Much like the hallway, the kitchen sink is often an afterthought when decorating our homes. But as the 'taking everything but the kitchen sink' idiom suggests, it's a central part of any kitchen. When your kitchen sink's out of action, you know about it. And aside from being a workhorse, a shiny sink and some good-looking taps can make a serious style statement.
When thinking about kitchen sink ideas, begin by collecting images of kitchens you're drawn to, and note any common themes when it comes to the kind of sinks in these kitchen ideas. From stainless steel to gorgeous classic Belfast sinks in shiny ceramic and composite sinks with glittering flecks of granite, there's a lot to choose from.
Kitchen sink ideas
This can feel overwhelming, so think about whether you want something traditional or modern, and how much space you can dedicate to this highly practical element of your kitchen. Then consider depth, material, shape, and where your sink is going to go.
1. Choose a double bowl
A double sink provides ample space for washing large saucepans and oven trays, with the added benefit of keeping work surfaces free of dishes while cooking. Not to mention the feeling of luxury this kind of statement sink brings to any kitchen scheme. If you love cooking and have the space and the budget, go for the double. Or, you know, keep it saved as a dream kitchen idea for a later date.
2. Choose a circular design
You may find a small, circular sink is all you need, and you might prefer an understated, rounded design to the classic square sinks that can feel more bulky. This sleek, circular design, sunk into the worktop brings some refreshingly soft, curved edges to this stylish kitchen space.
3. Keep it compact
On the other end of the scale, a small sink might work better if you need small kitchen ideas for a tight space. Save space with a small but perfectly formed butler sink with a classic stainless steel tap. The bespoke cabinetry and compact sink maximise the space in this kitchen, with awkward corners turned into a handy shelving area.
4. Go rustic with copper
For a traditional, country-inspired look, consider a copper sink, which will add lots of character and warmth. 'Copper is a great option with a naturally antimicrobial surface and easy maintenance,' says Ash Read, interiors expert at Living Cozy. 'This makes a great centrepiece and can add a great amount of rustic charm to your space.' In this kitchen, the textured surface of the sink does all the talking, with classic Shaker cabinetry, copper accessories and a lovely Roman blind tying the rustic kitchen ideas together.
5. Embrace clutter
We asked Laurence Llewelyn Bowen for his top tip on making a sink look good, and he said, 'Own it. Have a good-looking sink and a couple of good-looking taps. The traditional 20th-century idea that you've got to keep everything out of your kitchen doesn't do your kitchen any favours.
'By having nothing on the surfaces and nothing on the window sills means all you're doing is looking at the taps,' he added. So display decorative pieces, utensils and crockery around the sink for a homely, maximalist look.
6. Double up
'Minimise clutter and visual noise by considering a small single bowl sink in your island unit for washing hands, making drinks and preparing food with ease,' suggests Paul Illingworth, Design Manager at Abode. 'By including a second clean-up sink against a primary wall, you will be able to manage your dirty dishes with enough space to wash and dry without invading the island space.'
This neutral, minimalist kitchen design is super functional with a pair of sinks and the addition of a hot water tap. The significant cost of a new kitchen and the additional plumbing and expense of a second sink might mean it's beyond your budget, but it's always worth asking professionals if you're planning a renovation in case there's a way to make it work.
7. Take it back to black
White is no doubt the most common colour for kitchen sink ideas, but opting for an all black alternative, might fit your kitchen space better and blend more seamlessly into your worktop. Matching it with a black kitchen tap will create a cohesive look and works beautifully in small kitchens, as it will seem to disappear.
8. Bring in the glamour with brass
One way to bring the bling into your kitchen is by choosing a beautiful brass kitchen sink. Brass is becoming more and more popular in modern kitchen ideas as hardware, appliances, and accessories in this shade bring a touch of luxury to your space. And your kitchen sink should be no different. Again, opting for a matching brass tap unifies the look and lets your kitchen sink shine!
9. Break up bold colour with a simple white sink
A traditional option yes, but a simple, white butler sink could be the moment of calm within bold kitchen colour schemes. Here, the striking teal colour of the kitchen cupboards is broken up with the white sink and provides a much-needed break from the colour. A chrome kitchen tap compliments the stainless steel oven and ties the overall look together.
10. Add texture with a fluted front
Butler sinks have been one of the most popular options in kitchens for a while now, sourced both as new replicas, or from salvage and junk yards across the country. Favoured for both their practical and durable qualities, it's their depth, size and simplicity that makes them a popular choice for family kitchens. To make more of a feature of yours, choose one with a ribbed or fluted front, which will add texture to and eclecticism to shabby chic kitchens.
11. Position it in an island
When designing your kitchen and layout it, it's worth thinking about the positioning of your kitchen sink, as you'll need the appropriate plumbing to be in place.
Usually a kitchen sink would be positioned by an outside wall to allow the waste water to easily flow away, but this can be adjusted by a professional, allowing you to move your sink to another location. Positioning it within kitchen island ideas could open up your space making it more sociable and will give you a much nicer outlook.
12. Have fun with a bespoke design
How about choosing a bespoke design you'll love forever? This heart shaped sink, thought up by the team at Shaws of Darwen will bring a little fun to your kitchen and create a talking point among friends.
Thinking about opting for differently shaped kitchen sink ideas, rather than a traditional square or rectangle, could be the key to your kitchen design and result in something really show-stopping.
13. Pop it in front of a window
Washing up can be a rather dull way to spend time, but by positioning your kitchen sink in front of a window, it will mean the view can distract you from the mundane task. If your kitchen is at the back of your house, having your kitchen sink in front of a window looking out to the garden, means you can keep an eye on children or pets that might be playing out there. A window will also act as a ready-made splashback, which is easy to wipe down from splashes.
14. Give an old sink a new lease of life
If your old sink is looking a bit tired and is in need of a facelift, adding decals or even some painted motifs to the front, will give it a revamp. Alternatively, you could try DIY kitchen ideas by spray painting an old stainless steel sink, to make it white, black or even another colour entirely!
15. Hide appliances below with a curtain
Go back to basics and create traditional country kitchen ideas with a deep butler sink, blue-painted tongue and groove panelling and a farmhouse-style curtain on a runner, to disguise ugly appliances. A curtain will also help to absorb sound from washing machines and dishwashers and adds some softness to your space.
16. Hang a plate rack above for air drying
White walls, units and accessories help keep a compact kitchen light and airy. To give a country scheme a contemporary update, team a butler sink and real wood worktops with modern units and appliances. Add charm with potted hydrangeas and sweet bunting.
17. Blend your sink and surface with an all-in-one worktop
Opt for a sink that is sunken into the worktop, so that the work surface can be one continuous piece. This makes for a sleek and stylish finish and allows the worktop to become the hero. Adding horizontal notches into the surface beside the kitchen sink ideas will create a dedicated area for drying dishes.
18. Keep the area behind sleek with a glass splashback
Combine high-gloss units, shiny quartz worktops and a reflective glass splashblack for a stylish and modern kitchen. A taupe colourway will add warmth, while a smart patterned roller blind streamlines the look. You'll find it easy to clean with no grout lines to worry about, too!
19. Contain washing up in a neat niche
This bespoke basin unit fits snugly in a small area, and a reclaimed post office sorting shelf provides plenty of storage space. Displayed red and white mugs brighten up the scheme, while mismatched ceramic tiles along the wall make a pretty, changeable backdrop.
20. De-stress with a minty fresh backdrop
Create a cool Fifties vibe in your kitchen with serene mint green. Keep objects within easy reach by installing open units, then break up the colour with fresh white worktops and a pretty roman blind to soften the style. Why not plant a mini herb garden to complete the look?
What is the most popular kitchen sink idea?
'Belfast, Butler and Farmhouse style sinks are here to stay in 2022 as ceramic sinks are set to be one of the most popular kitchen sink ideas again this year,' says Lizzie Beesley, Head of Design, Magnet. 'Their iconic deep basin design can help transform any kitchen into a more classic and traditional space.'
'The rise in demand strongly follows the uptake of the ‘cottagecore’ rural aesthetic. However, not only are ceramic sinks aesthetically pleasing, they are also great for busy family households as they are durable, easy to clean and resistant to scratches and staining.'
You also need to consider the installation type as this will influence the overall look, says James Cunningham, Sales Director at AGA Rangemaster. 'The most popular design choice, an inset sink, is compatible with any choice of worktop material – providing great design options, and easy installation. If you’re looking for a sleek, minimalist look, choose an undermount sink. These are installed on the underside of the work surface, which helps extend the worktop area and offer a seamless look – ideal for modern spaces. For traditional, Shaker-style kitchens, consider a sit-on Belfast sink with generous deep bowls.'
What are the options for kitchen sinks?
There are many options for kitchen sink ideas, not just the aforementioned Butler and Belfast sinks. Other options include:
- Multi-use or workstation sinks- 'The practicality and convenience of ‘workstation sinks’ have helped them become a regular feature on US buying guides - a trend we can expect to see become more apparent in the UK this year,' says Lizzie. Despite the sink already being one of the most useful features in the kitchen, a workstation sink advances this. The innovative design efficiently uses space to allow users to prepare and cut food directly over the sink, also helping to avoid the spread of germs around the rest of the kitchen. They can also come in many designs making them fit in effortlessly to any aesthetic.
- Large single basin sinks
- Double basin sinks
- Undermount sinks
- Kitchen island sinks
- Corner sinks
- Stainless steel sinks
- Black sinks
- Resin sinks
- Brass or copper sinks
- Utility sinks
What's the easiest sink to maintain?
'The easiest sink to maintain is stainless steel as it cleans easily,' says William Durrant, the owner of Herringbone Kitchens. Learn how to clean a stainless steel sink properly and you'll have a kitchen centrepiece that shines. William says porcelain is also popular as it's durable and looks great.
How can I make my kitchen sink look better?
A good clean can go a long way to making your kitchen sink ideas look better, so a bottle of cream cleaner and some elbow grease will have it looking spick and span in no time. Next up, think about whether spray-painting it will improve the look. Plastic or stainless steel sinks will benefit most from a coat of spray paint, but be sure to protect surfaces before you start.
A tired sink can also be lifted by the addition of a new kitchen tap. Swapping a dull chrome design for a shiny brass counterpart, will instantly lift your sink's look and create a gleaming spot for washing up.
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Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at Idealhome.co.uk to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.
- Millie HurstSenior Content Editor
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