Top 10 ways to add Function to your Sink Area

For many years not much thought was put into the design of the kitchen sink area. You installed a double bowl sink under the window and you were finished. Today there are so many more choices available to make this area work harder in your kitchen. The following examples are Vestabul designer’s top 10 ways to add function to your sink area.

  1. Under mount the sink. This will eliminate dirt catching crevices and allow crumbs to be easily wiped from counters into the sink.

Under mount sinks come in a variety of shapes. When choosing the lines of your sink look to other elements in the room to determine what will work best. In both of these examples the Vestabul designer installed the sink in a corner but the one on the left has square lineal lines that echo the transitional cabinetry while the one on the right has softer corners that go with the softer French Country cabinetry.


2.   Add a drain board.  This will eliminate having to own and store a separate drain board and allows water to drain directly in to the sink every time.

Specifying a sink that has a built in drain board really adds function to the sink area. The drain board can be used to prep food or drip dry a few washed dishes. Also, if made from stainless steel it can be a heat proof place to place a hot fry pan straight off the stove top. Depending on space you can choose a single drain board on either the right or left side, or on both sides of the sink. A stainless steel drain board can give a commercial or industrial look to your kitchen. If you would like the drain board to be less noticeable, you can have it routed into the countertop and drain into an under mounted sink as in the above example. This works best with solid surface counters such as Corian, but can be accomplished with harder solid materials. This is a favorite technique of one of our Vestabul designers and she has recently included this detail in her own kitchen renovation.


3. Choose an apron front sink to protect the front portion of the sink cabinet from water damage.

The apron front sink design also gives the best access to the inside of the sink since you do not need to reach over 3“ to 6” of counter before you get to the sink. Farmhouse styled kitchen are know for their apron front sinks but this style of sink can work in any kitchen design. In the examples above apron front sinks were specified in a French Country kitchen and a Transitional kitchen. In both cases the sink front will protect the custom cabinetry for years to come. Another interesting layout for a modern apron front is the corner apron front sink by Julian Sinks. A great installation for an island allowing access from two sides.


4. Add a cutting board accessory that fits directly over your sink. Vegetable chopping can then occur right at the water source.

Many sink manufactures produce cutting boards as an optional accessory. These are great additions to your sink purchase because they have been designed to fit perfectly over the sink. In the modern kitchen above a walnut rectangular cutting board was included to compliment the square sink on the island. The gourmet double sink above features two cutting boards. One from maple wood and one from solid surface material allowing different products to be cut on the different boards. The recessed draining board is another nice addition making this sink a true “water appliance”.


5. Include a compost bin beside the sink into the counter for functional recycling of vegetable scraps.

This accessory is available as a separate accessory. In the example above the void area of a corner cabinet was used to recess the bin beside the main sink. The stainless steel material it is made from is easy to clean and helps to make compost recycling convenient in the kitchen.


6. Design a custom sink configuration to fit your own unique needs to make an awkward space functional.

Not every kitchen comes with standard kitchen layouts. If yours is unique take advantage of all of the  sink designs available and design an installation to work for your needs. In the first example a large column in a condominium kitchen renovation could not be removed. By choosing two large prep sinks and installing them in a “butterfly” configuration, the Vestabul designer added much needed function to the space. This sink is accessible from two sides producing two separate work zones. Trough sinks are also a good choice for difficult spaces. Here one was used in a corner cabinet and another in the center of an island. Both add function to tight spaces.


7. Install tilt front trays to utilize the cabinet space in front of the sink. This is the perfect place to store vegetable peelers and scrubbers.

Tilt fronts come in plastic and stainless steel. They are typically installed with a system that allows them to be removed for cleaning. Including one at all of your sink locations is a great idea.


8. Install a tea towel holder under the sink. This allows your towels to dry between use and keeps them handy for clean-up chores.

A telescopic design tucks away inside the cabinet and is pull out for easy access. Another way to store and dry tea towels is to install an accessory on the door under the sink. Both add functionality to the space.


9. Install a trash or recycling bin under your sink.

Most homeowners place a trash can under the sink so make yours more functional by installing a pullout one or one that attaches to the kitchen door. Door mounted one typically come with a lid that will flip up when the cabinet door is open. There are as many solutions for trash and recycling bins as there are sink cabinets. The examples above show a variety of solutions from a multiple door system that handles trash and large scale recycling to a single door mounted trash can to a custom tilt front recycling system that fits around the sink plumbing.


10. Install a pullout cleaning supplies basket under the sink for organization and function.

Pullouts are available with different shelf depths, removable trays and as U-shaped baskets that will avoid the plumbing pipes in this cabinet. Adding a cleaning supplies accessory is a must for every kitchen to optimize function in the sink area.


The sink area is one of the hardest working spaces in your kitchen. By making it as functional as possible you will breeze through kitchen chores! Let us know if this inspires you to make your kitchen sink area more functional.


4 thoughts on “Top 10 ways to add Function to your Sink Area

  1. AvatarLiz Keeling-Carreau

    I love so many of these great ideas that I didn’t even know were available. My 1975 kitchen had a Reno in the 90s but sure needs an update. I can’t wait until I can add some design that will improve function as well beauty.

    1. Designer @ VestabulDesigner @ Vestabul Post author

      Glad to have you following our blog. Hopefully we will inspire you to add lots of functionality to your kitchen when you decide to update!

    1. Designer @ VestabulDesigner @ Vestabul Post author

      The sink area is one of the busiest in the kitchen. Making it as functional as possible is always a good idea.

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