James Mitchell

The kitchen can be a deal-breaker for many homebuyers. It should have enough space, granite countertops, an island, and stainless-steel appliances. Another feature many are looking for is a big farmhouse kitchen.

This kitchen fixture has become popular in modern home designs. But while today’s homeowners like them for aesthetic reasons, farmhouse sinks were initially made for functionality and convenience.

Intelligent Design

Farmhouse sinks first emerged in the late 17th century in Britain. Indoor plumbing hadn’t been invented yet, so the women would haul water from wells and rivers for their daily needs. The sinks were made big and hollow to hold enough water for washing clothes and big pots and pans.

Initially, farmhouse sinks came in two designs: the London and Belfast apron front sinks. The large basins were often seen in farmhouses or rural homes and designed for women who spent long hours in front of the sink.

The London apron sink is smaller and not too deep, while the Belfast sink is larger and deeper and could fit a baby. The Belfast sink also has an overflow mechanism, so the water can drain instead of spilling over the edge, something that is missing from the London version.

Form & Function


Traditional farmhouse sink designs are still popular today, usually made of white porcelain or ceramics. But some designers have made variations, using different materials, such as concrete, steel, fiberglass, and even copper, to go with the home’s theme and look.

The latest versions are still made deep to hold large pots easily and for preparing food. Some designs come with double bowl options, so there’s a separation of function. You can use one for cleaning stuff and the other for washing produce.

The modern farmhouse sinks are also installed slightly at the front of the cabinets so that any spillage would flow down the floor instead of the wooden cabinets — just like they did in the old days.

Before Getting One

Many house hunters add farmhouse sink in their must-haves. If they don’t get it, you can bet it’s on the top of the list for a future kitchen renovation project.

You need to ask yourself, however, if you just want one purely for beauty or you are after its function, as well. Here are a couple of things to ponder on if you want a farmhouse sink.

The material. A pristine porcelain basin is nice to look at, but it’s also easy to get dirty. The grease and grime are easily visible, and you might spend a lot of time keeping it clean. With the ceramic material, your delicate plates and glasses are more at risk of breaking. You must be careful when placing your delicate plates and glasses onto the deep basin.

It’s good to know, though, that there are other materials you can use, as mentioned above. Just make sure the material and design will go along with your countertop and cabinetry.

How you’ll use it. Like modern sinks, farmhouse basins come in single- and double- bowl designs. A single bowl is handy if you do a lot of food preparation in the sink. A deep bowl is something you need to keep the meat and vegetables from falling on the floor.

Meanwhile, a double bowl is better if you often multi-task between cooking and washing the pans and dishes.

Like any other fixture, a farmhouse sink must serve both the function and look you’re going for.

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