History of Farmhouse Sinks


Traditional styles are coming back hard and it’s no surprise that kitchens have not been left behind. Vintage is the new modern and more people are finding themselves more drawn to traditional sinks by the day.

The farmhouse sink has the ability to make a dramatic statement but is also charming, effective and aesthetically pleasing. It is ergonomic and large enough to handle a lot of dishes without making a mess in the kitchen. Over time, their design has gradually changed to what we have today. How did the original farmhouse sink look like? Here’s a comprehensive history of farmhouse sink!

Gradual History of the Farmhouse Sink

Whether you are designing a contemporary kitchen or a traditional one, farmhouse sinks never disappoint. The kitchen sink is the focal point of any kitchen and the farmhouse sink has an excellent design. Here’s a background into the farmhouse sink.

Humble beginnings

Sometime between the 17th and 19th century, people had to carry water in buckets from rivers and wells. The dishpans and sinks were not connected to any plumbing system but instead had to be filled manually. This is where the farmhouse sink originated. They were large and could hold large amounts of water and dishes and thus more ergonomic. These sinks also had a forward orientation that prevented the women from leaning too much.

Belfast and London sinks

The late 17th century brought with it 2 revolutionary apron sinks ; the Belfast and London sinks. Originally, they were for the butler’s pantry but they steadily found their way into wealthy homesteads. Even though they were both farmhouse sinks, they were set aside by slight but distinct differences.  Fun fact: the naming of these two sinks was done based on the cities permitted to use them after a sanction.

The Belfast sink

This sink originated from Ireland and its basin was large enough to fit a small child. It was also deep and had a weir overflow fitted on it to ease with the drainage of water. The weir overflow flitting also helped to prevent water from spilling over once the sink became too full. Since Ireland has plenty of water, they weren’t overly concerned with its usage.

The London apron sink

The London sink originated from England and smaller facets compared to the Belfast sink. It was shallower and lacked an overflow function, thus conserving more water. London was basically built on clay and the only way they could find clean water was by digging deep. The design of the London apron sink made it possible to use water economically.

The French farmhouse sink

As the 19th century was coming to an end, the French farmhouse sink started becoming popular. France was known for its high grade porcelain. The apron front of this fireclay sink was broad, strong and had utilitarian value. When cast iron sinks started trending in the united states, these sinks were more preferred.

Luxurious modern farmhouse sinks

The farmhouse sink has now come into play but with a modern twist to it. When looking for a sink, people no longer look at the design alone but instead want a sink that is also functional. The modern farmhouse sink has an intricate design that enhances comfort but is still large enough to accommodate a lot of dishes. It has an exposed front that eliminates the need of a countertop and thus avoids too much straining from leaning over. This exposed front further protects the surrounding cabinetry from water damage as water spills on the floor directly. Some of them even come with a gooseneck faucet that enables direct cleaning of the dishes.  Farmhouse sinks are more than just a kitchen application. Kitchens are more than just functional rooms in a house. They are rooms where memories are made and great recipes are invented. They are also spaces where one can entertain friends and family. The first thing that a person notices immediately they get into your kitchen is the sink.

With a farmhouse sink, one is able to balance out functionality with aesthetic beauty. These sinks also tend to a luxurious and sophisticated touch to an otherwise plain kitchen. Modern farmhouse sinks come in a variety of textures and designs for you to choose from.

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