Friday, August 13, 2010

Ballad of the One Bathroom: In Search of a Sink

As I mentioned previously, one of the outstandingly outsize features of our current bathroom is the sink. It's a funny shaped Ikea model (23"x17" rectangle) with a too-large Ikea faucet (sticks out into the basin 5", leaving only about 4" to get your face down in there for a good scrub), that blocks the door and isn't terribly compatible with US Plumbing standards (unsealed drain situation underneath, also see here and here). The current sink also features a mushy particle board vanity (due to leaking drainpipe situation) and other funny DIY modification construction.

So, we knew we needed a smaller on the outside, larger on the inside sink. Perhaps also a wall-mount or pedestal model that would free up floor space (since we can't use the storage in the vanity anyway, I don't think we'll miss it). And if said sink could look stylish too, well, all the better. It seemed to us that a vintage sink, to match our vintage house, might be the answer. We started our search in the area at The Brass Knob within DC ($$$!), Community Forklift just over the District border in Maryland, and Second Chance in Baltimore. We saw lots of super cute old wall-mount sinks....but never found one we could commit to. Most were cast-iron, so very heavy to hang on a plaster wall with unknown support capabilities, most had at least a little damage to their finishes, and none seemed to be small enough to help our door open up much more. (However, the price is definitely right on these if you can go to one of the larger, outside the city salvage places ($30-$60 for a sink) and can resolve the other issues.)

So, we started looking a new sink options. Large sinks, like large kitchens, bathrooms, garages, etc., are very popular. Small sinks are much less common. We spotted a few here and there of dubious origins, and found a promising one on the Kohler website: K-2175, or "Parigi." At 20"x14", it seemed like a great size. Its contemporary lines seemed like they would fit in well with the other contemporary fittings in our bathroom. And its pedestal bottom would give our wall some help in supporting it.

Seeing the Parigi in person was more of a challenge than we imagined it would be. I suppose since large is in charge, none of the showrooms in this area had it on display. However, my mom was able to track it down back home in Little Rock...she checked it out for size, beauty, and ease of use, and gave it a passing grade. We decided that this was the sink for us. Yes, it's more than we wanted to spend. But since we've only got one bathroom, we need think about quality and durability along with price.

We ordered it from Home Despot, along with a Kohler Memoirs faucet (smaller spout length = more room in the basin for your hands, face, dirty shirt, cat, whatever). Here it is in our living room, awaiting installation (plumber will be here next week!).

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