Convert a Kitchen Island into Farmhouse Sink Prep Station
Is your kitchen island looking lackluster? Give it a whole new look and added function by installing a gorgeous farmhouse sink. Converting an existing island to include a deep single or double basin apron front sink is a great way to add vintage charm and a dedicated prepping station. With the right materials like butcher block or stone countertops and accessories like pendant lighting, you can create a focal point island that looks like it came right out of an old farmhouse.
This project does require some plumbing and potentially electrical work, along with removing and replacing your existing island countertop. But don’t let that intimidate you! With some planning upfront for your design and budget, you can create the rustic kitchen island of your dreams.
Choose a Farmhouse Sink Style
Farmhouse sinks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, depths, and materials to match your kitchen’s style. Consider how you plan to use the sink when deciding on single vs double basin and the dimensions.
Single vs Double Basin Sink
A double basin sink provides more versatility for washing dishes in one side and prepping foods in the other. However, a single extra deep basin may suit your needs if you’re short on space. Double basins range from 60/40 to 50/50 split in size. A medium 30-32″ wide sink is a good fit for most islands.
Popular single basin sizes are:
- 33″ wide x 22″ front-to-back
- 30″ wide x 20″ front-to-back
Materials: Porcelain, Stainless Steel, etc
Fireclay or porcelain enameled cast iron sinks maintain the traditional farmhouse look. Stainless steel brings a sleeker modern feel but is prone to scratched and dents. Solid surface composite materials like quartz are durable options.
Choose a material that matches your existing kitchen finishes. For a more rustic design, lean into porcelain or fireclay.
Look for a sink that includes handy accessories like a wood cutting board, colander, or drying rack. An apron front sink gives you flexibility to mount the faucet on the countertop behind the sink or choose a dramatic bridge faucet right on the apron itself.
Select Countertops for Farmhouse Island
Choosing the right countertop is key to achieving your dream farmhouse design. durable, and stylish options that complement the utilitarian sink.
Butcher block countertops lend to the rustic farmhouse charm and provide a durable surface for food prep around the sink. Opt for wood end grain which resists stains and cracking better than edge grain. Oiled butcher block needs frequent sealing but develops an attractive patina over time.
Stone: Granite, Marble, etc
Granite, soapstone, or marble present an elegant contrast to the rough farmhouse sink. The natural patterns of stone complement the vintage style. Be aware that marble stains easily and requires regular sealing. Granite is almost indestructible and adds color.
Tile or Stainless Steel
For an edgy, industrial look, opt for a stainless steel countertop surrounding the sink. Or use a tile countertop with a classic subway tile backsplash. Just be diligent with tile grout to avoid staining and damage around the sink.
Add Storage and Shelving
An island farmhouse sink needs sturdy base cabinets to support it. Take this opportunity to add extra storage and display space with cabinets, drawers, and open shelving.
Enclosed Cabinets vs Open Shelving
Add doors and drawers to keep clutter hidden away around the sink area. Open shelving above provides handy access to dishes, cookbooks, or barware while contributing to the airy farmhouse vibe.
Wine Rack or Glassware Storage
Islands are great spots to include special storage like racks for delicate stemware or a wine bottle display. Just beware of placing fine glassware near a busy sink zone.
Sink Base Cabinet Considerations
Pay close attention to the sink dimensions when modifying the base cabinets. The cabinets may need to be shortened to properly fit the apron front sink. Sturdy, water-resistant materials are a must underneath the sink.
Install Dishwasher Next to Sink
For ultimate functionality and convenience, install a dishwasher right alongside the farmhouse sink. Having both clean up stations in one central island provides flexibility and saves trips across the kitchen.
Choose a dishwasher style that fits with your overall design, like a stainless farmhouse model to match the sink. Make sure to integrate panels that conceal the dishwasher for a streamlined custom look.
Finish Farmhouse Island Accents
Add character and polish off your fabulous farmhouse island with finishing touches like:
- Backsplash tile like white subway or classic hex
- Rustic beams or corbels for supports
- Pendant lights over the sink space
- Barstools for seating at a breakfast bar
Transforming Existing Island Tips
Converting your existing kitchen island takes careful planning:
First, completely remove the countertops and measure the exact sink dimensions needed. A pro may need to modify plumbing and electrical. Update base cabinets and flooring as desired.
When installing the new countertop and sink, make sure everything is level and cutouts are precise. Follow manufacturer instructions for sink installation. Use caulk and sealant to prevent leaks.
Take time to add unique finishing touches that show off your custom farmhouse style. Distress wood elements, incorporate salvaged materials, or display collected vintage items.
Creating a farmhouse sink island requires planning for countertop modifications, storage, plumbing, and achieving the right aesthetic. But the result is a gorgeous prep space and centerpiece for your kitchen. Take inspiration from classic farmhouse style but make the island distinctly your own with special accents and finishes.