18 Kitchen sink ideas to add style to your washing-up zone

From classic Belfast sinks to practical solutions for compact living, these kitchen sink ideas will make washing up much more enjoyable

Kitchen with cream coloured cabinets, window, door to bathroom
(Image credit: Future)

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. 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

Choosing the right sink 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. 

In a small kitchen, you might need to think more carefully about how to cleverly incorporate a draining board and a large enough sink for big pots and pans. But whatever size space you have, knowing how to design a kitchen efficiently will allow you to plan in all of the essentials, kitchen sink included. 

1. Choose a double bowl

blue kitchen with white subway tile splashback and oversized butler sink

(Image credit: Future PLC / Lizzie Orme)

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

kitchen with circular sink on worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC / Holly Jolliffe)

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

Wooden slab kitchen with compact sink

(Image credit: Future/James Merrell)

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 clean lines and compact sink maximise the space in this kitchen and ensure all of the available worktops can be used to their full potential. 

4. Go rustic with copper

grey kitchen with copper sink, window with roman blind and a stainless steel tap

(Image credit: Future PLC / Talbot Photography)

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

Navy kitchen with white Belfast sink and open shelving

(Image credit: Future)

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

neutral kitchen with island and two sinks

(Image credit: Future PLC / James French)

'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

Kitchen with black worktop and sink with white open shelving

(Image credit: Future)

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 work beautifully in modern kitchen ideas, as it will seem to disappear. 

8. Bring in the glamour with brass

Kitchen sink in brass with matching tap and marble worktop

(Image credit: Future/Kasia Fiszer)

One way to bring the bling into your kitchen is by choosing a beautiful brass kitchen sink. Brass is becoming a more and more popular kitchen trend 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

Blue shaker kitchen with Belfast sink

(Image credit: Future/Amelia Thorpe)

A traditional option yes, but a simple, white butler sink could be the moment of calm within bold kitchen colour schemes. Here, a dusky blue kitchen with Shaker doors is broken up by the brightness of a white ceramic Belfast sink. 

If you want to go bold with colour then it's a simple way of ensuring the layout doesn't look overwhelming, which is especially crucial in a north-facing room. Adding a brass tap will add a touch of depth back in and enhance the classic feel. 

10. Add texture with a fluted front

Dark green shaker kitchen with grained cupboards and pink walls.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

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 and eclecticism to shabby chic kitchens.

11. Position it on an island

Navy kitchen with island with a sink on it

(Image credit: Future/Julia Currie)

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 wastewater 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

kitchen with white sink wine glass frame

(Image credit: Shaws of Darwen)

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

Oak kitchen with Belfast sink in front of the window

(Image credit: Future/Kate Cleasby)

Washing up can be a rather dull way to spend time, but positioning your kitchen sink in front of a window will mean the view can distract you from mundane tasks. 

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. Hide appliances below with a curtain

Utility room with green units, Belfast sink and yellow-patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee)

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 add some softness to your space.

15. Hang a plate rack above for air drying

Sage green shaker kitchen with Belfast sink and plate rack

(Image credit: Future/Darren Chung)

Well-utilised kitchen storage ideas are all about the placement. By positioning useful storage solutions in areas where you naturally walk past, you'll be much more inclined to keep a kitchen tidy. 

Therefore, where better to add a plate rack than above a sink? Once you have finished washing up and drying, you can pop your crockery right back in its home. 

16. Blend your sink and surface with an all-in-one worktop

Kitchen with marble worktop and backsplash and navy cabinets

(Image credit: Future/Malcolm Menzies)

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 to the surface beside the kitchen sink ideas will create a dedicated area for drying dishes.

17. Choose concrete over ceramic

Concrete sink in kitchen with matching backsplash

(Image credit: Future/Anna Stathaki)

Ceramic is a common choice for kitchen sinks, but if the white aesthetic isn't quite right for your space, why not go for concrete?  

As long as it's properly sealed, a concrete kitchen sink is sturdy, strong and will last for decades. So if you have a high-traffic kitchen where washing up never seems to end, then this material could be a practical option. Plus, matching to a concrete backsplash and worktop will create an on-trend industrial look. 

18. Match a stainless steel sink to appliances

Navy kitchen with stainless steel sink

(Image credit: Future/Lizzie Orme)

Matching materials is a subtle way of bringing a kitchen together so that it looks seamlessly designed. Stainless steel is a growing kitchen trend (thanks to popular Chef TV shows) and adds a touch of a professional set-up to your home cooking space.  

Stainless steel sinks are a practical choice, but by combining the metal with a Belfast sink design, it turns it into an eye-catching feature too. By positioning close to appliances in the matching tone, it will make the more practical elements look much more stylish. 


'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. 
  • 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

Kitchen with cream coloured cabinets, window, door to bathroom

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

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.

Investing in the practical elements of your kitchen design will change how you use it on a daily basis, and a sink is one place you'll find yourself more often than others. So getting the design just right will make washing up a bit more exciting, and cleaning your space simpler. 


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.  

With contributions from