We're on the verge of a kitchen revolution – and it's centered around our new favorite kitchen must-have – prep sinks. These ingenious features are having a moment, but when you consider their style and practicality, we have a feeling this isn't a passing craze. Instead, prep sinks will be a part of our kitchens for a long time into the future.
See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens
But why have prep sinks suddenly risen to the forefront of our kitchens, and why should we invest if we haven't already? Here, the people at the top of the kitchen industry share their thoughts.
Why are prep sinks the new kitchen must-have?
Our recent Homes & Gardens report found that prep sinks have become a must for many kitchens over the past year. According to Design Director at Martin Moore (opens in new tab) Richard Moore, the number of people sharing the kitchen has grown in the past 12 months and will continue to affect how kitchens are designed. 'We have always found that most of our clients cook regularly and entertain on a large scale,' Richard begins.
'However, the change we have seen recently is that all family members cook, often at the same time, as they have differing tastes and requirements. We are also seeing prepping meals together as a way to spend quality time with the family. As a result, islands have become larger, and prep sinks are a must,' he says.
Why should we bring prep sinks into our kitchens?
1. Prep sinks make your space streamlined
Among its assets, multifunctionality is perhaps the most attractive and the reason for its sharp growth in popularity over the past year. Kitchen designer Tom Howley (opens in new tab) recommends introducing a prep sink into a double kitchen island – which offers more room for a 'second sink to streamline the cooking process.'
'Additionally, a second kitchen island offers flexibility in multifunctional living, as it can be used for eating or to allow your guests to relax while the meal is being made,' Tom adds.
2. Prep sinks are more hygienic
See: Kitchen layout ideas – clever ways to arrange cabinetry and configure your space
It is unsurprising that prep sinks have gained popularity during a year when cleanliness has never felt more critical. With prep sinks, there is no excuse not to clean your hands as soon as you come home, as Creative Director at Harvey Jones (opens in new tab), Melissa Klink shares.
'People are very keen to have separate a prep sink that can double up as a handwashing facility if the main sink is occupied. Without redesigning the whole kitchen, you could adapt your existing scheme by giving up a section of worktop and the drawer or cupboard underneath to make space, ideally near the back door, so anyone coming in can wash their hands right away.'
'A utility room would be the ideal spot – if yours doesn't currently have a sink, you will already have the plumbing for white goods, so extending pipework shouldn't be a huge issue,' she adds.
3. Prep sinks promote safer food preparation
Similarly, as Home designer at Neptune (opens in new tab) Fulham, George Miller explains, introducing a prep sink will 'give you a designated area to wash and prepare your food' which is a more 'hygienic option for busier kitchens.'
'It will also help reduce mess, keep your workspace organized and also give you access to running water whenever required,' he adds.
4. Prep sinks create the ultimate stylish statement
The only thing better than one chic sink are two chic sinks. So, create an individual statement, recreate deVOL (opens in new tab)'s quintessential setting by embracing the double-brass look to create a contemporary twist on an industrialized look.
For the ultimate statement, accentuate your kitchen's original characteristics – and pair these brassy tones with a stripped-back brick wall or authentic wooden features to truly make the trend your own.
5. Prep sinks promote a flow in a family home
See: Small kitchen ideas – designs for compact kitchens
Kitchens are not only a place to cook – they are a home office, social space, and the heart of any home. So, it's important to create a flow that makes tasks feel easier and, in turn, makes the everyday feel more seamless.
As Lead Designer at Blakes London (opens in new tab), Annie Ebenston suggests, 'pay incredibly close attention to how a kitchen is used and the flow within the space, but each person and each home needs to be thought about holistically as not everyone cooks or uses a space in the same way. In order to promote a flow, Annie suggests interpreting 'smaller prep sinks' or 'even two sinks on both runs,' which will slot effortlessly into any busy home, whatever the size.
And remember, you're not seeing double; you're just embracing the kitchen trend of the year in all its multifunctional glory.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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