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Six Stylish Twists On The Classic Apron Sink

Apron sinks are usually associated with very traditional farmhouse kitchens – a style that’s classic, hardy, and designed for heavy use. But these old fashioned sinks have gotten a few facelifts in design, material, and overall style that means they can work in a variety of different kitchens that run the gamut from simple to ornate and traditional to very modern. So if you love the look of apron sinks but are looking for a way to spice up the style, we’ve got six fresh ways to use this iconic fixture.

Cuisine Fireclay Farmhouse Sink From Herbeau
Cuisine Fireclay Farmhouse Sink From Herbeau

Farmhouse kitchens are generally pretty simple – clean and open with white cabinets and maybe wood floors or countertops. But many homeowners are starting to tire of this look, which has been especially popular in recent years. To make the style look and feel more unique, consider dressing it down: instead of full cabinets, give the apron sink a cloth skirt surrounded with open shelves, and accessorize with attractive containers like baskets, decorative cauldrons, or even petite crates. This will give the kitchen an earthier, more rustic quality that’s tied together by the classic sink.

Shop Kitchen Apron Sinks by Herbeau:

Dressing up the surrounding area can give a humble fireclay sink a more sophisticated appearance (by Hendel Homes)
Dressing up the surrounding area can give a humble fireclay sink a more sophisticated appearance (by Hendel Homes)

Alternatively, you can dress a farmhouse kitchen up, too. Take that same classic white fireclay apron sink and put it in a kitchen with hardwood floors, detailed woodwork on the cabinets, antique hardware, and elegant fabric window dressings, and the space will have a different look entirely – more of a sophisticated French country style than a classic American farmhouse. Here, too, the apron sink will act as the focal point of the space, giving it that hint of practical usefulness that will keep the kitchen from feeling too ornate to use.

Shop Kitchen Apron Sinks by Whitehaus:

Switching from fireclay to copper takes apron sinks to the next level, offering a much more opulet, ornate appearance (by Design Moe Kitchen and Bath)
Switching from fireclay to copper takes apron sinks to the next level, offering a much more opulent, ornate appearance (by Design Moe Kitchen and Bath)

Shop Kitchen Apron Sinks by Premier Copper:

If you want to move away from the traditional fireclay apron sink, your next best bet is to look for one made from copper. These are thick, heavy, often handmade sinks that have a beautiful hand-hammered texture, a natural weathered patina, and ornate copper scrollwork or other detailing on the front of the apron. This type of kitchen sink should be paired with a very ornate, traditional kitchen, and works especially well with a French country style that’s a little less country and a little more aristocratic feeling.

Sierra Copper Hampton Farmhouse Sink Double Bowl SC-HD64-35
Sierra Copper Hampton Farmhouse Sink Double Bowl SC-HD64-35

Shop Kitchen Apron Sinks by Premier Copper:

That said, copper apron sinks can also have a very rugged, rustic appearance if the surface is left unadorned. These have the same gorgeous patina that more ornate sinks do, but rather than having the ornate scrollwork like the sink above, they’re left with a simple, dimpled surface that showcases their artisan craftsmanship. These are better for slightly more rustic kitchens, especially ones with a cabin or southwestern theme, where the sink will help contribute to the rugged, hand-hewn quality of the space.

Vigo VG15129 All in One 33-inch Farmhouse Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink and Faucet Set
Vigo VG15129 All in One 33-inch Farmhouse Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink and Faucet Set

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Stainless steel apron sinks are also starting to become quite popular, and as you can imagine these have a much more modern look and feel. Sleek stainless steel aprons pair beautifully with matching appliances, and offer a slightly more industrial feel than classic down-home fireclay sinks. But while this pairing of old and new might seem a bit odd, it actually makes a lot of sense. After all, stainless steel is a very practical, durable material and apron sinks are specifically designed for heavy use, meaning this design/material pairing offers the utility of a professional grade restaurant sink with a slightly homier appearance.

A stainless steel apron sink can lend a slightly more contempoary feel to a very traditional kitchen (by Kathryne Designs, Inc, photo by Mark Lohman)
A stainless steel apron sink can lend a slightly more contempoary feel to a very traditional kitchen (by Kathryne Designs Inc, photo by Mark Lohman)

Shop Kitchen Apron Sinks By Rohl:

You might be surprised to know that stainless steel sinks apron sinks can also work spectacularly well in a more traditional kitchen. Pairing a brushed steel sink with classic white cabinets fitted with matching hardware creates a stunning transitional style that combines the charm of a more traditional space with just enough of a contemporary feel that the space doesn’t feel old fashioned.

What’s your favorite type of apron sink? Do you like a classic French country style, or do you prefer something more down to earth or modern? Let me know in the comments!