Apron-Front Sinks: Beyond the Farmhouse:
The apron-front, or farmhouse, sink is one of the most popular symbols of home and hearth. Particularly popular in vintage homes, from Victorians to bungalows to French country cottages, they are typically large and substantial, with a deep basin fronted by a broad “apron.”
These sinks radiate a sense of stability and timelessness, hearkening back to a pre-appliance era when a prominent basin was the center of the kitchen.
While apron-front sinks remain an iconic element in traditional-style kitchens, they’re becoming increasingly popular in contemporary spaces as well, thanks to fresh twists on colors, materials and easier installation options.
Keeping paceThe appeal of apron-front sinks has evolved along with the kitchen, thanks in large part to their good looks.
"Apron-front sinks are like beautiful but oh-so-functional sculpture, and they provide a strong, dramatic focal point in a kitchen,” says interior designer Marianne Kohlmann of Milwaukee’s Blue Hot Design, “From an aesthetic standpoint, I really like the way these sinks can break up a run of base cabinets.”
As Kohlmann points out, the iconic sink’s winning shape is as easy to appreciate for its functionality as for its pleasing looks. “Practically speaking, if you cook with large stock pots or bake on cookie sheets, having a wide and deep single- or double-bowl apron-front sink makes cleaning up a pleasure.”
Another plus: the classic deep basin of the apron-front sink means less splashing while you work, for easier cleanup and fewer puddles on surrounding surfaces, floors and walls.
Everything old is new againAlong with the kitchen, the iconic sink has undergone some notable evolutionary changes of its own, and is now more versatile than ever. New interpretations of the venerated style include fresh shapes, new colors, and decorative designs, from depictions of nature scenes to intricate geometrics.
Fresh takesNew materials have also begun to inhabit the classic form, including stainless steel, for a look that cleverly straddles traditional and contemporary design.
Universal appealThe idea of including a “farmhouse” sink in a modern space may seem incongruous. But it works, because the element that unites the venerable apron-front sink and contemporary design sensibility is a desire for simplicity. Clean lines and classic forms bridge the two styles, making these sinks versatile enough to work beautifully in both traditional and contemporary kitchens.
In each home’s kitchen, the clean outlines of the apron-front sink are a natural, perfect fit. And in each setting, they contribute greatly to the beauty of the kitchen’s design. In contrast to many kitchen sinks designed to be more discreet by integration into countertops, apron-front sinks have an unabashed presence, which makes them a great centerpiece in the kitchen.
Water is a fundamental element of the kitchen. And apron-front sinks celebrate its presentation in much the same way that a central fountain in a park provides a serene axis for the busy life that revolves around it. Apron-front sinks communicate a sense of permanence and quiet grace--an attractive quality in an increasingly accelerated world.
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