the kitchen sink post

in researching different items for my remodeled-kitchen-to-be, i have found that while i may be able to make quick big decisions for my clients {with their help of course}, i seem to tarry over ones for myself.

on of the biggest items {so far!} has been the kitchen sink.
ill start this out by saying i prefer, well....insist, that sinks be undermount.  no question. 
and my favorites, without a doubt, are by shaw
they are simple, classic, and fine quality.  they are also beautiful and seem to "fit" a wide array of looks
rustic kitchen via cote de texas

via cote de texas, blog author joni's own personal kitchen sink

50's vibe creamy kitchen via gardenweb
classic white with black granite via housebeautiful

haskell harris' kichen cottage kitchen via southernliving

crisp, white and airy via emily jenkins followill photgraphy

double sinks in a peacock-esque white kitchen with soapstone and marble via ashley goforth designs. I LOVE WINDOWS
ashley goforth designs via decorpad
love all the different finishes...holy subway tile! white, black, oil rubbed bronze, thick white marble, stained window trim via kitchenlab
feminine double sinks via housebeautiful

mark badgley and james mishka's chic kitchen with unlaquered brass, marble, crazy amounts of subway tile via elle decor

i used the double bowl shaw sink in one of my recent client's kitchens

see? they are everywhere, and look so good.  they are also expensive
one thing that makes them so expensive is the material they are constructed from:

1.  Fireclay: a type of clay that can withstand extremely high heat - its forged at extremely high heats that actually works to unite the clay and glaze, therefore making it more resistant to hot pots and pans.  it also is more consistent in color throughout the material, vs cast iron which, when chipped, reveals... cast iron.  personally i think fireclay also has such a great feel to it {kinda like a good large slab of honed marble...you just want to keep running your hands over it}.
  • PROS: resistant to high temps and heavy use, good feel, thorough color, can be cleaned with high abrasive pads and powders, GORGEOUS, will not rust {under body like cast iron might if chipped and exposed}
  • CONS: expensive, softer than cast iron {some argue}, white {may show dings and scratches, however thanks to handy dandy magic eraser these problems seem to be a thing of the past according to forums discussing white kitchen sinks}
the "expensive" CON is what is preventing me from putting one of these in my kitchen.

so, the next best thing would be
2.  Cast Iron:  heavy, durable, but possibly brittle {i.e. chips easily} iron alloy.  coated with a porcelain enamel, thickness varies by brand and you definitely get what you pay for: more $$=thicker enamel {usually}.  in kitchen forums some people swear by cast iron and claim they like them better than fireclay.  specifically, Kohler warranties their cast iron against cracking, chipping and burning. definitely something to consider, but their cast iron sinks are still expensive
  • PROS: durable, withstands high heat, cheaper than fireclay {in most cases} but has same great WHITE look i love, been around a long time and obviously withstood the test, however todays cast iron sinks are not as solid and durable as those back-in-the-day {as is the way with most things these days}, surface less prone to water spots unlike stainless steel, does not dent like stainless steel
  • CONS: can stain, scuff, porcelain enamel is brittle and can chip {however Kohler guarantees against this}, cannot clean with abrasive cleaners, might rust if chipped and iron is exposed

and now this brings us to the next big "look" when it comes to sinks:
3.  Stainless Steel:  people who have stainless also swear by it {i.e. my mom and MIL}.  obviously, stainless steel sinks dont chip or stain, which is a BIG pro.  however they CAN ding/dent.  and i just love WHITE against black granite, or concrete, or marble, etc etc.  that said, i do love the industrial look of zero radius and/or farmhouse stainless steel sinks:
via decorpad

this one even has a place to hang your dishtowel, via westchestermagazine

ive probably posted this pic five times but i love it.  and it has a stainless steel sink :) via southernaccents
i may be all about white, but man this is black done RIGHT. yes that is a tiny glimpse of stainless steel over there..haha.  via cookinglight
via southernliving
not the look i would be going for in my house but still nicely done.  via coastalliving

via housebeautiful
im also toying between a bridge faucet and a more commercial inspired design...seems like they got the best of both worlds in this one {$$$}! design by judith barrett via housebeautiful
in this clients house we did both a single bowl, zero radius sink
and a double bowl, via natalie roe interior design
and then there are the less common types of sinks:
4.  Composite:  a highly dense composition of rock particles or at least two different materials, usually quartz or granite.  claims high resistance to heat, chipping, scratching, etc.  i really dont know much about these or if they are any good...but every time i look up "white double bowl sinks" these come up {companies like blanco and elkay}.  anyone out there have anything to say about/experience with these??

5. Copper: lovely but not within the budget :) comes in different finishes...basic copper as you would imagine, but also nickel and other hammered lovelies.  soooo while there are plenty of beautiful pictures out there, this is not something i have spent much time on {since i will not have this luxury in my house!}.
OK what the hey here you go:

via velvet and linen
same house as previous picture, via velvet and linen.  cant tell if this is copper or just stone, but its gorgeous
gorgeous copper farmhouse sink via urbangrace
via housebeautiful

SO, wonderful resourceful readers...what is YOUR sink of preference? and why? i am very interested in your opinions!  also, as much as i love the look of one big bowl, i just cant seem to understand how that would work...with two bowls, at least i can still use one side when the other is full of dirty dishes...but those who have one bowl swear by it as well.  my clients always have a strong opinion on this so we start with that and then i find the sink for their space.  but when it comes to a sink for myself....im a little torn...

i would love to hear your feedback on this!
thanks :)



  1. Hey Natalie,

    I have a double bowl, white Blanco. My mom loved hers so I gave it a shot. In the 3 years we've had it, it has had a very rough life and I'm not exaggerating when I say it still looks brand spanking new. We use Soft Scrub to clean it, which works like a charm. No scratching, chipping, staining- it is so durable. We have the version where one bowl is slightly bigger than the other. The larger side holds most of my big pans, but I'm a big soaker and wish I'd gotten the one big bowl instead. I also took a chance and ordered it off eBay from a distributor in NY at a discount cost- they did free shipping and no sales tax. Although you can probably get a designer discount. Hope that helps! I'm no designer, but I think they are classic looking, practical- and the price let's you splurge on a fancy faucet which is nice. Good luck choosing!

  2. I LOVE this post! I love when you teach me things, be it home or family related.

    I love the white farmhouse (? that's what we called them at Cottage Living) sinks. Have ever since I first laid eye on them. For some reason they say "Come on in" to me more than the other finishes.

    Have had stainless steel, which is fine, but I think it darkens the kitchen. Now we have white porcelain and I LOVE it. It's very old, and I keep it clean with Bartender's Keep. Gets rid of stains, marks from stainless pots/pans, etc. and it doesn't scratch the surface.

    Can't wait to see what you choose!

  3. i like the double bowl idea..maybe one bigger for soaking, and the smaller one for other tasks? and im ALL ABOUT a white farmhouse. :)
    i say GO FOR IT!! it will look beautiful with all we have talked about so far and you will take care of it.

  4. I don't think you can beat the white farmhouse sink! It looks perfect!

  5. Hi! I have never commented but I like your blog. Don't remember how I originally found it - maybe a baylor girl?

    Anyway- hands down get the single bowl fireclay. You have to. Just cut some cost somewhere else. I think one bowl would be awesome b/c 1) You could wash babies and doggies in it easier!(I have little dogs) 2) Who really handwashes dishes anymore? Both sides of mine are usually filled with dirty dishes anyway so one big spot would be so much easier!

  6. the shaw one(s) is my fave...white is my favorite color which is perfect for a home filled with wild boys. i REALLY cant wait to see your kitchen.

  7. I am partial to the white Shaw...but that's b/c my Mom has it...with soap stone counters...I love it! when we visit that's where we bathe kiddos, etc. the whole having one big bowl hasn't bothered my Mom...If I could build MY dream kitchen - that is what I would put in it! :)

  8. Well cousin... along with raising boys, this is my specialty. i've been selling all of these beauties for about 20 years. I have the Blanco composite now in Cafe Brown and love it but I'm using the Rohl Shaws Original in my next house. Send me an e-mail to my office cindy.weldon@ferguson.com and I can get a family discount for you. Faucet too if you know what you would like to use. I usualy put the Perrin & Rowe bridge with it but I carry some less $$ options on that too. I'd be glad to help if you need it.

  9. I have ALWAYS loved the"farmhouse" sink in white. If I could have my dream kitchen, that's what I'd have in it. We just updated our kitchen recently--DIY style, so didn't rip out any cabinets, did get new granite countertops with an undermount stainless-2 bowl. Love it, it's what I'm used to, but I'd still vote for the farmhouse!

  10. i really like the white ones, although ive never actually used one in person.... i also have always used a double sink (or triple at mommas house) and love the functionality of more than 1 basin.

  11. We have had a TON of sinks..white cast iron,stainless steel, corian, but no farmhouse or fireclay. While stainless steel is the most "no care," I love white. The corian one was my favorite, by far. It had 2 bowls,one very large,one medium. It raised those 3 boys without one sign of wear. Cleaned easily with a scotch brite or magic eraser..no cleaner needed. Good luck with your choice! Love ya, La

  12. Our apartment has a single bowl sink and I really don't like it. Especially when entertaining, it is very difficult to work with. You end up with dishes in there and then when you got ot fill a big soup pot with water, it won't fit under the faucet or you have to hold it suspended above the dishes. It's a pain. Also, if you want to do prep work, like peeling fruits or vegetables, you need to clear the sink first. If you're cooking several dishes at once, that can be a real drawback. But as another commenter said, it is good for washing babies.


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