New Sink – Old Style

If you dream about sinks, you’re either a little sick – as one blogger called it, “laundry room porn” — OR you’re building a new home, or remodeling one you already own.

As you noodle through the various options you have in designing your new kitchen (or laundry room), you’re going to find designs that take you back. Waaaay back.

Old Is New Again

Maybe your grandma had a sink like this in her house.

Mine did. She and grandpa built a super hip Danish Modern split level ranch just outside Wahoo, Nebraska in the early 60s, including this sink in the laundry room. Picture a cement floor painted turquoise blue with a drain in the center, a pug named Sandi waddling underfoot, an old hand ringer washer standing in the corner, hand-stitched embroidered tea towels here and there, and a dead chicken on the sink; and you’ve pretty much got it.

Her drainboard sink epitomized utility and style, and Grandma spent a heck of a lot of time in that room!

Now, some practical designer for Sign of the Crab reinstituted the perfect pickling, chicken-cleaning, canning workspace ever designed. And you can get it shiny new.

new sink, old style drainboard

If you’re building a new home in Austin, or just dreaming of it, some of the most practical sinks are looking pretty retro. The shapes, colors, and functionality cater to the creative, active cook. They also look good, so even if you’re not into cooking, at least your kitchen looks cool.

The Pop O’ Color

Want to make an exciting statement in an otherwise neutral kitchen? Consider a sink in a bright color, like these Kohler sinks by Jonathan Adler.

new sink

Remember when “avocado green” was the color people loved to hate? Now it’s becoming the color that’s making waves:

“This is not dull avocado green,” Jonathan Adler says. “It’s bolder, yet timeless. So crisp and refreshing you can taste it.”

I don’t know, it looks avocado green to me.

Cobalt blue, sunny yellow, burnt orange, even pink! All these colors are coming back with a vengeance. The truly fashion forward are considering a bold investment in fixtures with color, just like homeowners of 40-50 years ago.

Uber Practicality

Forget for a minute now the bright color whammy. Take a look at the form of the Jonathan Adler sink. The apron front design looks modern and new, yet it’s been around for a very long time.

Before dishwashers, you did it the old fashioned way. You stood at the sink, and washed and dried dishes.

Come to think of it, we still do that at Grandma’s house. She never wanted a dishwasher. (I still remember conversations we had growing up while doing the dishes in her kitchen. Maybe she was on to something.) I’m not advocating losing the dishwasher, just saying a new sink with an apron front serves a good purpose for people who actually use their sinks a lot!

The thing about an apron front sink is…wait for it… it’s easier to access and easier to clean, too. No drips down the nice wood cabinets below means less peeling, staining, water marks, etc.

By the way, I just checked my stainless steel inset sink. And the drop is a good 5 inches from the granite counter’s bullnose edge. If you’re short (5 ft. 3 in. or less), it’s a bit of an awkward reach out, and way more likely that water will drip toward the front.

Maybe those designers of apron sinks in the early 20th century knew what they were doing after all.

Hot Legs

new sink with legs

Then there’s this gorgeous new sink with legs.

You’ve seen these in bathrooms, but have you considered what one could do for your kitchen?

  • In a small kitchen, the extra space underneath the sink makes the whole room look larger.
  • The empty nester will see past the retro design toward a useful, wheelchair-friendly working area.
  • The clean freak will feel great knowing there’s no junk rotting under the sink.

One potential downside to this new sink design is if you have a water purification system, as many Austin homeowners do, you’d have to hide the tanks in a nearby cabinet. For some interesting design ideas, and people who share your interest in drool worthy kitchen fixtures, talk to the people at Bath and Kitchen Showplace on Shoal Creek Blvd. You’re sure to discover some new, retro, yet functional designs for your modern kitchen.


1. Whitehaven Hayridge apron-front sink by Kohler

2. Sign of the Crab drainboard sink on

3. Greenwich Green Jonathan Adler sink by Kohler on

4. Farmhouse sink with legs, DIY Network

5. How To Age Gracefully In your New Home

6. Bath and Kitchen Showplace

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