Skirted Sinks Are Back in a Big Way

This is one classic design trick we never stopped loving. Here’s how to achieve a simply chic skirted sink.

Whitney McGregor Greenville, SC White Kitchen
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cox

Leah Ashley , an interior stylist in Austin, Texas, is taking her love affair with skirted sinks to the next level in her family's new home.

"In researching design plans for our new build, I was most drawn to European kitchens and baths where they incorporate fabric everywhere. I love how the room can take on either a formal or a more casual vibe depending on the fabric and the pleat," she says. "I plan on incorporating not only skirted sinks, but also skirted under counters in my latest project… I'm swapping out as many cabinet fronts for skirts as my husband will allow!"

And she's not alone. Look around, and you'll find skirted sinks popping up everywhere, from farmhouses to traditional cottages to everything in between. It's almost a sin to call it a trend; the skirted sink is a timeless look worth a revisit.

Add Warmth and Charm

"I think that after the last two years of being cooped up at home, homeowners are looking for new ways to give their spaces an added dose of warmth and charm," Ashley says. "A skirted sink fits that bill by offering an inexpensive way to express one's unique style, while creating texture in the space. From different styles of fabrics, to different hardware finishes and types of pleating, skirted sinks feel like a great way to give your space a quick refresh."

Personalize with Fabrics and Pleats

The endlessly customizable nature of a simple skirted sink is the key to its timelessness and flexibility.

"The fabric choice and the pleating is what determines how casual or formal your want your space to feel," Ashley explains. "For a more modern vibe, I would stay away from floral patterns and instead go with something a bit more subtle. I would also use less pleating on the rod and opt for either flat pleating or no pleating at all."

For fans of the traditional, Alabama-based interior designer Sarah Moore suggests gathered or pleated designs.

"Keep the pattern simple since you will be bunching or folding the fabric," Moore advises. "And forgo trim or anything that might prevent the fabric from gathering well."

Where and How to Skirt a Sink

Ready to add your own? According to Moore, almost any sink can be skirted, but secondary sinks are the prime place to add a little panache. In partiular, farmhouse sinks pair perfectly with a skirt, as the lower cabinets would likely have to be reworked anyway.

"I love a skirt in a kitchen, powder bath, mudroom or laundry room," Moore says. "Especially with a secondary sink (like in a mud room) you can get a little more playful with the pattern since those spaces may not be as sophisticated as your main kitchen."

Wherever you incororate a skirted sink, just remember that the fabric will not be as cleanable as a cabinet door. Moore advises homeowners choose a rod or mounting mechanism (even Velcro!) that allows you to take the skirt off from time to time and clean or wash it.

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