Among all the choices in the lineup of Elkay kitchen sinks probably none are more unique than the Design Inspirations '08 Collection.
The result of a collaboration between Elkay and two prominent designers, Design Inspirations '08 offers several models that take the kitchen sink to a new level. Large sizes, inspired lines and shapes, and a focus on functionality all combine to bring a unique look to the kitchen.
When was the last time you thought of using the kitchen sink as a focal point in your kitchen's design? Many times it's a feature like an amazing kitchen island, topped with exotic wood or stone. Or it's a stylish and prominent range hood that captures the eye. Well, with Design Inspirations '08 you could argue that these Elkay kitchen sinks can easily serve as a visual anchor to your kitchen's design, not to mention a functional one as well.
Elkay teamed with prominent designers Jamie Drake and Fu-Tung Cheng to develop sink designs that reflect their unique talents and vision.
Jamie Drake is the founder of Drake Design Associates in New York City and a 2003 Interior Design hall of fame inductee. Some of his notable clients include New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as Madonna.
Fu-Tung Cheng has been in the design field for over 30 years. Raised in a family of artists, Cheng founded Cheng Design, a Berkeley, California-based company specializing in residential renovation and innovative kitchen and bath design. He's known for his creative work with concrete countertop designs.
Drake's design for Elkay resulted in the "Vase" sink models, available in single or double-bowl arrangments.
Jamie Drake Vase Sink - Photo Courtesy of Elkay
The Vase sink represents Drake's desire to, in his words, "create surprises" and develop something fresh in the design of kitchen sinks. The outline of the sink emulates the shape of a vase, inspired by the timelessness of the vase as a beautiful yet practical instrument used throughout history and across cultures. The classic shape of the vase is preserved in the sink's form while maintaining the usefulness needed in a hard working kitchen fixture.
Fu-Tung Cheng's approach is centered around the concept of a functional art piece. Cheng's "Ripple" design is characterized by a long (over 70") bowl and drainboard combination. Each end of the sink is circular, representing circular ripples emanating outward from a stone dropped in water. Despite its length, the sink's basin is designed to fit inside a 36" base cabinet.
Fu-Tung Cheng Ripple Sink - Photo Courtesy of Elkay
Both of these designers' sinks are made with 18 gauge stainless steel, finished with Elkay's Lustrous Satin finish and treated with their SoundGuard® application. The latter is an insulation treatment that mutes sound and offers some insulation against the formation of condensation under the sink.
Photo Courtesy of Elkay
Accessory options include custom cutting boards that increase the sinks' functionality while preserving the form and design inspiration of the sinks. The Vase sink's cutting board fits into a portion of the sink, maintaining access to the wide portion of the basin and the drain.
Photo Courtesy of Elkay
The Ripple sink cutting board continues the circular ripple theme and bridges across the sink from front to back. The board can be slid from one end of the sink to the other allowing flexible positioning for maximum efficiency.
The cutting boards for both styles of sinks are easily removed and are simply "captured" in place by the edges of the sink.
The other options include custom wire grids, each sized to fit the unique shape of these sinks. The grid for Fu-Tung Cheng's design continues the ripple-in-the-pond theme with the lines of the grid imitating the intersection of concentric ripples of water.
All of these sinks are undermount sinks. Faucet installation will need to come through the countertop surface. The countertops for these sinks require custom cut-outs, due to their unique shapes, particularly the Elkay Vase sink. Custom-sized base cabinets will probably be required as well.
Additional Elkay kitchen sinks are on tap from both of these designers.
Drake's other design is called "Raindrops" which developed from the notion of the pureness of water. Small "dots" along the rim of the single bowl's back surface symbolize drops of water. Drake then adds some urbanization by backlighting these dots with low voltage LED lighting.
Cheng's upcoming "Cascade" sink uses a layering of functional pieces with the centerpiece being a long drainboard which allows water to 'cascade' off the end and into the sink basin. This sink is geared toward being a real food prep fixture with high functionality and versatility. It features a sliding colander "shelf", cutting board and drain board with additional utility racks that can be positioned at variable heights within the sink's basin.
In my view there's no argument that these Elkay kitchen sinks break the mold with regard to the conventional view of a kitchen sink. What's fascinating is understanding their creators' inspiration and how those inputs are then molded into a functional yet artistic fixture.
Are they practical? That all depends on your perspective. They're not inexpensive, with Elkay's suggested retail prices being anywhere from $1200 for a single-bowl Vase sink to $4500 for the Ripple sink. The optional accessories like the custom grids aren't cheap either, priced at $150 to $200. Some of these sinks are also big too, requiring space so that they don't overwhelm a kitchen.
But these kitchen sinks aren't intended for the shotgun apartment with the galley kitchen, at least not in my view. They're a focal point, arguably a conversation piece, aimed at providing a distinctive style choice that sets one kitchen apart from the rest.
If you're looking for an Elkay kitchen sink, or any kitchen sink for that matter, that has some real design inspiration behind it, one of these appropriately-named Design Inspirations '08 sinks should do the trick.
Choosing Kitchen Sinks - Want to know what your choices are when it comes to kitchen sinks? See this article to find out what's available and the highs and lows that go along with them.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks - Find out what you need to know when it comes to choosing stainless steel sinks.
Elkay Sinks - Discover what else Elkay has to offer in their kitchen sink lineup.