Sue Cade looks at the latest trends in kitchen sinks
When you've made the decision to invest in a new kitchen, you're likely to start thinking of exquisite countertops, hi-tech hobs, drawers that glide at a touch or the last word in bespoke cabinets. You probably won't think about sinks. But your choice of sink can be central to the practicality, or otherwise, of your new kitchen.
Hot off the press from Milan Design Week in April, the latest innovations offer sleek, no-nonsense solutions. Alex Newbery from Sapphire Spaces loves Durinox, the new finish from Blanco. "It's a specially finished stainless steel surface that offers a velvety-matt look. It's twice as hard as traditional stainless steel and very resistant to scratches." And if you have an aversion to smudges, Durinox is also less prone to fingerprint marks.
"Clever ideas for smaller kitchens with limited countertop space include a lab sink with cover from Barazza – you simply close the lid on your sink to add an extra area to your working space," adds Alex. Also from Barazza, 'lab fusion' is an ingenious solution for the minimalist, creating an elegant and functional custom worktop to your own specification – for example, a gas hob, sink and draining section all in one worktop.
Lynn Winter from Ralph Winter Kitchens says most of their clients opt for the undermount sink. "The most popular finish is the Silgranit composite sink, which comes in a variety of colours to blend with the client's chosen worktop finish and the colour of the quartz, granite or Dekton material being used."
Natural or composite stone remains a popular choice for that classic luxury kitchen vibe. But why not go one step further? There's a move towards seamless, integrated sinks made from the same stone as countertops, adding flair, liquidity and the bonus of easy cleaning. Lynn agrees: "This is a viable option for anyone using Corian for their worktop. Some Silestone Quartz worktop finishes allow this option too."
Copper and bronze tones are another growing trend, Lynn believes. "There are now several copper sinks that you can purchase along with matching copper taps. Copper has the same bacteria-zapping properties as silver, keeping your sink hygienic."
If you're after a warm, cosy kitchen, sticking with tradition is no bad thing. "Everybody loves a Belfast sink," says Kim Barnes of Barnes of Ashburton. "They are the perfect match for the classic country kitchens and painted kitchens that are still the most popular choice for characterful Devon homes." Apron sinks, too, are timeless and available in a wide range of materials so there's something to suit most kitchen styles – choose from porcelain, ceramic fireclay, stainless steel and copper.
The 'must-have' spot for the sink was traditionally at the window, presumably to allow happy housewives to gaze at the glorious outdoors whilst wielding their Marigolds. Removing sinks to an island is de rigueur now; this allegedly gives the most efficient work triangle, particularly useful in a smaller kitchen. But, Totnes-based interior designer Holly Keeling says, if you're thinking of going this route, you'll need to consider the impact on flooring and piping.
Generally, an island sink will be a small one suitable for rinsing fruit and veg. After all, who wants their dirty dishes on view, centre stage for everyone to see? "It's certainly an extravagant option, a very stylish look having your sink in the centre of your kitchen – but perhaps more for aesthetics than for use as a practical sink," Holly concurs. If an island sink is for you, she suggests thinking about adding a boiling water tap. "It's rather decadent making tea straight from the tap on your kitchen island rather than having to boil a kettle."
Whichever sink design or material you opt for, you'll need to decide whether you prefer a single bowl or double bowl – clearly space will have an influence on this. The double bowl offers the most flexibility, but there's a huge choice of configurations; two bowls of equal size and depth, one larger bowl with a smaller one, two equal bowls but with different depths. Think about how you use your sink before you choose which option is best for you; there's no reason why, if you have the space, you shouldn't have a separate sink from your primary sink, just for food preparation.
Finally, if you have a bit of bohemian in your blood, a wooden kitchen sink might float your boat. An incursion to Pinterest shows some extraordinarily creative designs using hollowed-out tree trunks. These are truly gorgeous but certainly more suited to a rustic rather than contemporary kitchen. But if rustic calls to you, visit the Register of Professional Turners to find a local Devon woodturner who may be able to make your tree trunk kitchen sink dream come true.
Removing sinks to an island is de rigueur now
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