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FARM UPDATE: Against Popular Vote We Bought A Vintage Piece Of Furniture For Our Kitchen Island (Also Let’s Talk The Need For The “Prep Sink”)

I’m caught in a three-way love affair with “all things vintage” and “all things practical”. “Form” beat “function” for years pre-children, but these days (and especially since I’ve become a massive homebody) the competition is more like an all-day track meet – lots of races and decisions all day long, yielding different winners per event. Generally speaking, “high-quality old things” just don’t work as well as “high-quality new things” (obviously there are exceptions) not because of their age and craftsmanship (opposite) but because of their often modern lack of conveniences. I write this as I sit on my favorite chairs ever (vintage Cherner) that squeak and creak endlessly (we’ve had them “fixed” and this is the best they can do). It’s all good, but it drives Brian nuts and I try to pretend I don’t notice, but I 100% do.

I wrote about my desire to repurpose a vintage piece as an island here and most of you agreed with me – that for harder working spaces (kitchens/mud rooms) just do what is going to be the most functional and makes your day to day easier, and then layer on the vintage in accessories and bring in vintage furniture in less utilitarian spaces. Feels like a good solution. Great. But I couldn’t shake it. I really, really don’t want this house to look fancy or grand, but it’s basically a new build at this point so I’ve got to inject charm to create the vibe that we want (casual, warm, inviting with a simple farm vibe). So Britney from Aurora Mills sent me a new piece she just got in and I gasped. I shoved the phone in Brian’s face and texted it to Anne immediately we all agreed. This was our island. We all knew we would be sacrificing some practicality, but we all agreed it would be worth it.

Visually, It’s PERFECT

We aren’t sure exactly what it was used for, maybe a library or baker’s kitchen. It has simple lines with 6 larger drawers and very little decorative detail (aka not fussy, overly ornate, or too shabby chic). There is nothing TRY HARD about this piece, which was a concern of mine when you repurpose say, an old apothecary piece as a vintage island. This one just feels like a solid, utilitarian, beautifully made piece of furniture that has been loved for a century and cared for carefully. We aren’t sure about the species of wood and it definitely leans a bit red, but not orange and we actually love the tone and are happy its not white oak, matching the floor. We put it next to our flooring sample (I can’t wait to tell you who we are working with on that) and we love the mix of the woods VERY MUCH.

Size-Wise, It’s Perfect

It’s the perfect size (110″ long, 36″ high, and 30″ deep) so with a 15-18″ overhang we can have stools on the backside. We’ll add a stone slab top over the entire thing and hold it up with pretty brackets. The back of it is lovely with simple paneling that you’d see from the living room.

Practically Speaking, It’s… Good, But Not Great

Ok so we have 6 drawers and they are wide and deep – 27″ wide, 27″ deep, and 7″ high. They can definitely house even mixing bowls or small appliances like our ninja. They are well made, but with the expansion of real wood (and no other hardware) some stick when pulling out and shoving in. Versatile can easily fix this, they said. The other 3 drawers that function well are still heavy and not what we are used to these days – drawers on tracks with quiet close. So these will definitely hold the lesser-used items.

Do We Need A Prep Sink??

I’ve never had a prep sink before and I wasn’t convinced it was necessary till recently. Anne was trying to convince me of the double kitchen sink (one sink, two compartments) because she hates washing vegetables over dirty dishes, so she uses one for food prep and the other for dirty dishes. Literally, that night as I was washing my veggies over my dirty dishes (single basin) I was like, “yes, this is actually disgusting” and then all of a sudden I realized the benefit of the prep sink. At the same time I was excited to have an island with neither a sink or a cooktop – just food prep, homework, hanging, with no splashing on kids’ drawings or hot surfaces. But this island is LONG and we could definitely put a small prep sink on one end (left, near fridge) and still have a long expanse of workspace. Now this means we would lose function of two of those drawers and you’d see the pipes going through the piece into the floor – but those aren’t deal-breakers, just good to know. I’m going to leak a photo from the upcoming book because it demonstrates this really well although they didn’t put a stone on top, just a small slab with a lip over the custom-built piece (not vintage, but super similar).

design by william hunter collective | art direction by me | styled by velinda hellen and erik staalberg | photo by sara ligorria-tramp

Brian doesn’t prep veggies nearly as much as I do so he doesn’t totally get it, but with the amount of fruit and veggies we go through and how not on top of the dishes we tend to be, having one sink that is just for food seems like a good idea. Also, I was just at the farm and there are so many groves of trees – plums, pears, apples, cherries, and so many blackberries – and while we’ll have the dog washing station as our utility sink, I think we’ll be busy in the summer washing fresh fruit more than we ever have (I literally had a dream of jam making two nights ago).

I think I’ve just convinced myself, but let’s convince Brian. I would forego a pot filler in a second (but likely will still have one). They are just so pretty but no, not as necessary as you’d think (we use broth for our soups, not water…), but this prep sink is feeling more and more like a good idea and built into this vintage piece sounds so pretty. xx

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Pat McRee
1 month ago

Just perfect, Emily! (Ignore any naysayers who comment.) You also need the Nautical Air Whistle listed at Aurora Mills to call the children in from the orchard!

Pat McRee
1 month ago

Also add the Giant Diner Coffeepot that weighs 500 pounds! How did you leave Aurora Mills without more cool stuff?

HerselfInDublin
1 month ago

I was always Team Vintage Island, and that was before I saw this Harrison Ford of a piece – very handsome, looks better a bit older than it (probably) did when it was new, and can be trusted to both look good and do the job into its eighties. Plus, the charisma! 😉
It’s great that Arciform can fix any stickiness in the drawers. But I’m glad they’re not going to change the mechanisms to add modern ones, especially as the rest of your kitchen will have smooth, auto-closing drawers. I think the satisfaction you will get from the weight, sound and feel of opening and closing these old-school drawers will be something that will bring you joy every single time you use them. I love it.

Julie S
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Me too! Hah.

Laurel
1 month ago

Love it! But if you have a stone slab on top with an overhang, perhaps you could plumb the prep sink into that without cutting into the drawers?

A
1 month ago
Reply to  Laurel

But that’s where the seating goes! & then there’d be even more of a visual issue with plumbing & you’d probably have to beef up the slab somehow to support the weight (pure speculation here, I’m currently too lazy to text & ask my plumber father his thoughts). Also to address a comment a bit further below: while adding a sink disrupts the functionality of the drawers a bit it certainly doesn’t “gut it” or make it “try-hard”. I can back up my statement bc my dad installed a sink into an antique bureau in his bathroom; it’s tasteful & still reads as an antique piece, especially since the surrounding decor is the right aesthetic… AND they still use all of the drawers (there’s a cut out in the center but it still is fully functional/stores items). I sometimes wonder if commentators are up in arms over purely hypothetical scenarios or if they’ve actually encountered these things irl before 🙄. Antique armchair critics are wild. This is a really nice piece but not from an era/provenance where it would be blasphemy to alter. That being said, my two cents to Emily is that I think visible plumbing in an island… Read more »

Emma
1 month ago
Reply to  Laurel

You’d not only lose seating but you’d see the entire bottom of the sink (which is rarely finished) and all the plumbing would be even more visible….?

Cheryl
1 month ago
Reply to  Laurel

Chiming in on that handsome Harrison Ford island with a strong YAS. My vote is no sink because I’m getting Downton Abbey vibes, picturing women kneading bread on it. Or kids doing homework at one end and prepping a mile of soup ingredients at the other.
Here’s what I do, call me crazy. I load the dishwasher with the dirty breakfast and lunch dishes all day long. By dinnertime, the sink is empty. Nuts.

L
1 month ago

I don’t really get the problem with rinsing veg over dirty dishes – they are dirty anyway, so what difference does it make if a bit more dirt goes on them? But I think it would be useful to have the second sink anyway so that one person can be washing up the dirty dishes while the other one is cooking and needing the sink for that. Plus for parties you can set up a cocktail-making station on the island with the sink ready for throwing ice into, washing limes, or rinsing the shaker between different drinks, without being in the way of anyone cooking at the same time!

Lane
1 month ago
Reply to  L

I actually like rinsing veg over dishes and glasses as it cleans them a bit and prevents eggs and other foods from drying too much before going into a dishwasher. ( It also saves some water.) I preffer doing a delicate cycle as much as I can because it doesn’t damage glass as much and it doesn’t scratch the plates as much. Yes, glass weakens from constant bumping and vibrating in a dishwasher. So I see a benefit to this. But I see a benefit of the other option as well. Actually, It would be neat to collect gray water and rain for watering shrubs, etc . So there could be other solutions with an extra sink

1 month ago
Reply to  L

I soak my greens, my rice, etc. so I need the sink to be empty. I would love two sinks.

Erin
1 month ago
Reply to  L

I worked in a prep kitchen in the past and a prep sink helps to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria from splashing back up on your clean food. In most cases it is no big deal to get a little of your breakfast sploshed back into your lunch, but some people don’t clean their sink after rinsing chicken or tossing in a drippy meat tray till you can get it to the garbage, so nasty bacteria like salmonella or e-coli could be lurking. Keeping hand washing and non-meat food cleaning separate from dirty dishes and raw meat would help any families who are concerned about that. I would keep the sink set in enough from the edge so that you have a little room to set anything you need to grab out of the fridge. Awesome vintage find Emily!

Bee
1 month ago
Reply to  L

I agree, what a first world problem – washing vegetables over dirty dishes. Oh my! I like that beautiful, vintage piece. If it was me, I’d do nothing to it, except adding a beautiful marble top. Even that, I might not if once the piece is sanded, and stained, I’d bet it would look beautiful on its own.

M B
1 month ago
Reply to  L

Splash up from a cutting board that was used to cut raw chicken? That said I’m doing one single basin sink.

1 month ago

It’s beautiful!

Megan
1 month ago

Ooooo, that is shaker soul right there. It is gorgeous. Alright, you spoke of the fruit in your yard. This is one of my biggest laments in leaving Portland – I can’t make these popsicles from the blackberries that are everywhere. I substituted coconut cream for coconut milk. They are beyond good.
http://diyinpdx.com/2013/08/05/blackberry-coconut-lime-pops/

Reply to  Megan

omg. now i want to make these pops!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 month ago

Personally, if I wanted a second sink, then I’d put it next to the regular/other sink. I don’t want a second sink at my house though I do wish our sink was wider and maybe deeper too (same goal, less basins). I also think that gutting 33% of a vintage piece is perhaps destroying some of the not-new / not-try-hard vibe if you do shove a sink into it. So I’m therefore team leave that beauty alone.

StephanieZ
1 month ago
Reply to  Jessvii

100% agree with this. Don’t mess up that beautiful piece. Also I’m sure you know they make really large sinks with a smaller side basin for veggie wash up.

Hana
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

I have two sinks on the perimeter of my kitchen that I love. One single by the dishwasher that we stack dirty dishes in and another double sink in the prep area that we wash veggies in and drain pasta etc. It is across from the range which is in the island. No dishes go in it ever! It functions really well as someone can rinse dishes and load them in the dishwasher in one area while the other person(s) prep and cook. I prefer the big double as the prep sink as I can leave a colander across one side and throw the scraps in the other then scoop them into the compost bin or let them go down the drain if small. Love that island it is going to inject so much soul to your home! I look forward to every post!

RuthAnn
1 month ago
Reply to  Hana

What a great set-up!

Rusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

New home = new rules and routines.
Begin and you intend to proceed.🙃

Donna
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Emily,
Look at Elkay sinks. https://www.elkay.com/products/drkad371755lc.html. I have the 30 year old version of this in my kitchen. It is a workhorse!

Nancy
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

There are sinks available that have a roughly 70/30 split, so small sink is great for veggies. Plumbing would not be super obvious since legs are so short – really would only be noticeable from the other side of the room.

Sara
1 month ago
Reply to  Nancy

My parents had one of these sinks in their last house. My mom made the small one the garbage disposal as well. So, we’d scrub vegetables etc. over that one and peel them there. It worked great.

MKP
1 month ago
Reply to  Sara

Both my dad and my MIL have the set up where there’s a tiny sink with disposal meant for scraps next to a single basin sink. Not big enough to do anything in (like wash vegetables). Everyone absolutely hates it even though it seems like a good idea in theory. Please spend time doing the dishes from a large gathering in a sink like this before you get one for yourself. I can’t even tell you why it’s a bad idea because, again, it seems like such a logical set up. But I DESPISE it.

Christa
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Put the sink on the end of the island on it’s own base, and leave the vintage piece intact. You could have the countertop around the sink be marble, and give it a tight connection to the top of the vintage wood. That would look AMAZING!

stephaniez
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

This is an undermount sink, but a friend has it and loves it. Its huge! I think they make a 33 inch too: https://www.us.kohler.com/us/stages-45-x-18-1-2-x-9-13-16-under-mount-single-bowl-with-wet-surface-area-kitchen-sink/productDetail/kitchen-sinks/427383.htm

Suzeee Ferguson
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

This happens at our house. 🙁 Regardless, gorgeous piece. I don’t think you will notice the piping underneath, and I’m intrigued by the idea that a sink would not necessarily render both drawers unusable. Interesting engineering problem. Can’t wait to see your solution.

MWare
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Have you looked at Kohler? My friend put in an extra large sink that has additional features like basket, cutting board, etc that slides across it, but they can stay out at all times. https://www.shopstudio41.com/_CGI/MODEL?KEY=KHL

Sarah
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Our prep sink is our coffee sink and the sink that gets the big dirty pots we haven’t washed yet when we need the main sink. I’m happy we have it, but I wouldn’t say we use it for veggies… ever. We are renovating now and the kitchen lay out is different so maybe the prep sink will be more prep-like. Love the vintage piece!

Mary C
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

He has a point.

Kann
1 month ago
Reply to  Jessvii

Please don’t destroy the beautiful vintage cabinet – a prep sink on the same counter as your large sink would look so much better IMHO🙏

Emily
1 month ago
Reply to  Jessvii

Agree – I would love a second sink so two people can work at the same time, but wouldn’t want it in my island if possible. Party for aesthetics (something go lovely about that big block of a piece, and I wouldn’t want the faucet there) and party so the second person can work out of the way.

Emily
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Also excuse all my typos!

Sam
1 month ago
Reply to  Jessvii

Totally agree! Please keep this old magnificent piece of furniture as it is, just the stone on top and put the prep sink into the new cabinetry. Plumbing looks ankward in the island and destroys the clean lines and the whole feel of it!

Christine
1 month ago
Reply to  Jessvii

I’m down with modifying anything to suit your needs. I’m finally putting this old Dutch basin to good use by installing it as a peninsula in our downstairs kitchen. We are just painting it, swapping out hardware and adding roll trays for use as a liquor cabinet for summer parties.

How are you securing your piece to the floor? Just as a table it doesn’t need to be secured, but when you add a heavy stone top and plumbing, you’ll need to peg it to the floor somehow. (Kitchen designer here)

I’m struggling with that myself with this basin. It will be perpendicular to the wall, and we’re adding an overhang so there’s a spot for 2 seats. It has big fat cool bun feet that I could probably pin to the slab so it stays open underneath. I’ve also thought of using lighter Corian down there instead of stone since it’s such an old piece.

You may also want to run a test to see if the drawers still open with so much weight on the top.

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Christine
1 month ago
Reply to  Christine

Here’s a progress picture. It’s finished but not installed with top. I can’t get to it for a picture right now, because it’s buried in stuff from our upstairs projects. I swing the drawer around when we have parties, line each basin with a plastic bag, fill with ice and load with beer or seafood or both.

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Leigh
1 month ago

I love my island prep sink. For produce, for draining pasta, for ice bath for a hard boiled egg prep, and most often as the handwashing sink (built in hand soap pump). Its the sink that is always clear.

Amber
1 month ago

Everyone uses their kitchen differently, but I like a bar sink more than a prep sink — meaning one that’s farther away from the main cooking area. It’s helpful to have a place where the non-cooks can wash their hands, fill a water glass or maybe rinse fruits away from the person who is preparing a meal. It keeps people out of the way and ensures you still have a sink available while someone is washing dishes (a total luxury, of course).

In my kitchen we have an auxiliary sink that includes a water filter in an area with the coffee machine, wine fridge and freezer drawers. But I am a cook who likes other people around while I’m working, yet don’t want them messing with my flow.

I may be remembering the space wrong, but I think the end of the island won’t be that far from the main sink, which might result in a bit of a traffic jam.

Amber
1 month ago
Reply to  Amber

P.S. love the new/old piece. It’s stunning and perfect for the vibe you seem to be aiming for.

Erica
1 month ago

Do you have space for double sinks side by side like in a working kitchen? I really prefer to have a completely open island but functionally and visually. If you could put a double sink under the window that would be my vote!

1 month ago
Reply to  Erica

This is my preference too. Especially considering how much I bake. Shaping multiple sourdough loaves and making pies and cutting cookies us easier done with a large uninterrupted surface. I think sometimes simpler, cleaner lines are better. We are in the middle of planning a complete kitchen remodel. Our designer wanted to put in a prep sink on the island, I’m leaning towards a No.

Susan
1 month ago

I don’t have a prep sink and also hate the rinsing over dirty dishes. I have a colander that fits over one entire basin. I can just throw all my veggies or fruits in there and it doesn’t need to sit on the bottom of the sink. I also have a half cutting board/ half colander that sits across the sink. Both solve the problem for me.

Katie Schnittjer
1 month ago

I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. But this piece is so perfect I just had to chime in. IT IS SO GOOD!!

Christine
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

🤣🤣🤣

1 month ago

Beautiful piece of furniture, but I kind of hate to see the wood covered by a stone slab although I completely understand the practicality of it. Is there a way to remove the top of the island and use the wood elsewhere? or would the whole thing just fall apart? In any case, I know it will be a kitchen addition you’ll forever appreciate.

Rusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Oooh, do that! In our antiqshop, my brother ysed to extend pieces with other, matching aged timber and man! You. Could. Not. Tell. The. Difference!
DO THIS!!! They’re the experts, so trust them Emily.😊

Melissa Chacko
1 month ago

I’m team no prep sink on the island. Love the idea of just a big slab! If needed double sink in your main perimeter. (I personally need a double sink but wouldn’t want to cut into the vintage beauty you have there!)

Jessica Braham
1 month ago

This island is amazing!! I’m begging you to leave the top as one large slab and forgo the prep sink. It’s not worth disrupting the surface area, as there are so many other options for sinks that include additional basins. Also, for what it’s worth, I vote leave the top wood. Either way though, wood or slab, it’ll be lovely.

Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

I agree with Jessica! If you put sinks on the perimeter, you might prefer using slab counters around them–wooden counters don’t work well around sinks. Leaving the island as is–with wood & no sink–would be so lovely! BTW, I think you’d enjoy having two sinks in your kitchen (just not a sink in this island). At my house, the traffic jams are always at the sink. I’d love to have a prep sink!

Melanie
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

we actually did the opposite in our kitchen: stone slab on the perimeter cabinets and an old wooden work table in the middle. We love the warmth and charm that old wood adds!
Can’t wait to see the results!

Christine
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

I’m super interested to see what you do with the top. I have been living with our library table island for a few years, and my family is sort of hellbent on running it. I’ve added multiple coats of sealant which definitely helps. It’s simple to throw down a big cutting board and use it as prep space, but there are TONS of nooks and crannies to clean. There’s also a significant expansion crack running down the center. I thought about adding an ultrathin slab of marble to the top, but there is decorative hardware on the corners, and it has a decorative eased edge. At some point I will probably have a furniture shop fill the crack or add butterfly joints or something.

I specifically got this one to use as a standing island and food center during parties. My family doesn’t push in chairs or put away shoes and bags that trip me, so I don’t want them parked here. I added a breakfast bar at each end so they are less likely to boobytrap my space.

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Alex Rose
1 month ago

But, can’t you just use a double sink as Anne suggested? There are some beautiful apron front ones that are pretty large. Double sinks are also better for those dishes you must hand wash. Soak in one, rinse in the other. It seems like a good option if you’re trying to keep things simple and not too over-the-top fancy.
That piece is stunning, by the way. Major score!

1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Rose

Some of us really don’t like double sinks. Seems like a litmus test, but for what, I don’t know! I would just want my dirty dishes sink next to the dishwasher, and my prep sink right near my stove and with ample cutting board space on the surrounding counter.

Karen
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

A double sink never gets you the big basin you get with a single sink. And the disposal is usually on the small side which makes it even more impractical because you end up needing the small side to clean everything- not just for prep. So to me you end up with two impractical sinks. If you want a second sink, put it by your drink’/ glass area- leave the island alone and go for one big sink on the main wall. In a kitchen, the sink is the workhorse, so I would really make sure if you’re used to one big sink that you don’t compromise.

Erin
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

I like that idea too buuut check to see what you would be losing for storage on that fridge wall though because it’s practical storage. If you put a prep sink on the island you are only losing drawer space that you aren’t really planning on using too much anyway, right?

Erin
1 month ago
Reply to  Erin

Make sure they install electrical somewhere so you can plug in your mixer. It’s big enough you can have all your ingredients, mixer and both kids helping while still enough room for a prep sink if you want. Seriously, it’s so good.

Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen

Yes, I agree with you, Karen!

Alex Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Here’s a couple of large single basins for ya, plus a huge 3 basin one! These would be two person sinks for sure:
Ruvati Sink
Triple Bowl
Vintage Basin

1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Yes to keeping the island clean! No prep sink!
Maybe you need a big workstation sink like the elkay or kraus or ruvati where they are super long(2 faucets maybe 60 inches long?) and you can have a cutting board on the ledge or a bowl hanging over the sink to wash the fruits/veggies as built ins? I mean you did just get a bunch of new drawers with Harrison so he can hold all your sink accessories 🙂

Sarah
1 month ago

It’s beautiful! Personally I’d just do a double basin sink and if dirty dishes don’t go in dishwasher right away, have one side for stacking dirties. We use the one side to dry stuff we’ve rinsed out for recycling. Very rarely we need to use it to soak a dish. Would rather have the full number of drawers in the island and no pipes.

Blake
1 month ago

Skip the sink on the island… just get a nice large or double basin sink on the perimeter. We have a kitchen island with no sink or cooktop and I LOVE it that way… simple and clean, snd perfect for food prep, hang out and serving appetizers.

B
1 month ago

Oh, the horror. How could anyone be forced to endure the torture of washing vegetables over a dirty plate?
This sounds like a manufactured problem to excuse the ridiculous extravagance of a prep sink.

1 month ago
Reply to  B

I think when dirty dishes include food prep items, like say a bowl that raw chicken was marinating in or a dish that is soaking to remove something creamy etc, the splashing of the water from washing veggies can be be considered gross and even a food safety issue. It’s certainly not a must-have (or torture) but I get the concern. I’m a clean as you go cook and also tend to run/empty the dishwasher before starting a big cooking project, but not everyone may do that and a prep sink could be helpful.

Edan
1 month ago

I am here to comment on the pot fillers, which you casually mentioned at the end of the piece. (I think whatever you do with this island will be beautiful, btw.) I hate the pot fillers! They scream yuppie new renovated kitchen to me, and they seem like such a passing trend. I suggest not getting one if you don’t use the one you’ve got now. Feels like it’ll ruin the whole farmhouse vibe!

Lucy
1 month ago
Reply to  Edan

Yes, totally agree! If the goal is to feel less new build, leave it! It also seems especially over the top to get one if you’ve indicated you don’t use it? You use broths like a normal soup making human!

Emma
1 month ago
Reply to  Lucy

To be fair, soup is not the only thing people use hot water for. Trying to cook in our unconditioned apartment when it’s 100+ degrees definitely makes me wish I had hot water on tap rather than having to leave my electric stove on high heat just to boil water.

M B
1 month ago
Reply to  Emma

You can get an instahot

Emily
1 month ago
Reply to  Edan

My question about pot fillers is, do they ever leak? That scared me enough to nix it.

Daisy
1 month ago

I love this piece as the island but vote no prep sink. With added stone top and sink it might start looking cumbersome. Also who wants to clean one more sink?

1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

I love that perspective. I totally insist on considering all options and then narrowing down but others seem to feel overwhelmed or like they are missing out if they know what they could have had but maybe can’t afford. Whereas to me knowing what all the options are lets me use my money more wisely, splurge on things that are really important to me and save on things that aren’t (or find cheaper alternatives). And the fact that I own the decision works better for my brain than a ‘don’t even think about it cause you can’t afford it’ attitude. E.g. when my son was getting married, I saw a $7000 dress that I loved (on tv) but obvs wasn’t willing to pay for. I told a few friends about it while I was looking for my ‘groom’s mother’s dress’ and one of them found something similar at H&M for $50. It was perfect!

Lucy
1 month ago

Hooray for the vintage island! LOVE IT. This will give you that more rustic vibe you’ve been looking for and inject some fun character into the kitchen.

Karen
1 month ago

Absolutely gorgeous piece of furniture and having a prep sink will indeed be handy. Love this and cannot wait to see further reveals.

Ariane
1 month ago

I had doubts about a vintage island but now I get it!!! Veeeeery beautiful!!!!! And I totally get the prep sink! I made the opposite choice for my kitchen (because I was so sure it was very unnecessary!!!) and regret now everyday!!!!! Cooking brings lots of stuff into the sink and of course a lot of food to wash and it’s very annoying to mix both mess!!! GO FOR THE PREP SINK!!!!!!! 😉😘 love this project!🙈😍

Catherine
1 month ago

I LOVE the island! It is perfection! Such a good way to add some much-needed soul into your house that will largely be new inside. I also 100% agree with you regarding the prep sink. We had one in the house I grew up in and it was sooo nice to be able to have one sink that was just always clean and ready for veggie washing. Also, is it just my house, or does there always seem to be someone at the sink when YOU want to use the sink?! Even just having another place to wash hands quickly is a really, really nice luxury.

Hilary
1 month ago

That piece of furniture is beautiful and is going to be amazing in your kitchen. But, the idea that you need to ruin this piece of furniture and lose function to add another sink, just to avoid washing dirty fruits and vegetables over dirty dishes, is the epitome of creating a problem where one does not actually exist. And, if you don’t use a pot filler, why must you have one? They scream of new, trendy, wealth-signaling design, which seems to be the opposite of what you are (mostly) trying to accomplish with this home. In both of these instances, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

1 month ago
Reply to  Hilary

This prompts a philosophical question. If the purpose of this furniture, in Emily’s house, is a kitchen island, wouldn’t adding a prep sink be augmenting the furniture, rather than ruining it? By which I mean to say, the idea of “furniture” is a human concept, and dependent on the function and the user, no? (Not trolling, don’t mean to be hostile, seriously, the question just popped into my mind.)

L
1 month ago
Reply to  Hilary

Well said, Hilary! I couldn’t agree with you more!
And interesting question, Lisa…I think the answer, for me at least, is that Emily would be losing functionality in the original piece. Of course, she CAN partially gut it, cover it in stone and outfit it with plumbing for a new function, but I personally
don’t understand the quest for an authentic vintage piece that she’s only going to rebuild…much like the house itself.

Sally
1 month ago

I’m not fussed about the latest and greatest appliances or having the top of the wozza range or half the other things people need in kitchens these days and our kitchen is ancient and unrenovated, but I honestly don’t know how anyone can do without a double sink. I use both my sinks simultaneously all the time, for draining pasta or anything, washing, rinsing the sponge, rinsing vegetables and above all rinsing the dishes as I do the washing up. I hate thinking the dishwashing liquid has dried on to things. If you’re not good with dishes, I don’t know how you do without two. Double sink under the window as someone else suggested sounds lovely.
I’d leave the lovely island as it is. But really, it will depend on where you think the sink suits you best.

Kari
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

We just purchased a double basin sink (I’m a double basin only person!), but the divider is really low. I’m not able to soak dishes deeply on one side, but a few dishes and wooden spoons fit fine. However, if I need to soak large items, I can fill up the whole sink as a single basin. So far it’s been the best of both worlds!

Emma
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Surely you have the budget for a custom basin? One extra large custom sink with a double basin might even be cheaper than one regular sink + modifying and plumbing an antique piece of furniture for an additional sink. If I need water to rinse things while prepping I just use mixing bowls or the basin from my salad spinner since it can double as a colander!

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Emily, as a team prep sink person, I love this 39” Rejuvenation double sink option! It’s close enough to your stove to go from sink to prep area easily, and you maintain your beautiful island space. I also think there is a possibility of putting two sinks on that same window wall, with the one nearer the stove as the prep sink. Good luck with finding the final solution.

Summer
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

Honest question: why do you put dishes in the sink first, and then in the dishwasher? Is it because of feeling like they need to be rinsed before going into the dishwasher? If it’s helpful to know, modern dishwashers work best if you do NOT rinse. Scrape, but not rinse. I am still hardcore double-basin, and if you need lots of space in one or both, I’d highly vote for the Rejuvenation option over putting a sink into your beautiful island… But, just in case it saves someone out there sinks full of dirty dishes… the dishwasher will actually work better if you don’t rinse them first.

Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Emily

That 39″ Rejuvenation sink is lovely!

Margaret
1 month ago
Reply to  Sally

I couldn’t agree more. FWIW, though, I don’t have a dishwasher, which does change the workflow.

Amanda Totty
1 month ago

I, like you, had never had a prep sink but in our Colorado farmhouse we opted for one. We deliberated over a beautiful vintage island piece as well, and unfortunately hadn’t found just-the-right-piece by the time the island had to be decided upon, bummer! We put a small Oreo sink on the island bear our fridge and it’s used all the time! To rinse veggies, for washing hands when the big sink is occupied, filling a glass of water close to the ice, etc. We keep it empty, no dishes, and find it is perfect to help flow when there are several cooks in the kitchen or guests socializing. I think the thing that’s best about ours is that it’s very small and sunk under the counter, the basin is black and so visually from across the room you barely notice it. (Our island counter is a gorgeous custom live-edge wood slab that I didn’t want the hole noticed.) We did a small simple unlaquered brass faucet that is gorgeous but modest as it sits on the island. I highly recommend the small prep sink in this gorgeous vintage island you’ve found. You mentioned the drawers being a bit sticky… Read more »

Amanda Totty
1 month ago
Reply to  Amanda Totty

Sorry about the typos… not Oreo sink(what’s that?!?) the word was supposed to be “prep” sink. And not “bear” our fridge, NEAR our fridge.

1 month ago
Reply to  Amanda Totty

I was SO wondering what an Oreo sink was LOL:)

1 month ago

Love that sink put into the vintage piece. Like, made me say, “Oooh!”

Megan
1 month ago

Love the new island.

We put a prep sink in our island and feel very good about that decision. We use it a lot for draining pasta and rinsing rice and stuff–so not just for F&Vs.

Lori
1 month ago

I personally don’t see the need for a prep sink– I always prefer all counter space on islands just because I like to spread out while doing my prep. If your single bowl sink is large enough, you can put a small plastic bin on one side for dirty dishes and then just rinse it out when you do the dishes and stow under the sink until you need it again.

kk
1 month ago

That island is gorgeous! I think it adds so much to your design! I wish I had a prep sink for veggies, I think it is a great idea! Also helpful for delicate china needing handwashing, flower cutting, washing hands after gardening, kids and hubs helping prep when you are cooking etc, rinsing cloths for pet emergencies . I want you to have a utility sink in your life as well as a dog washing station, as someone who enjoys painting and with a fun muddy garden I am pining for utility sink myself! Re sink in the island I have 3 thoughts. 1. veggie rinsing in particular and sinks in general make a quite a bit of splashing on floor and around counter… veggies cutting station also needs a countertop compost bin and trash VERY near them to not become vexing IMHOP. 2. If sink is in the island are you really gonna carry veggies back and forth from the sink to the stove to spice etc? I have a kitchen with a lot of counter space so there are multiple cutting zones,- one big one by the sink , one small poky one by the fridge/ stove/spice rack… Read more »

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  kk

I like the idea of two sinks on the same run under the windows. One closer to the range for prep. It would work for her new kitchen.

Eleanor
1 month ago

I love it! But wouldn’t want a sink on it though. Not against prep sinks – they work really well, when situated properly, to make the work triangle (fridge-sink-stove) more efficient. And yes, washing veggies and fruits over dirty dishes is not appealing. Is there another place for the prep sink?

Kate
1 month ago

Beautiful piece!! My two cents – you won’t miss the prep sink (you haven’t missed it in either of your kitchens until now), but I think you’d miss the two functioning drawers in a central location. I had a bar sink in my last kitchen and literally never used it.

BW
1 month ago

Love this vintage piece so much, but I hate the idea of adding an overhang to it for seating. I get that that’s what an island is, but it just reads as so unsophisticated to me. Also, no on the prep sink (obviously).

Melissa
1 month ago

Hi, Emily!

I absolutely love the space and I’m so glad that you found it! We recently redid our kitchen and got a very deep double sink with racks that sit on the bottom and it is the best thing ever. The depth of it means that it hides piles of anything below counter level and we keep one side for only clean dishes that are upside down drying on the rack and doing “clean” things and the other side we use for the “dirty” stuff. It works perfectly and we have no need for an extra sink. I would hate to see a sink in that piece but that’s just my opinion. I know that whatever you do it will be gorgeous!

Melissa
1 month ago
Reply to  Melissa

*piece

Coleen
1 month ago

I have a prep sink in my Island that I love functionally but my stove is in my island not my main sink which I think makes more sense…a prep sink near a stove.

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Coleen

I think this is an important point. Having a prep sink near the stove is really desirable when the main sink is further away.

Deborah
1 month ago

I’m heavily in favor of completely clean island just for work space. Whenever we see islands with sinks or cooktops or whatnot when watching HGTV, my husband and I always say, “they ruined the island!” We never have the washing vegetables over dirty dishes problem, however, because of how disciplined we are about dishes. Dishes that go in the dishwasher go in there immediately, and dishes needing hand-washing get washed immediately. It’s only on the rare occasion that a pan needs to soak for a while that there’s actually anything in the sink. We’re clean-as-you-go cooks, which was a habit we had to develop in our old apartment where we had about 3 feet of usable counter space.

Emma
1 month ago
Reply to  Deborah

I do think having a dishwasher is a big factor here. As someone with no dishwasher, I see the appeal of a prep sink or a double basin. I try to clean as I go but it becomes difficult with hot pans and greasy dishes you don’t want to throw in with the rest – it would be nice to have a spot to leave things to soak and still use another sink for other tasks. I also soak my orchids in the sink to water them, meaning I can’t do any dishes or wash my hands during that time. But I think if I had a dishwasher a lot of those issues would disappear because I can wipe or rinse the dish and put it right in the washer!
Another pro of having the island surface uninterrupted is that you could use it for dining – whether throwing a table cloth over it and pulling up more stools, or using it to lay out dishes family-style (we do this at family holidays).

Virginia Hanna
1 month ago

The piece is beautiful and I wouldn’t touch it. Let the patina of the wood shine. Place a Boos cutting block and call it a day. So why not fabricate a 3 basin sink? I’ve seen stainless steel versions but you could have it made out of the counter material for a seamless look. Sounds like you might have the space

angela
1 month ago

Stay true to yourself, I came to you because of your love of vintage and how it seemlessly could be added to any space years ago. Show everyone how to make it look incredible! For me, extra sink isn’t useful but if you could make it look seemless and not loose too much precious drawer space go for it!

Roberta Davis
1 month ago

Love the island! And I am definitely pro-prep-sink. It wouldn’t have to be in the island, would it? But it could- it might reduce the number of usable drawers by 1 or 2 but then they are not the most capacious drawers, anyway, right?

Beth
1 month ago

First, that island is GORGEOUS! Unless the drawers are impossible to use, I think it really won’t be that big of a deal. I have a really small kitchen and store a lot of stuff in an antique hutch and secretary in my dining room, and the drawers don’t bother me at all. I used to have a dresser that was more of an issue, so I can see that some pieces might not work, but I think it sounds like this one won’t be an issue.
Second, I’m team no-island-sink. I think if you were building a new island, it might be nice to have, but I think with this gorgeous antique piece, it’ll make it look much more modern than you’re going for. I have a LARGE 2-basin sink (undermount, nice and deep) and it serves the same function. I can easily shift my dirty dishes over to one side if I need a full basin for cleaning veggies/fruits.

A.B.
1 month ago

No prep sink on this beautiful piece of furniture!! Add one elsewhere or just get a double main sink.

Lisa
1 month ago

As someone who has a prep sink that we never use, I’d skip it. But then again, it’s in an awkward location (opposite side of the island), which was the decision of the previous owner. If you do put in a prep sink, assess where it would be most convenient, but also not get in the way.

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Lisa

Thinking about how you cook and the flow from one space to the next I’d do important to planning locations of appliances. Refrigerator to sink to cutting board to stove. Place a prep sink in a way to make that process efficient and comfortable.

Whit
1 month ago

My mother-in-law cooks a ton and has a prep sink in her island…and it is literally never used. It just takes up space. Sometimes she puts empty bottles in there when she doesn’t have a moment to step out to the garage to put them in recycling.
i personally prefer a sink with one compartment because 1. Stuff that needs to go in the garbage disposal gets stuck in the drain and then you have to clean that which is way grosser to me than washing veg over dirty dishes. 2. If you have a big pot or roasting pan or cookie sheet it my just not fit in the double sink which bothers me. However, I know you can get giant double sinks so that may solve problem #2. Still a hard no for me on #1 though.
Those are just my preferences, having had or been around all of these things.

Suzanne
1 month ago

Love the island! I need one like that but only 7.5 feet long.

I’m definitely team prep sink. I’ve never had one, but always wanted one. I hate trying to prep fruit and vegetables when there are dirty dishes. I usually clean the kitchen before any meal or snack prep as a result. Yes, that’s a lot of cleaning. Most of the time it’s fine, because we load dishes as we go, but occasionally there’s a pot or pan that needs some scrubbing or soaking. I also would prefer a long expanse on my island, but I decided that I’ll be happier having a prep sink. Plus, I can get a custom insert to cover the sink to add counter space if really needed. A friend also told me having an extra sink during cleanup is nice. She can have her kids do some hand washing at the prep sink.

Karen
1 month ago

I would never put in a double sink-the small sink is a total waste IMO. Go for one big sink. It is the most practical by far, and I have no issues cleaning things with dirty dishes, although I am a big proponent of cleaning as you go, so you don’t have a big pile in the sink. As for a prep sink, I would not put one in because you are using a vintage piece and will lose drawer space. I think you are already sacrificing function and a sink just sacrifices more with this piece. I really like having one solid surface on my island.

Emily
1 month ago

I was team antique island this does not disappoint! It’s PERFECT! I long for a large expanse of uninterrupted prep space (the bigger the better for all kinds of cooking and other non-cooking projects the kids could get into) so my vote would be no prep sink on the island. But only you know how you function in the kitchen and what would work best for you!

Katie
1 month ago

I adore this piece!! I totally get the idea for the prep sink and call me crazy, what if you did a substantially larger main sink. I can’t think of the brand off the top of my head, but I’ve seen it done where the main sink is large with the option of a strainer, cutting board, etc that can fir in over the sink. The couple I know who have this specific one have two faucets over a long sink so someone can clean dishes while someone preps veggies,etc. Otherwise, I’d totally do it in the island and make the visible pipes pretty so it becomes part of the design.

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