Decoratively down the drain

 

Artisan-crafted sinks of stone, metal, glass or wood can become a room’s decorative focal point

Source

Artisan Crafted: www.SinksGallery.com, 877-320-0800


Universal UClick

A sinking feeling can be a good thing when it comes to the kitchen or bathroom basin. Form follows function with today’s bounty of stylish basin choices for the home.

“A sink can become an unexpected focal point in a kitchen or bathroom,” says Suzanne Healy, an artist and co-owner of Artisan Crafted, a decade-old online retailer based in Langley, Wash. “Sinks can be like functional artwork in a house, depending on the homeowner’s design aesthetic.”

Artisan Crafted sells thousands of home products, made by hundreds of artists in the United States, and Healy says their sink options are best-sellers. Instead of a total kitchen or bath remodel — which can put a strain on budgets during these financial times — many are swapping out builder’s-grade bowls or stainless steel sinks for vessels with visual impact.

“The kitchen is the center of a home, and the bathroom or powder room is used many times a day, by both family and visitors,” Healy says. “The very nature of a sink invites people to gather around it and to use it.”

Vessel varieties may seem to include everything and the kitchen sink, which can be fashioned from metal, stone, glass, wood, porcelain or concrete:

• Self-rimming sinks have a secure, waterproof outer lip, which can be “dropped in” and sealed into a custom-cut hole in the countertop or vanity. At their most extravagant, the rims of these basins can become a canvas for decoration, including hand-painting or specialized shapes, usually used in bathrooms.

• Under-mount sinks give a clean look of open counter space. Mounted beneath a counter or vanity with special brackets for a seamless look, these sinks are best when paired with stone or wood surfaces.

• Vessel sinks are most likely found in bathrooms and sit atop the counter or vanity with the rim hovering above the surface. Sometimes called countertop sinks, these can be made of jewel-like glass, hand-cast bronze or sculpted stone, and can be used to dramatic effect when placed on a singular stand.

• Pedestal sinks are most popular in bathrooms, with designs that fully integrate sink and stand in one piece. Traditional white porcelain pedestal sinks are a timeless, clean choice, but a more modern approach could include a hewn stone pedestal, which brings one-of-a-kind design into the home.

• Wall-mount sinks can make a big splash when placed upon a backsplash design in a kitchen or bathroom. Wall-hung washbasins work particularly well in tight spaces, with some triangular sinks designed to be backed into a corner.

When it comes to washing options, homeowners should feel free to think outside the basin. Sinks can be made in different shapes to fit into different design aesthetics. A sink with a wide rim might have a gilded fleur-de-lis painted around it, or an under-mount glass sink might be backlit for a dramatic contrast to a dark-stone countertop, says Healy.

The latest in vessel vogue starts in the center of the home’s hubbub. “The farmhouse sink had been a staple in kitchens for hundreds of years and never goes out of style,” Healy says. “Also called an apron-front sink, because material is exposed along the bottom cabinetry, it can be made of copper, natural stone, or concrete.”

The island isn’t uncharted territory for a kitchen’s prep sink. A small, but mighty multitasker, the prep sink should complement the main kitchen sink. Add-on features, such as a soap dispenser and cutting board that fits over the bowl, make this a sink that really works.

However, a watershed moment of inspiration comes when a sink is part of an overall design aesthetic. Standard shiny, chrome faucets have evolved into more choices, which include today’s popular oil-rubbed bronze finish or an artisan-crafted hand-blown glass spigot.

Most often, when considering updating the sink, homeowners also change the surrounding countertop or vanity, Healy says. Especially in bathrooms, sinks can become part of a freestanding cabinet, retro console or futuristic metal framework, depending on a homeowner’s style sensibilities.

“People also are becoming more aware and using products that are eco-friendly,” says Healy. “Sinks made from copper, stone and sustainable wood are non-toxic, natural and long-lasting.”

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when cleaning and caring for sinks. Healy has teak wood sinks in her home’s bathrooms that are easily maintained with a swish of the sponge with mild soap and water. Metals, such as copper, will develop a patina over time, while stone sinks must be sealed periodically.

There need not be a “sink or swim” dilemma when it comes to washbasin options. “Good design in a home is about paying attention to the details and elevating utilitarian functions,” Healy says. “We all have sinks in our homes, and paying attention to something that is most often overlooked as mundane, is a great way to show your personality in an unexpected way.”

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
This impressive and rather rare vase was made in England by a company that was founded in 1820 to make utilitarian items out of stoneware.

    Treasures

    How old is this vase from my great-grandfather?

    Q: Attached are photos of a vase that once belonged to my great-grandfather. It is marked “Coulton, Burslem” and is decorated with painted poppies and a three-dimensional dragon. It is marked with an emblem with a crown on top and the number 1922. It is 221/2 inches tall. Would it be possible for you to tell me how old it is and the approximate value?

  •  
A native ladybug on a firebush in Terri Stephens’ yard.

    Gardening

    The gardener and the ladybugs

    A citizen-scientist documents the ladybugs in her South Dade yard for a research project.

  •  
This Wellworth two-piece elongated dual-flush from Kohler comes in a right-side flush option.

    Ask a plumber

    Looking for the ‘right’ flushing toilet

    Q: Our toilet is in the corner of our bathroom very close to a wall on the left hand side of the toilet. I have always been frustrated that the flushing handle is on the left side of the toilet, in a tight spot next to that wall. We’re planning to replace this toilet. Can I get a new toilet with the flushing handle on the right side of the toilet?

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category