The first draft of this post was titled “Installing our Highback, Double Drainboard, Faux Vintage Kitchen Sink”, which is quite a big description for a simple sink. That title is like when they introduce Kahaleesi on Game of Thrones, and they’re all “Daenerys of the House Targaryen, The First of Her Name, The Unburnt…. eight more super long descriptive tiles…and Mother of Dragons.” It’s the longest title ever, and I’m over here rolling my eyes at the TV and thinking “just call her the queen and get on with it already!”
Anyway…. I’m not sure that comparing my kitchen sink to the “Breaker of Chains” was the least awkward way I could have started this post, but I’m just going to roll with it.
So recently Adam and I checked two big things off the kitchen to do list, and they made a huge difference. The first was the kitchen backsplash, and the second was finally building in our highback drainboard sink.
Obviously, there have been other things finished since those before pictures were taken (and we still have a ways to go), but that backsplash and installed sink were big leaps forward.
I love the way the sink turned out, but this was definitely not how the plan started. The original plan was to get a highback drainboard sink and built it into the cabinet, so that it was flush with the countertop (not sitting on top) like this….
My husband built all the cabinets, and after we decided on what sink to get Adam built a very cool, furniture style sink base cabinet…weeks before the sink arrived (big mistake). I don’t have a picture of it, but here is the sketch.
Then the sink was delivered, and since it was a replica (hollow mold instead of real cast iron) it couldn’t be installed like originally planned. We were both bummed, and after debating all our options we decided that building a new, less cool sink base cabinet was the best route to take.
So between raising the height of the sink a few inches and the concrete countertop being thicker than we thought, we ended up with a sink that was about 1.5 inches taller than the window.
Isn’t building a house fun?!
Another challenge with the vintage drainboards sinks is that they aren’t as deep as a standard countertop. So your choices are that you can either pull the sink forward so that it’s at a comfortable distance from the front of the cabinets (leaving a huge gap between the wall and the back of the sink), or push it against the wall and have to lean way forward to reach the basin.
I’m short, so pulling it forward was the only real option. Therefore, for about two years the drainboard sink sat like this in our kitchen…
Completely functional, but certainly not living up to its potential in the visual department.
The kitchen backsplash installation was looming though, which means we had a deadline for figuring out how to build in the sink. Which was a great thing actually….sometimes a good deadline is just what you get to finally get it in gear.
The first step was to frame out the area behind the sink, essentially bringing the wall forward.
The frame is the width of the window (which is about eight inches wider than the sink) and blends right in with the new window trim. The wooden windowsill is just a pine 2×12, and it is “floating” above the actual windowsill on top of sturdy spacers. It covers the window frame and sits level with the bottom of the glass.
Next came the tile, which we did on the lower part if this wall and wrapped around the frame so it would disappear behind the sink.
Once all that was finished we put the sink back in place, and caulked it in with caulk that perfectly matched the grout (it even had a sandy texture and everything).
The result? A built-in highback sink that looks like it belongs.
I LOVE the way this wall turned out, despite the fact that we had a few roadblocks along the way. Do I think the original plan would have looked even better? Well, yeah. But nothing is perfect, and that is okay…this is a pretty darn close second.
Anyway, that is where we are with the kitchen! Also, if you are looking for a review of the sink and how it is holding up after two years, stay tuned…that will be my next post.
Kitchen sources + tutorials
- Drainboard sink – NBI Drainboard Sinks
- Faucet – Amazon
- Concrete countertops
- Pendant light – Pottery Barn
- Pipe shelves
- Reclaimed wood ceiling
- Pantry door and transom
- Window Trim
- Subway tile – Home Depot
- Cabinet Hardware – D. Lawless
- Cabinet color – SW Oakmoss
- Wall color – SW Shoji White
- Trim Color – SW Alabaster
- Seagrass baskets – Amazon
P.S. – Want to follow along with projects in between blog posts? Head on over and follow on Instagram, where I’ve started doing Instastories to keep you up to date!
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