After over 25 years with our original kitchen, I realized my friend was right: My kitchen needed a renovation. One feature: I had a “shabby chic” sink, but sinks aren’t supposed to be shabby chic! It had chipped within the first year of use, years ago, and more chips continued to pop up, even with light use. Turns out, the enamel-over-steel construction was horrible. I do not recommend such a sink, even if they are cheaper than their cast-iron cousins!
One of the things I did in the process of my budget kitchen renovation: I splurged on an enameled cast iron Kohler sink, which I absolutely love. I felt justified, since I wasn’t spending a lot of money on other upgrades. The sink was so worth it.
One of my friends had chosen a more economical stainless steel sink for her kitchen, which I think was a way better choice than the enameled steel sink (in my first picture). But here was my beef about the steel sink: It’s darker! Less warm and inviting! After all, I can spend a lot of time at my sink. I prepare loads of food, which means I wash a lot of dishes. Washing dishes at my bright, light sink, with the window above it, is actually a pleasure!
Another friend insisted I’d want a one-compartment, deep sink (like those popular vintage, farmhouse-style sinks). He said that most professional cooks prefer it, since they can wash large amounts of produce in it. Well, I might be a professional, but I don’t process massive quantities of foods in my home kitchen. I just make our meals, and a few bulk things, and I like washing most of the dishes by hand. I like having one sink compartment for washing and rinsing, the other for letting them sit in to dry. That has always been my dish-washing style. I would say, maybe if you do wash cases of produce, and/or use the dishwasher a lot, go for the farmhouse/apron style sink. But if you’re like me, you’d probably really enjoy the kind I got.
Oh, one caveat: even the enameled cast iron sink could get marks or chip if you try hard enough. I’ve had mine for over two years now, and it’s yet to chip or mark. I don’t think it ever will. I have taken precautions though, purchasing the Kohler stainless steel sink racks for the left side and right. They protect my sink from pots and pans. Yes, it’s true that metal will mark the sink, but any marks I’ve made have come out with cleanser. (I try not to use too much cleanser though, as that will help preserve the integrity of the finish.
I hope this helps with any decision-making you need to make about your kitchen sink!