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  • Writer's pictureJen

Unsinkable

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Like most New Year's resolutions, keeping on top of regular posts has gotten the best of me with the back-to-work, post-holiday funk and some work travel. Also, I must say, not having construction guys show up at your house every morning, coupled with "California Cold" weather and a warm toasty bed makes for great sleeping in opportunities, which probably had something to do with the lack of posts, too. So, on this Saturday morning turned afternoon, I am going to play a little catch-up with the posts I have been mentally writing for past few weeks.


Today's topic - the kitchen sink.


I think the farm house sink trend is still holding strong - at least here in California. Heck, my parents finally gave up their two-compartment sink for a farm house sink. In my planning stages for the kitchen remodel, I had one on my wish list. With limited kitchen size, a massive farm house sink was definitely not going to work. I did find some smaller 30" wide versions, with a plain front that Iwas mostly content with. I say mostly because, in the back of my mind, I really wanted a vintage kitchen sink - like the old cast iron ones that have the higher back that goes up the wall and maybe a built in drainboard. A girl can dream, and Antique Home Style has a spectacular collection of period advertising art to add to those dreams - and I truly mean art. It is a phenomenal resource for accurate historic detail. Here are a few of the kitchen and sink advertisements from their site that served for some #sinkspiration ...so clever, I know.



I started to look again for my own old sink, or a reproduction of one. Retro Renovation had a great post on some new, reproduction farmhouse sinks with drainboards that gave me a renewed hope. They were mostly drop-in or under-mount (probably more historically accurate for my house) and all too big for my tiny kitchen.


Right as I was ready to give in and order my ho-hum 30" farmhouse sink, I thought I'd give it one more go and stumbled upon what American Standard calls a "Country Sink." This sink was the perfect combo of single tub, exposed apron front, big-enough-to-bathe-a-baby size (which in my mind qualified a variety of large kitchen needs) and vintage style with that fab high back. It was a bit bigger than I was originally planning for at 36", so a small cabinet on the left was changed to a cookie sheet pull-out and the corner cabinet on the right was made a few inches smaller, but the sink won in the end.


I ordered it through Amazon, like any self-respecting homeowner who doesn't want to trek to the local DIY store to buy a sink, only to find out that it requires a special order that will take two weeks to arrive and then you come back to get it and they can't find it and when they finally do after waiting for 45 minutes, you need help to get it into the car and then drive home only to find that you can't unload it by yourself would do. I was smarter than that and would have the Amazon guy deliver it right to my front porch! Brilliant. So I thought.


I ordered it, and then panicked reading about people who received cracked/chipped sinks due to packaging problems, and waited for it to arrive. The Amazon delivery man apparently caught on to my scheme and decided it was time for pay back of the 70-pound delivery by leaving the giant box on my porch - at the farthest point from my front door. My house is widest across the front and has steps down to the walkway in the middle of the porch and then steps back up to the smaller porch by the front door. This guy definitely knew what he was doing.


I tried to lift this beast. It was laughable. I managed to push it to the edge of the longer end of the porch and slowly guided it down the steps. I stealthfully positioned the box on the bottom step and pulled it across to the bottom step on the other side of the porch and up the steps on that side. I was not going to be outsmarted by a sink. And if I could save the up and down of one more step, I was going to do it. But, I was starting to struggle. I got it to a point next to my front door and had to give up. The sink had won.


I walked back inside and plopped down on the sofa to wallow in my defeat. I was so close!! But I rallied, bound not to be beat by a sink, and went back out and decided to just make it happen and deal with the pain after, and got it inside the front door and onto a towel so that I could pull it across the hardwood floor and into the living room to wait its turn in the construction timeline. I had done it! I went get an ice pack to soothe my aches from the fridge that was living in the garage and as I turned on the light I saw it. The dolly.


To quote Homer Simpson, "Doh!"


This ended up not being the last of the sink saga - it required further adjustments to cabinets and countertops to accommodate its oddly deep front to back size and careful height placement because it had to align with the faucet stubs and a specially crafted window sash to fit around while giving the illusion of going behind. It also required a special extended flange to connect the garbage disposal (my plumber didn't know this was a thing) that no one mentioned. Apparently all fireclay sinks require this - who knew.


I am loving this new sink, I haven't bathed a baby in it yet, or even a large stockpot, but perhaps someday soon. There were no chips/cracks to be found when it was unpacked. Finished project pictured below with my grandmother's hand embroidered "Bake on Saturday" dishtowel.



Don't mind the missing dishwasher toe kick - waiting on a repair! | Photo Credit: Restoration Comedy




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