The Comeback of Retro Sinks in Modern Kitchens

Kitchen trends tend to come and go, but one vintage style that refuses to be forgotten is the retro-inspired farmhouse sink. With their deep basins, charming apron fronts, and nostalgic vibe, these sinks are enjoying a major comeback in contemporary kitchens.

Farmhouse sinks first rose to popularity in American homes during the 1920s and were a fixture of both rural homesteads and urban apartments. Often crafted from durable porcelain or cast iron and featuring built-in backsplashes and ample drainboards, these sinks married form and function.

Retro Sink Design Elements

Vintage Styles

Today, the term “farmhouse sink” encompasses a range of vintage-looking styles. The most iconic is the apron-front single-basin sink, but other retro options include the butler’s sink, a rectangular sink with lower dividing walls, and the double-bowl farmhouse sink with two basins side-by-side.

Signature Features

While shapes and sizes may vary, farmhouse sinks share defining common traits including:

old fashioned kitchen sinks
  • Apron front – A decorative front panel covering the sink cabinet
  • Integrated backsplash – Built-in rather than detachable
  • Deep single basin – More depth than modern sinks
  • Drainboards – Flat areas to place dripping dishes
  • Legs or skirt – For a furnished look

Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond their functionality, farmhouse sinks simply look cool. The vintage styling brings heaps of charm and nostalgia, linking the space visually to the home’s history. Plus, styles like the butcher block apron exude fine craftsmanship and carpentry skills from decades past.

Why Homeowners Love Them


Farmhouse sinks boast plenty of perks beyond good looks. Generous proportions, especially depth, make cleaning large pots and baking sheets easy. The deep basin helps minimize splashing. Drainboards provide perfect landing pads for dripping dishes or cleaning veggies.

Charming Focal Point

A final appeal lies in their natural eye-catching look. Farmhouse sinks command attention, serving as a character-filled focal point your guests will adore. Vintage styling helps convey a cozy and welcoming vibe. And choosing a retro sink ties the whole kitchen design together beautifully.

Tips for Incorporating Retro Sinks


Given their large scale, farmhouse sinks commonly sit atop a run of base cabinets rather than being dropped into the counter. For more vintage styling, pair one with a butcher block countertop. Positioning your sink in a kitchen island or peninsula allows for interaction while doing dishes.


To complement a retro sink, materials like subway tile or hammered copper make excellent backsplash options. Matching the sink finish, opt for vintage-looking fixtures, often with cross or lever handles. This completes the farmhouse look harmoniously.

Lead Precautions

When installing a reclaimed antique sink, check regulations regarding potential lead content. Required testing helps identify levels considered safe. This keeps your vintage find safely showstopping.

Where to Shop Vintage Styles

Search salvage yards and antique stores to rescue old sinks. Major retailers now sell new mass-produced versions. For a custom sink in your choice of colors and materials, numerous small batch workshops now craft gorgeous farmhouse sinks to order.

It’s no wonder retro-styled sinks are making a lot of noise. Their one-of-a-kind charm and utility check all the boxes for modern homeowners and designers. For those longing for a hint of nostalgia paired with plenty of function, say hello to the comeback of vintage kitchen sinks.

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