Designing a custom kitchen sink.
After we mocked up extra-deep kitchen countertops, we realized that we can ALSO make the sink larger with ZERO impact on usable space.
We will extend the short side of the sink, back to the wall… making it square, instead of rectangular.
The space EXISTS.
Why not USE it?
Why must I think of EVERYTHING?
we are planning a wall-mount faucet, with the footswitch that lets you do water HANDS-FREE! If you have messy hands, use your feet! It works with ANY faucet and comes as a thin vertical bar, or as a pedal-type thing.
yes, we already bought the Kohler farm sink we were planning to use… this is what happens when you go forward with something you can live with rather than waiting for OBVS.
Random fyi: Kohler does not make it clear that the interior front wall of this sink slopes in on an angle, losing inches in the basin… which MAKES NO SENSE.
Fortunately, we bought the sink on Craigslist so no money will be lost (here is the blog post)… but even if we ate it, Paul and I are enjoying a meeting of the minds– about the degree-of-awesome that is this improvement.
This may be because Paul recently did a paper purge and found a cache of old kitchen plans that he was ONFIRETOEXECUTE PROJECTCANBEFINISHEDTOCOMPETENCE CHECKNEXT MARCHINGATDAWN.
He brought me a selection and said – I might…
… owe you…
…thank you for not.
I smiled zenly.
But silently added to my list.
Marching-at-dawn Paul is my VERY least-favorite Paul.
He is UNREACHABLEMARCHINGISHAPPENING
Paul would march DIRECTLY into a brick wall because THAT IS THE PLAN DON’T YOU READ THE SCHEDULE.
Our original thought was to have a sink fabricated out of stone… this has evolved into a design I like better, but maybe one of you will find this information helpful:
When I tried to earn my doctorate in custom-stone-integrated-sink-project-management… there is literally no information; I thought maybe I had the wrong search terms or was overlooking something… But after talking to a fabricator guy– I think they are just not that common?
I asked him – do people not get them because there’s a problem? And he said no… That in the 10 years he has been at the fabricating shop, he doesn’t know of anyone who has had a problem.
Yes, the guy did tell me that you can carve out of a solid piece of stone, but for whatever reason, not a look I am drawn to… unless it’s 100 years old.
Now we have come to the design I like better.
Back in my post, about wall ovens WITH a microwave capacity (saving space and giving you an extra oven!)… I showed you Officine Gullo.
They are FOR ME.
But they didn’t get the memo about how I need it to be five dollars.
This is IT:
brass and copper, or brass and stainless?
yes/no apron front?
yes/no towel bar?
drying sliding rack.
corner silverware baskets— at the front corners of the sink!
I started googling to find the five-dollar-version (which does not exist) but found Texas Lightsmith who looks identical (to my eyes) but they ALSO introduced me to FLUSHMOUNT… ohlookmoreobviousness… it’s FLUSH with the counter surface… no lip, no seam.
Why not create a custom backsplash that integrates with the fancy sink… (Officine Gullo’s idea) and I started looking for custom metal fabricators… Thompson Traders looks like they do custom copper and metal work that might be able to reproduce this backsplash below.
Ok. That’s it.
If you have a custom sink:
what do you love/what would you do different/what improvements did you invent that I can steal?
Below are a bunch more photos of stuff I collected you might like to see… these two help illustrate why I’m now proselytizing about how it makes zero sense to have 12 different surfaces and change-of-planes and caulk and WHATEVER ELSE.
Why not just have ONE thing?
ps- Random information: the amount of WASTED SPACE a farmsink itself is the cause of… is a LOT.
A 30” sink = 30” base cabinet… but the interior width of the sink loses 6.”
You have a 24” sink in a 30” space, and that is JUST on the length side.
We could improve that slightly with a stainless steel sink… but visually blah blah blah… plus still does not resolve the traditional-front-to-back-measurement that I now realize is stupidly stingy dollhouse furniture.
pps- last week I experienced Panleuk.
Running at full speed.
Trying to keep fluffy love monsters alive.
They all died.
So many of you have been in this exact place.
Thank you for holding my hand.
I have residual panic… it’s… a lot.
I keep having to remind myself that it is over now.
I thought I might be able to write a little bit about them.
But just thinking about them is too much.
They were loved.
They are on Instagram.
December 17, 2018 @ 10:21 am
I have been searching for the metal shelf in one of your pictures. Have you come across this in any of your searches? I enjoy watching your journey with your home.. My favorite is your kitchen island!!
December 17, 2018 @ 10:39 am
I have a 30” Kohler farmhouse sink, and although the front interior wall has a slight slant, the other walls are straight. It’s huge on the inside. So I don’t understand about losing six inches of space. Has Kohler changed their design? I bought mine in 2013 and love it.
Of course, those other sinks are beautiful, but since I don’t have an on-site wizard craftsman, and am not a Craigslist huntress (never having succeeded in finding anything decent on that site), I have to do boring things like ordering nice-but-not-fabulous things online from the cheapest decent vendor I can find. Which gets to be expensive enough.
December 17, 2018 @ 10:59 am
She’s talking abt interior measurements. I love my farmhouse but def did not understand that I was sacrificing so much space. I have a small kitchen and it was a stretch for 30″ sink I wanted but could have gone 24″ in dif material for same work space.
December 17, 2018 @ 10:44 am
Towel bar on sink front? I’d vote “no”. The apron front on sinks may become dated. Yes to “on trend” not “trendy”, and now aprons are beginning to feel trendy. The flush mount your pictured here is amazing and I love it and it’s clean and sleek. We just completed a marble counter and back splash with a matte slate Kohler flush mount sink and it looks great. Overkill for a rental, but quality and good design can’t be underestimated.
So sorry to hear about your loss, if I’m understanding and reading that correctly. Finding love in those times is a wonderful gift. For them and from you. Thank you.
December 17, 2018 @ 10:57 am
I do like the looks of the stainless/brass square sink. The towel bar adds interest. But here are a couple practical considerations. Unless you have nothing HANGING on the towel bar, every time you would be at the sink and brushing up against it you would have to restraighten towels no doubt. But having towels handy would be good because stainless steel or copper does not stay water spot free and for the backsplash to look nice you would need to be drying each time after you run water in the sink! Copper will age and not necessarily be as pretty unless you are into cleaning it periodically with copper cleaner. I think the metal apron showing is interesting WITH the towel bar, but without, the lip on the front would look like the job wasn’t done right and that the sink was supposed to be mounted flush INTO a counter on the front side. Just my opinion.
December 17, 2018 @ 10:58 am
OMG, what happened with the fluffy monsters???!!!
December 17, 2018 @ 11:12 am
Oh, I love your brainstorms. One thing, though (and it looks like you’ve already noticed, but I’ll say it just the same). The closer your sink is to your back wall, the more you need a waterproof backsplash behind the faucet. How do I know? Yeah. I messed up. I have a DEEP ceramic sink only 2 inches from my wall with a tiled backsplash and a high faucet. Worst decision I ever made. Even though the sink is deep, I often get splash back when the sink is full of pots or dishes…which means I’ve had to caulk the joint between the tile backsplash and the countertop at least annually. We won’t mention the grout lines….grrr.
I know this kitchen is going to be GLORIOUS. Look at everything you’ve explored/done/learned. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!
April 29, 2021 @ 5:35 pm
Hi Linda! I’m wondering the same thing regarding my sink & backsplash. It’s a 21” deep undermount sink and 9.5” high, then I plan on a wall mount faucet. I’m getting runnels in the marble on one side for a drainboard. What are you saying about the back getting yucky and requiring caulk? I will have marble counters and a marble slab backsplash. Thanks!
And Victoria I LOVE these brass sinks. Just got a quote from Texas Lightsmith thanks to you – so excited!
December 17, 2018 @ 11:18 am
Losing an animal buddy is so raw and so so sad. Lost my feral kitty greyC to cancer recently and didn’t realize how much I loved her until we had to end her pain. From a feline that looked at me with suspicion to a kitty cat that ran from her hiding place whenever I came outside. She always made me smile. When the weather became brutally cold she finally came inside to stare down a 175 lb Rottweiler who gave her a wide berth. With the spring she was back outside lickety split. With all that I admire about you and Paul most of all I admire your kindness in a time when human kindness seems to be under attack as weakness. Gotta be cold, hard and ruthless. I do believe the pendulum is swinging toward the light-hope so.
December 17, 2018 @ 8:42 pm
You have expressed this so well. Thank you.
And as always, thank you, VEB, For the kindness and love that
You give to the world.
December 17, 2018 @ 11:31 am
Eight years ago, my son adopted kittens right after he finished college. Sirius and Regulus Black. A few weeks later we noticed that Reg wasn’t growing and playing the way he should. As my son was working and because I would do ANYthing for cats, I drove half hour to son’s house and then another hour and a half to Veterinary School at MSU in Lansing. Wonderful people there. It took many visits because it didn’t present in a manner which was normal for FIP, but eventually our lovely little guy didn’t make it. It’s awful even eight years later.
I am so sorry.
December 17, 2018 @ 11:38 am
We had a sink customized (so not starting from scratch); it’s an enormous 12 gauge stainless apron front flush mount sink with zero radius.
HATE the zero radius — it’s a major gunge collector. My husband and I have repeatedly said “if only we knew then …”.
HATE that it’s flush with the counters: water runs along the counters. We wish we’d instead had undermount AND had the back counter (marble) sloped. (One side of the sink has the perfect slope [our dish rack sits on it], and the other side has sloped runnels. We were GENIUS about those, but not the back.)
LOVE that, unlike your Kohler, it’s a flat front apron and the sink itself is enormous. Because my husband is Japanese we do have the Japanese-obligatory additional bucket in the sink.
We’ve had this sink / configuration for eleven years and that’s not bad to only have a few complaints.
In a previous house we inherited (came with the house) extra-deep cabs / counters. I liked the extra room in back of the (standard) sink for herbs (there was a window behind the sink). That being said, the counters were tile, the sink was undermount and the kitchen was huge: we couldn’t afford to rip out the counter and replace the sink, but if we had I probably would’ve done something similar to your idea of a wider sink.
December 17, 2018 @ 11:45 am
So…why not make it yourself?
Concrete. Counter and sink all in one with what ever dimentions/shape/color you desire. And backsplash.
December 17, 2018 @ 11:50 am
I am so sorry about the kittens. We lost our overgrown, elderly kitten (11 y.o.) to lymphoma this summer and my heart still hurts. There really are no words to comfort.
On sinks…we have a 100-year-old soapstone sink in the basement, it weighs a ton. Love it. It’s huge and was used for laundry. At the moment it is not used for anything but I would love to have it in the kitchen. Only if the kitchen moves to the basement, I guess, which would be a very Victorian thing to do. (house just turned 122 this year.)
Anyway stone sink is great although washing china in it might not be a thing to do.
December 17, 2018 @ 12:01 pm
The kitties are all fine now… prancing and pouncing all around the kitten-ethers. Not to worry!
December 17, 2018 @ 12:20 pm
Have you checked with any local welding / sheet metal or fabricating shops? They often make the stainless counters and sinks for commercial kitchens.
My local shop rolls their eyes when they see me, but they’ve made a bunch of custom metal items for me, and I’ve seen sinks in progress in the shop.
Just a thought!
December 17, 2018 @ 3:13 pm
OMG – I had to read the little bit about the kittens several times. I said, “Oh my God” out loud and my husband said, “WHAT??” and I told him. I can’t imagine the pain. You did your absolute best. They must have had something you could not battle at all. Maybe try to disinfect the areas they were in before you bring in more. I hope you will bring in more and that you haven’t lost heart. I would totally understand whatever your decision. I am heartbroken for you.
December 17, 2018 @ 3:18 pm
Alright – I get the “panleuk” mention now. They had panleukopenia. Wow. I read about it. How it is rare now because of vaccines, but it is most common in kittens – and it kills. Very contagious. Once again, I’m so sorry you had to go through this.
Marianne in Mo.
December 17, 2018 @ 3:19 pm
I like where you’re going with the sink thoughts.
Again, I am so, so sorry you had to go through the pain of losing the kittens one by one. I can’t imagine the pain of that, and totally understand that you are not able to speak in depth about it. Please try to take a break from helping kitties for a while. Let someone else take the reigns so that you can mentally recover a bit. You don’t want to end up losing your sanity. I am truly worried about you as you mourn.
December 17, 2018 @ 6:23 pm
I would suggest putting the corner silverware basket to the back corner of the sink if possible…. only because I’ve stabbed myself a couple of times with having ours at the front corner. When there’s cutlery in there drying, it’s not worth cutting your arms up while reaching over the cutlery / kitchen utensils to turn off/on the sink or to reach the drying rack. Happy Sink Hunting!
December 18, 2018 @ 9:45 am
We have an old soapstone sink from Vermont, 24×43 with 8″ front and sides and 14″ H on the backside. WE put it down about 4″ into the 2 1/2″ walnut top of our island. The front edge is worn from years of arms resting and working on it. Love that.
Our faucet is mounted on the R side, on the walnut, with a high swivel and detachable sprayer to reach to the far end. There is a built in corner soap dish on the back L and the disposal fits in the existing drain. I use an old oval enamel dishpan when I need to, and keep a fabric drain-cloth under the sink, to whip out on occasion. It’s working out perfectly!
December 18, 2018 @ 11:28 am
Get a sink with rounded corners! I have a large, stainless farmhouse sink and am forever chasing food out of the very squared corners to get it down the drain. It is a huge waste of time and water. Plus, the bottom of the sink is very flat (I guess it is supposed to be?) and that doesn’t help move the waste to the drain either. Those corners are hard to clean, too. So, if you are designing your own sink, make one that will make your life easier.
December 19, 2018 @ 11:33 am
Seconding the rounded corners. I bet that’s why the white sink has a sloping side in front – so food and scraps go towards the drain rather than sit in corners and drainage flows overall.My mom has a straight rectangle stone sink the corners and seams are gross food scrap magnets, which is esp bad with cat food situations.
And I am SO SORRY for your loss of the kittens. Its is truly sad. I hope there is some comfort in knowing you did the best you could and they had a great life while they were here.
December 19, 2018 @ 9:42 am
I have the giantest stanless sink that was available on homedepotdotcom 8 years ago. I have never regretted this huge sink ever. Getting the biofilm out of the corners is a pain but worth it.