer the sink to be less conspicuous. Because it’s a porous material, the marble sink requires a bit more upkeep than porcelain or cast iron.
When Julie Lyons, senior designer at our South Shore kitchen and bath showroom, remodeled her own kitchen (above and at left), she went with something really unique for her sink. The spacious single-bowl sink is rendered in stainless steel. To the right of the bowl is an integrated drain board. Fixed in place and set just below the counter at a slight angle, which allows liquids to run into the sink, it’s one of Julie’s favorite elements in her new kitchen.
Location, Location, Location
Even when there isn’t an epic view of the water, like in the kitchen below which we designed, positioning a sink beneath a window makes sense – no one wants to stare at wall while washing dishes – and many homes are designed to accommodate this layout.
Whether it is because of reconfiguring the layout in a home with a remodel, such as we did in the kitchen below, or personal preference, positioning a kitchen sink in a center island is another possibility. Pros: It can allow more flexibility when renovating, and there isn’t a sense of isolation for the person doing prep work or washing dishes. Cons: When moving a sink as part of a remodel, the plumbing needs to be reconfigured. With a smaller island, available counter space is a consideration.
Doubling Up Adds Functionality
Look carefully at this kitchen, another one of our projects, and you’ll see that there are two sinks: a full-sized apron-front sink set in the perimeter, and a smaller prep sink in the center island, which is perfect for these clients who host frequent dinner parties.
In the kitchen with the awesome views that we mentioned earlier (inset), our designer added a second sink near a coffee station on the opposite side of the room.
So, three different dual-sink kitchens, yet in each the second sink serves a different purpose, one which has been tailored to that particular client’s need. Pro: The secondary sink works to create an ancillary work zone away from the primary one. Con: There is added expense for the plumbing, and the sink and fixtures.
Whatever the size of your kitchen and your budget, a sink that suits your needs and is ideally situated is a crucial aspect in the overall enjoyment and functionality of the space.
Ready to get started? Please contact us to arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our designers.