Belfast sink ideas: why you need one in your kitchen or bathroom

a ribbed white Belfast sink on a wooden counter top

One of the most used spaces in our homes is the washing up area, especially nowadays, be it to keep your hands sanitised, your cooking zone nice and clean or to wash fruits and vegetables. Well, why not make the upgrade to a more spacious, durable and practical solution?

What are Belfast sink ideas, you ask? Also known as a butler or farmhouse sink, the Belfast sink originates from the 17th century classic rectangular fireclay sink found in butler pantries. However, this newer design includes an overflow to help with drainage. These days, people use these names interchangeably as they have a similar look and most sinks include some type of overflow. 

a white Belfast sink with silver tap and white metro tiles above it under hooks and shelves with sea green crockery
Belfast sink ideas: Over the years, the Belfast sink went on to include double ceramic bowls. This makes them ideal for family kitchens. Perrin & Rowe’s Shaker 1000 double fireclay sink, £694.56, is handmade by sister company Shaws of Darwen. It is shown here with Charlie Kingham brassware including a mixer tap, hot-water outlet, and rinse.

Include a Belfast sink when planning a new kitchen

FYI – because of a Belfast sink’s design, the only time you’ll be able to include one in your scheme is when you’re planning a new kitchen. You’ll also need to think about the size and weight of your Belfast sink as it will affect your cabinetry design and worktop space.

For example, if you choose an apron-front sink with a rounded rim, the cabinet space underneath will need to be more compact to accommodate the design. So, if this is something that intrigues you, make sure you chat to your kitchen designer at the beginning stage of your project.  

Ok, so if you’re planning a new kitchen and are thinking about including a Belfast sink, what else do you need to know?

This style of sink will provide plenty of space for washing your fruits and veggies and that mountain of dishes that seems to never go away. Plus, if you love entertaining, you can keep those dishes out of sight due to its deep bowl. Thinking about adding a second sink, or including one in your adjoining utility room? Then you can have a dedicated space to refresh your little one’s sports kit or give your furry friend a nice bath.

So many options are available

And Belfast sink ideas abound: when it comes to style, you can find so many more options available aside from the traditional fireclay ceramic. Think porcelain, cast iron, stainless steel, copper, and marble designs, so you can truly find the right one to fit your dream kitchen.

For example, you can use a traditional fireclay Belfast sink to instantly add a farmhouse-inspired feeling to your kitchen and complement your Shaker-style cabinetry. Or match a copper or stainless steel sink with the taps and handles, raw finishes and exposed brick walls for an industrial touch.

Why stop here? Pair a marble Belfast sink with luxurious textures and metallic gold finishes for a sophisticated, glamorous look. Remember to have fun with the design process and let your personality and creativity shine through.

In need of some buying tips? Hannah has put together a guide with lots of need-to-know tips to make the decision making process easier. So make sure to check this out too.

Here are some stunning ideas to get your inspiration going…

Feast your eyes on these stunning designs

a white Belfast sink with a chrome tap set in grey cabinetry with chrome handles
Belfast sink ideas: Kohler’s Hawthorne sink, £251, is made from highly-durable cast iron. It’s shown above in white but is also available in black, Thunder Grey, Cashmere, Biscuit, and Caviar.

More beautiful Belfast sinks

an olive green Shaker kitchen with chrome handles
Belfast sink ideas: The Farmhouse Belfast fire clay ceramic sink, £254, from Rangemaster. This was created to seamlessly blend modern living with a traditional country kitchen. Plus it is highly resistant against heat, stains and scratches.
a cream kitchen with matt black tap and fittings and two navy shelves with jars of food on them
Belfast sink ideas: Go for a statement look with a patterned sink. For example, the Shaws Gallery butler sink with Elements, from £560.30, Shaws of Darwen.
a Belfast sink with a brass tap and a bouquet of pink roses in it against a veined marble splashback above teal Shaker cabinetry with brass handles
Belfast sink ideas: the sinks can fit any aesthetic, from traditional country-inspired to more modern and glamorous schemes. Here’s Perrin & Rowe‘s 4376 Athenian sink mixer with white porcelain lever handles and rinse in Aged Brass. It complements the statement sink and luxurious splashback, as seen in interior designer Laura Butler-Madden’s holiday home kitchen. Photography: Patrick Butler-Madden
a chrome pull-out spray tap
Belfast sink ideas: Franke’s Belfast VBK 710 spacious single bowl sink, £509, designed in collaboration with Villeroy & Boch. It’s resistant to all standard household chemicals and is really easy to clean.

More gorgeous Belfast sink ideas

a white Belfast sink with chrome tap
Belfast sink ideas: Simple yet sophisticated, the Period Bathroom Co. Belfast ceramic kitchen sink with integral overflow, £199.95, from Victorian Plumbing is durable and practical. Play around with different taps to achieve a classic or more modern look.
an olive green Shaker kitchen with brass cup handles
Belfast sink ideas: The Howdens Elmbridge kitchen features shaker front cabinets in a heritage-inspired shade. To finish the look, the classic cabinetry was paired with a traditional Belfast sink and a range cooker.

But do you have limited space available? Don’t worry, there are more compact designs on the market. They can help you achieve the same look while not taking up too much space.

a Belfast sink set into brass cabinetry with a brass tap in front of exposed brickwork
Belfast sink ideas: This bespoke kitchen by The Main Company includes a more compact version of the Belfast sink. It fits this industrial-style scheme perfectly. Bespoke kitchens start from £25,000. Photography: Chris Snook

And why not include a Belfast sink in your bathroom too?

You can benefit from more washing up space, which is much needed when rushing in the morning. And add a statement feature to your design too. Choose simple cabinetry to store all your essentials or go for a metal stand for an industrial touch.

a grey bathroom with light grey wall panels, monochrome floor tiles, mid grey shaker cabinetry and a toilet with a wooden seat
Belfast sink ideas: This Butler & Rose Darcy vanity unit in Matt Grey with Belfast sink bathroom scheme works great in compact spaces, £279.99, available at Drench. Pair this with statement tiles and sleek brassware to complete the look. See, who said a small bathroom has to be boring?
a white Belfast sink on black legs with taps above it
Belfast sink ideas: The Armitage Shanks Belfast sink, £265.52, available at QS Supplies is made of fireclay, the most durable material used in ceramic manufacturing, so it’s perfect for your ensuite or family bathroom.

Featured image: Shaws Gallery Shaker 800 sink in Lines Gold, from £657.40, Shaws of Darwen.

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