Constructing Dreams: Apron Sinks and Deep Wells



Whether you plan to build or buy a home, remodel a room or seek ideas to expand your “green” footprint, we are all in the beginning stages of constructing our dreams. Each month, this column will invite you to look beyond the usual ideas and consider alternative cost-effective and eco-friendly options.  With so many topics to explore, from top to bottom, room to room, inside and out, the goal of a vision is to take a firm step forward and begin living the dream.

Within our home, the heirlooms of our heart rest in special, eye-catching locations. Beyond the bowls or vases, china patterns or antique chairs connected to a fond memory, we find household fixtures an additional link to our past.  Do you recall a deep basin in the kitchen, back porch, or basement of your grandparents’ or great aunt and uncle’s home, referred to as a farmhouse sink or deep well?

The Apron Sink

Not that long ago, water was hauled from wells or pumps to wash dishes or to be boiled for food or wash clothing.  Before a plumbing system, dry sinks were used that required a manual drain.  The women worked tirelessly bending and pulling to ensure the household chore was done well.  One convenience was the creation of the apron sink, also referred to as a farmhouse sink. Designed for comfort, it offered a forward orientation to ease the strain from leaning over and straining the back muscles.

Today, an apron sink is still valued for its deep basin accommodating large pots and pans, and how easy it makes washing large items such as griddles and baking sheets.  It is not just for the women who spend a substantial amount of time washing or preparing meals, though. The beauty of the exposed basin jutting forward a few inches from the countertop has become an important design feature of the kitchen. For the practical side of beauty and space, comfort and function, the apron sink is a wonderful choice if seeking a striking kitchen fixture for your home.

They come in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 20 inches in length to 60.  Knowing how you will use the sink can help make a decision.  Additionally, consider asking yourself whether your current sink is adequately sized, or too small to accommodate cumbersome items.  If the apron sink appeals to you, finding the size you need is an easy task.  As an owner of a 39 ½ inch ivory apron sink, we simply love ours!

The Deep Well

In thinking of the multitude of purposes a deep basin, large enough to bathe a small child, could serve, there is another type of functional sink called the deep well.  Homes constructed in the early 1900s had deep wells made of concrete, often located in basements to assist with the family washing, whether it was laundry or young children.  Today, these enlarged sinks of varying sizes and depths serve a different purpose. Imagine having a deep sink in your laundry room to soak stained garments or to simply wash your hands after touching dirty clothes and detergents.  In the basement, the deep well could be situated just inside the doorway to aid in cleaning dirty paws or muddied boots or used as a means to wash fresh produce from the garden.  The sink comes with the option of sturdy legs, or it can be placed on a wooden platform. You may recall Grandma personally sewed a skirt with pockets and an elastic band that held against the sink’s belly to hide the legs and a box of frequently used items.  Despite the deep well’s lack of elegance in comparison to the apron sink, the rustic appeal has a multitude of uses, and memories to create!

Next Month:  The Necessity for a Mudroom!

 


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