Design Dilemma: Choosing a Farmhouse or Vessel Sink
Sinks seem to be getting a whole lot more attention than they once did. Once purely utilitarian, these days, it seems homeowners and renovators are looking for new or vintage sink models to gussy things up. And so, in the last few years, we have seen people remodeling with vessel sinks, and farmhouse sinks. But are there times when one style of sink works better than others?
The Farmhouse Sink.
One of the most requested sinks out there, the farmhouse sink suggests a sense of timelessness that is particularly comforting in a throwaway age. When you see a farmhouse sink, you think of mom and dad, warm apple pie, a vegetable garden out back filled with fresh organic tomatoes. But does the farmhouse sink work everywhere? Though we are seeing it in more and more contexts, we still think it looks best in a home where it feels appropriate — a bungalow, a Queen Anne cottage, a stately Victorian. It feels a little out-of-place, however, in a sleek high-rise condo. Below, witness two farmhouse sinks in country-style, vintage kitchens.
The farmhouse sinks above are real winners and integrate nicely in their surrounds. Below, is a farmhouse sink in a more modern context:
Let’s face it. It doesn’t have the same charm. Still, a farmhouse sink can work in certain modern contexts. Check this out:
Why does this work? Well, it seems the designer has carefully chosen materials that straddle both modern and classic contexts. For example, marble countertops are marvelously classic and modern at the same time. So is the brilliant employ of a sliding iron cabinet doors that feel both industrial and modern while suggesting age and ruggedness. The rough butcher block island and oak floors also help integrate the mod and the country. Simply beautiful!
These sinks have been the rage for many years now. In fact, they have been so ubiquitous that many argue that the trend is now over. We loved them in the beginning. Now…. well, it depends. We like vessel sinks best in contexts where they do not feel forced. This would be where the style of the sink is in keeping with the bathroom and the style of the rest of the house. A simple vessel sink like the first picture in this post, can still look fabulous, as can the minimalist sink below, let’s say in a spare, Asian-influenced guest bathroom where the sink is not heavily used.
However, when vessel sinks feel impractical, they lose our vote. When they are too small, too high, or too delicate to stand up to daily life, then, they just don’t work. The sink below feels like it’s trying too hard while sacrificing practicality.
If you’re going to do a vessel sink today, the best way to avoid the “ubiquity” factor is to seek out looks that are a little different. That way, it feels less like you’re following a trend, and more like you’re exhibiting your own unique style. Below, the sink below from Vitraform maintains the look of a vessel sink, but it’s different.
So what’s the bottom line? Form follows function. If you decide to opt for any sink, make sure it is practical and integrated into its surroundings. Don’t be afraid to reject the trends, either.