So anyway. I have taken your comments on the stoolS to heart and I may have come to a conclusion there (yet to be executed, so I'll fill you in when it's definite). I am looking forward to posting pictures of my table, but it's not QUITE finished yet. (Yes, I am under the impression that this has become a DIY blog. What?) Meanwhile, I am occupying myself planning for a project a little further down on the list - the kitchen sink.
I have been energetically searching for a vintage sink with a drainboard. (Specifically, I need just one drainboard, on the left side, and it's taking a while to track down just the right thing.) I was hoping to end up with a look like this:
Or maybe this:
And I kind of love this (yes, I know, it's a laundry sink. So?):
And I hoped you noticed that s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g vintage Chambers range in the background there.
So ideally, I am looking for a sink 25" deep. For those who have not remodeled a kitchen themselves, that's because standard base-cabinet depth is 24", and countertops typically overhang the lower cabinets by about an inch. Therefore, if I get a 25" deep sink (deep in the back-to-front sense, not the how-deep-is-the-basin sense), it would neatly meet the countertops on either side, as in the pictures above. This is important, because I'm not hiring a company to make my countertops. I'm cutting the butcher block countertop myself (which I've already bought), and I just heard from a company that will cut a wee scrap of soapstone to size for me for the countertop on the other side - straight cuts only.
People who are buying their countertops from a pro can be more flexible in their sink choices. If they get a sink less than 25" deep, the pros can do this:
(obviously...houzz. Suck it, pinterest! There, I said it)
I'm pretty sure that kind of cut requires a laser. To my great sadness, I do not have a laser. Somehow, I manage. Anyway, this week, I ran across the very first sink that appears to fulfill my major criteria:
But it's only 20" deep. While I have told myself that I could make 24" work, maybe even 23", 20" is DRAMATICALLY smaller than the neighboring countertops, and I just can't leave that big a gap. I pondered and schemed. There's also the tricky bit about installing a wall-mount faucet...since the sink will be against an exterior wall. What if I built out the wall behind the sink about 5"? That would contain room for the plumbing, and move the sink flush with the counters. Hmm...
Ultimately, I decided that plan had more bad points than good ones. The sink will sit right under a window, so building out the window sill to extra-deep and making it a shelf would be no problem. But building the plumbing into the recess and then doing the tiling sounded like a real nightmare. Plus, a bump-out would leave a very funny corner in the wall next to the sink. I was afraid it would look like a kludge. The last thing I want is a prospective buyer to walk through someday and utter the word "remuddled."
Then I toyed with the notion of cutting out the countertop myself. Obviously, I cannot cut stone. The adjacent counters will be butcher block (on one side) and soapstone (on the other). Butcher block would be easiest to cut. Like so:
(you guessed it - more houzz)
At a loss, I ran through my houzz file looking for more vintage sink pictures. How had other people installed them? What could I do? And I found this butlery picture:
That is the spitting image of the sink I found for sale, right? Most importantly, it shares that super-deep front face. And that is just the perfect way to work with that shape of sink! Suddenly I wanted another piece of marble. Of course, I don't have the tools to get a hole in it for the plumbing. I actually contemplated the likelihood that I could find a piece of marble at a salvage yard that just happened to be 25" x 45" with a big hole in the right side. I probably could, if I waited the rest of my life. But even by my shopping standards, that's a long time.
As it happened, I had been searching for marble thresholds to replace the one in my bathroom (which was custom-made and expensive - and, in my opinion, was custom-made to the wrong dimensions). And suddenly a lightbulb went off. Finding a marble slab in just the right dimensions would be difficult. Finding one in the right dimensions with a hole in the right place would be darn near impossible. And even if I could find it, it might well be expensive. But assembling pre-cut marble thresholds or large-format marble tiles into the right dimensions, leaving an open space for plumbing to go through? Not hard at all. And not expensive, either.
I figured that with 8 x 12 marble tiles - like so
- I could frame out a 24" x 44" C-shaped border for the sink to sit on. I can attach them to a board (I'll have to use construction adhesive rather than thin-set, so there's no visible line from the side), and I can easily cut a hole in the middle of the board (where there will be no tile on top) for the pipes to pass through. If I make the tile joints as narrow as possible and match the grout really well, it won't be too obvious that the base is marble tiles, rather than a marble slab. (And only just a small border of it will show anyway.) Marble tiles would also cost less than a slab, unless I found a truly phenomenal deal (like I did for my tabletop!).
Ingenious? Insane? Who can say.
It may not matter anyway, because the sink is priced higher than my budget will allow, if I also have to buy a bunch of marble and extra stuff to make it work. (And then there's the part about busting a hole in an exterior wall to hook up a wall-mounted faucet.)
Maybe the price will come down. And my wall will magically bend. To be continued...