The four corners of the kitchen.
My Tap & Sink

Technically this is not a corner of my kitchen. I wanted to put that out there before someone emailed me telling me that a straight line does not make a corner. But, the tap and sink are a much bigger part of the kitchen than the actual corner which is just a doorway that leads into the dining room.

A dining room filled with unicorns, dancing bears and a spinning Alec Baldwin. Obviously you can see why I’ve gone with the sink and taps for today’s post. Far more entertaining than another spinning Baldwin.

The sink is a deep white Kohler sink from Home Depot. It weighs about the same as a spinning Baldwin. It’s an enamel coated, cast iron sink and I love it.

The faucet is a matte white Brizo Solna Scandinavian inspired, touch activated faucet.  So I’ve combined old fashioned farmhouse with modern Scandinavian and they work perfectly together.





You’ll have to excuse the raw drywall behind the sink.  I still have to finish that with a bit of a backsplash.

This particular Kohler sink can be installed as either a drop in or undermount sink. To me, a big cast iron sink should be installed the way it originally would have been installed back in the olden days, which is dropped in.  Chances are there’d also be a recently shot headless rabbit in it, but there’s a limit to how far I’ll go in terms of nostalgia.

I ordered this sink sight unseen.  I wanted cast iron, I wanted white, I wanted a single sink this size.  Take all those things, add them up, and the Kohler Iron/Tones was the sink for me.  So I was really, really happy when it showed up and I loved it even more in person.  The cast iron has a waviness to it that makes it look like a genuinely old, sink with character.


Wavy Rim Of Cast Iron Sink

My sink isn’t dirty by the way. My camera lens is.

And this faucet has changed my life. It really has. 3 things that changed my life by Karen:  being born, discovering jalapeño hummus, this faucet.  Because THIS faucet … is a touch activated faucet.

Brizo Solna
Just set the temperature that you like and leave it. To turn the water on or off all you have to do is tap anywhere on the faucet. The head, the base or the shaft. Anywhere you touch it it gets turned on.


Plus it has this pull out sprayer that is completely hidden inside the tap when not in use.


Back to the sink for a second, my favourite part about it is the strainer …


Brizo Faucet Kohler Sink
Yep.  It’s gold.  Well, brass actually.  Everyone who has come into this kitchen has gone NUTS over that strainer.  I mean, I hang with some pretty rough crowds; people who buy imported fruit and don’t recycle.  Hooligans basically.  So for them to notice a strainer says something.

The other thing people have wondered is whether my sink is in backwards.  And it is.  Or at least it might be.  The strainer, you see, is normally at the back of the sink.

And here is your lesson for the day.  Don’t just blindly follow the rules, do what makes sense.  If I had installed my sink the way it was “supposed” to be installed the water coming out of the faucet wouldn’t have even come close to the drain.  By turning the sink around, the water runs into it perfectly.  Which is what you want.    There was no changing where my faucet was, it couldn’t be moved back any further so it was the sink that was going to have to move.

I intended to include a video with today’s post showing me turning my faucet on and off.   But I didn’t have enough time to get it edited, so watch for that coming up in the next week or so.   It’ll be more entertaining than you think.  More entertaining than a spinning Baldwin anyway.


  1. david guercia says:

    do you have the exact model of the sink?

  2. Pam'a says:

    I love an enameled cast-iron sink, but it’s impossible not to bonk it with various items in the course of kitchen operations. Barkeeper’s Friend is great, yes. In addition, I offer one other hint: If you put a mat of some sort in the bottom, it not only protects your sink, but also provides a little cushion for things that land in it.

  3. Larita says:

    Your inappropriate commentary cracks me up. You make me proud to be a fellow Canadian.

  4. Christina says:

    I’m considering a touch faucet, but I’m hesitant. What if there’s a power outage? Or if it’s over or under-sensitive? I keep picturing myself coming home to a running faucet for some reason. Have you had any issues with it so far?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christina – LOL, I hadn’t really thought of either of those things. Not to worry though, this particular faucet is run on a battery pack. So no problem with power outages. Also, if your batteries run out, you just use it like a normal faucet by the handle. In terms of it randomly running, I discovered there’s a timer on this faucet so if you accidentally leave the tap running, it shuts off automatically after a couple of minutes. ~ karen!

  5. Trish Cordiner says:

    It is so so beautiful, Karen!!!

    well worth this long wait…you got your new beautiful kitchen
    but not like every other kitchen…unique and younique~!!!

    waiting for more…

  6. Vanessa says:

    Head, base, shaft…. You’re a wicked, wicked little monkey (and I love it).

  7. Liz says:

    You have such great taste :) Second to the waviness…and the strainer, I think my favorite is the hidden sprayer?!! Those Swedes really know how to use their heads…or Danes or Weges? haha

  8. Shauna says:

    “The head, the base or the shaft. Anywhere you touch it it gets turned on.” You did that on purpose right? I mean, I’m thinking the majority of your readers are, like me, still hanging on to their 13 year old giggly Beevis and Butthead humour, so that sentence totally did it for me.

  9. Nancy Blue Moon says:


  10. Susan says:

    We have a similar enamel on cast iron drop-in Kohler sink, but it’s the double version. Love it! But the Kohler faucet we chose is terrible. I’d love to replace it with one like yours. Seriously drooling over it!!

  11. Debbie says:

    All I can say is, I want those pigs. Oh, and Bar Keepers Friend is wonderful.

  12. kelli says:

    Honestly, I can’t believe you typed this with a straight face: “…The head, the base or the shaft. Anywhere you touch it it gets turned on.”

    Such a perfect opportunity for entendres…double or nothin. I really expected more from you. :)

    Beautiful sink. FABULOUS faucet. Interesting backsplash?

    • Karen says:

      Hah. Well, actually kelli that was the double entendre. I thought you’d get it without explanation. Evidently I expected more from you too, hah! ~ karen!

  13. Thera says:

    Beautiful! And where does one get the piggies?

  14. taria says:

    I think your sink is installed correctly. We have installed 2 new kohler sinks and the name plate has been in the back like yours both times. Ours only fit one way and that is how they worked. (double sinks with holes for the tap) When buying the second one the guy told me don’t ever put bleach on the sink because it will etch the finish. You won’t find that in any of the literature just from the nice smart Home Depot sales guy. You can purchase a cleaning product Kohler sells and works pretty good, although pricey. Your set up is beautiful. Lovely kitchen.

  15. Traci says:

    All you really need to keep your sink like new is baking soda! I rinse the sink so it is slightly damp then sprinkle on baking soda, rub it around the sink then rinse and voila, sink looks brand new! This removes anything and doesn’t scratch the sink. I keep baking soda in a shaker bottle by the sink, it’s great for ceramic cooktops too. It can also be used to easily get any burnt on food off of your pots and pans without ruining them. A recycled plastic Parmesan cheese container would work great for this. The best thing is that it is very cheap (hello Costco bag of baking soda!) and super enviro-friendly.

    FYI this works for my white ceramic/cast iron farmhouse sink, but I’ve also used it in stainless steel sinks with great results too.

  16. Susan says:

    It looks simply wonderful! I’ll bet the kitchen just sparkles in the morning light, and looks super clean all the time, just with the white.

  17. ~JackieVB says:

    Love the sink – and the faucet too. When I got my new faucet I also got one with a sprayer built into the tap/head and I’ll never go back to the one on the side. Since I wasn’t able to get a new sink I used the hole from the sprayer to put in a soap dispenser. When I finally get my farmhouse I’m going to look for one that has ‘the original cast one bowl sink with attached drain boards.’ like mary b has. JEALOUS ;)

  18. Jennifer says:

    I have been reading you blog for a bit now and I have to just say, you are pretty damn funny. I love your wit, it keeps me reading (that and your great design esthetic). I’m in love with your sink, but your faucet reminds me of my husband…the head, the base or the shaft. Anywhere you touch it, it gets turned on. I’m not so sure I need two of those around!

  19. Leslie says:

    Gorgeous and genius! SO clever to turn the sink so the drain is where you want it. SO clever! I have to go hug something now.

  20. julesie says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this sink! I have a similar one but no awesome brass bauble in mine~ that is way cool! I also use Barkeepers Friend and find it does the trick in keeping everything looking crisp and white. And if I have a ton of pan washing I just put a little sink mat in which seems to help reduce the marks as I go along. Oh and always always rinse that red wine out if you have any drops that end up there. ( I did say IF! Ha. ). Enjoy your new sink/faucet.. I am totally loving it!

  21. Sandy says:

    LOVE that sink and it’s definitely meant for “drop in”. Looks great with your countertop. I am sooooo sick of granite everything and undermount sinks. It seems every kitchen reno my friends have done all look like the exact same kitchen, no original ideas.

  22. Feral Turtle says:

    It really looks fantastic! Looking forward to the magazine reveal!

  23. Dagmar says:

    It looks just stunning Karen. And I can say from experience that buying a sink that is one large bowl instead of two separate ones is the best decision I ever made. It fits every type of large pot and pan, and has room to wash large vases without getting water all over the kitchen ceiling and walls, and yourself too. I just wondered one thing, what happened when you moved the drain to the front, didn’t that create a roller-coaster beneath your cabinet as far as having to move attach new plumbing to extend where the old drain pipe was, and now an new was is? I’d like to see that.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dagmar – Well I moved the location of the sink entirely, which meant moving the drain pipe. So it didn’t really matter where the drain on the sink was because I was running all new piping anyway. ~ karen!

  24. Rebecca says:

    This sink is absolutely gorgeous and I never would’ve thought I’d be into a white faucet but I so am, what a beautiful combination especially with the chopblock counters!

  25. Roxanne says:

    Rondina Muncy:

    Do you have a link for your KRC1 Bathroom Cleaner?

    I can find only “KRC-7 Ultra Foaming Bathroom Cleaner/Restorer” on


  26. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Very nice! Great mix of old and new. I’m not sure if I could maintain a white faucet even with the arm touch and special coating. It really is pretty cool though :) I’m thinking this sink maybe easier on the budget than an apron sink. Hmmmm, going to have to check that out. Have you considered a length of maple stained to match your butcher block counters as a back splash?

  27. Anita says:

    My mom has had a white enamel sink for decades. I grew up with one, and every house she’s ever had she’s put one in. She uses Comet (Daily! The woman is a clean freak!!) for as long as she’s had a white sink and it gets out all sorts of marks without scratching the sink. Her newest faucet however is a different story. This time she went white with that too (not as cool as yours, Karen), but it was apparently just a painted finish, and the paint is chipping off. It’s only been two or three years. So be careful about banging things into your gorgeous new faucet.

  28. Maggie V says:

    Nice!!! I also have a double cast iron deep sink. One large and one small top mounted all casted in one piece and when we had a kitchen makeover the contractor wanted to put in a new stainless steel one, well you know what I told him so he just buffed them up and they looked like new. Enjoy.

  29. Linda says:

    Where do I buy Bar Keepers Friend

    • Karen says:

      Pretty much anywhere Linda. Chris’ Restaurant supply carries it. So does Home Hardware and I’m guessing probably Walmart, Target, etc. ~ karen

      • Deb J. says:

        Wow! That Bar Keepers Friend must be pretty amazing stuff! I was in Florida in March visiting friends who had their boat down there. They needed to clean the barnacles and other crap off the bottom of their rubber dinghy and, after a trip to Home Depot, it was determined Bar Keepers Friend was the thing to use. Worked a treat. Wonder what it is?!.

  30. jainegayer says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

  31. Beth W says:

    I love the tap! But with the sink, don’t you feel like you have to run yourself a bath (with wine and trashy magazine) every time you want to do the dishes?

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Not really. I’m also one of those people who (unless something absolutely needs soaking) doesn’t fill the sink. I squirt a little dishsoap on all the dishes and then just wash them individually and then rinse. ~ karen!

  32. Su says:

    love every thing about it…. I have a cast iron sink also and Bar Keepers Friend is great to keep the aluminum pan envy at bay…. and the piggies – so want them… and a dancing Baldwin…

    • Karen says:

      I have two types of Bar Keepers Friend and in fact used it on a small smudge that wouldn’t come off on the bottom of the sink. Just a tiny little bit and rubbed it very little. Worked great and didn’t leave any scratches in the enamel as far as I can see. Phew. ~ karen!

      • Su says:

        Karen – I once dropped a brick from a good distance into my sink…. don’t ask as we are not risking incarceration…. and other than some red marks that the above mentioned Bar Keeps friend took care there was nary a scratch…. those sinks hold up pretty darn well…

        • Karen says:

          I suspect so. :) I mean, a lot of the original enamel coated cast iron sinks have lasted without a chip so this one should hopefully be fine. ;) ~ karen

  33. Ann says:

    Love the sink. Hate mine. Who ever decided stainless steel was a good thing? But I warn ya. We have a white faucet. And it gets hideously dirty and it is so very hard to clean. It is going to go and go soon. I mean I clean it off 3, 4, sometimes 350 times a day. With every imaginable type of cleaner. And the hard water stains it even more than regular dirt does. We are due for a kitchen remodel and that will be one of the first things to be changed out.

    • Karen says:

      AH HAH! That’s the great thing about this faucet. You never have to actually touch it. You set it to the right temperature then turn it on and off with a touch of your arm. I have got it dirty with general kitchen goo and potting soil and it wipes really easily. It must be the material it’s coated with. ~ karen!

    • Rondina Muncy says:

      On the hard water problem, I have a product that I order over the Internet that removes those. We have terrific lime build up. When I remodeled my other house, the plumbers told me the pedestal sink could not be saved because of the stains under the handles. I pulled out KRC1 Bathroom Cleaner and five minutes later, the sink was in perfect condition. To get rid of the build up in toilets, I turn off the water value; flush; squirt it around the bowl; brush; turn water back on and flush. This stuff is the only thing I have found that works.

      I really love the kitchen sink and faucet. Very fresh looking. I have to replace the counters and sink in the bungalow, but I’m undecided as to what to do. I had a cast iron sink in the other house, but it was, let’s say—well used. I replaced it with a beautiful under-mount, stainless sink, but they scratch so easily. I use dish clothes to protect the sink when scrubbing on pans. I’m wondering if you found any other types of material worth consideration. I know you were going for aesthetics as well as function.

      • gabrielle says:

        Our 1872 farmhouse well-water travels through limestone and leaves hardwater stains that are more difficult to remove than any I’ve encountered. Some experimentation has led me to clean with the hereto oft-mentioned BarKeepers’ Friend ($3.00 a can) and to protect using any windshield protectant designed to repel water drops, such as Rain-X (note: do not use repellant on tub/shower floors as it is slippery).

        Would someone explain why tapwater should fall directly into the drain in a sink? This would compromise my miniscule cupboard height below, which is much smaller than standard sizes of small.

  34. Tigersmom says:

    Nice juxtaposition of “old” with new. I love a “been there forever” look, but a few modern conveniences are too hard to pass up. It takes a bit of talent to pair them well. Nicely done.

    And that strainer! It’s a very “Ta-da” moment in your kitchen. I love that you have to be standing at the sink to notice it, but once you’re there, you won’t be able to miss it. It would make me smile every time I used my sink.

    As far as having metal pans put marks on your sink, mine is fireclay and any stubborn marks have been able to be removed with a little Barkeepers Friend. Not sure if it is safe for your sink, but you may want to look into it if you do get marks.

    Also, love that you are keeping the backsplash simple. I could never do wood as my son would get it wet too often.

    And there are those stacked piggies again. So far, I’ve been able to resist adding them to my collection, but with them being thrust at me front and center repeatedly, I can feel my will weakening.

  35. mary b. green says:

    I live in an old turn of the century house and have the original cast one bowl sink with attached drain boards.
    I LOVE that sink. Somehow it connects me with the women who had lived here before. How many times have they washed a dish, a baby, a kitten… I believe the kitchen sink is the heart of the home. Seems I can handle anything with a sink of hot soapy water. I’m glad you found one that speaks to your heart.

    • Karen says:

      I love, love, love those sinks and was actually looking for one! But alas, I didn’t have the counter space to justify it. But I absolutely LOVE those old sinks with drain boards. Does it have the built in backsplash too? ~ karen!

      • susan says:

        I had one of the old sinks with drainboard and backsplash, and the faucet came out of the wall. I LOVED it! I also imagined the other women that had stood there before me. I wish you had been able to get that kind, but the one you have is AMAZING too!
        Anywhere you touch it it gets turned on. heh heh…….. with that feature, what’s not to love about that faucet?
        So, is this kitchen porn?

      • says:

        It does! and I was lucky enough to find original bead board throughout the entire kitchen when I took down the drywall (Including the ceiling). I am in the process, however, of covering up the original linoleum floor.

        I can handle the world with a sink full of soapy hot water AND people leave you alone when you have on your power apron and scrubbing pots. Waiting on a new faucet, not as terrific as yours but budget took over.

        Thanks for your daily thoughts.

    • Kim from Milwaukee says:

      I live in an 80 year old Milwaukee bungalow with a cast iron sink/drainboard….why do they not make them anymore?? They are perfect!

      The original owner also canned and wrote her canning numbers on the basement door…and left a wall attached can opener, too…red…love it!

      These old houses have so much character and history…gardening and canning even in the city…those were the good ole days.

  36. Sally A says:

    It’s beautiful! So fancy! And the brass strainer is like a pretty piece of jewelry! I think a silver one would have been too blah. I, too, am nuts for it!

  37. dana says:

    I love it. At first it looked so tiny. You must have a dishwasher. We dont so we have a washing side and a divider so theres a rinsing side. Love the wavy finish too. Thats how our glass is in our windows. The drain placement looks right to me. If you put it the other way you would not be able to see the Kohler name & that would really look weird. So you do not have a disposal then I assume? Yep. I agree. Ours is white porcelain too so you are going to get metal marks. And maybe chips. Because wet hands and soapy dishes don’t mix.

  38. Amanda says:

    So far your kitchen is my dream kitchen! That faucet is just right. Perfect in fact. I look forward to your faucet video… Wow, I’m looking forward to a faucet video. I can’t believe I just said that!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Yeah, I know. I had the same mortification with myself when I first got excited over getting the perfect plastic wrap seal on a bowl. ~ karen!

  39. Olga says:

    “Anywhere you touch it it gets turned on.” You have your way Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Melissa -I probably could, but I actually don’t want to introduce another material into the kitchen. I just want the backsplash to sort of disappear. Also the backsplash area is a bit wonky and the wood will have to be scribed which will be easier than cutting tiles. :) ~ karen!

  40. Christina says:

    Hee hee heec I seen what you did there!!

  41. Grammy says:

    Love it. That sink strainer in the front is so very cool. And brass. Beautiful.

    But, seriously, is there any real reason why you can’t incorporate a spinning Alec Baldwin into the video of you turning the faucet on and off? The combination would make it an art film, don’t you think? And doesn’t The ART of Doing Stuff demand it? Yes. Yes, it does.

  42. Andrea says:

    Hooligans. Love it. Oozing venomous, day-glo-green jealousy of that sexy faucet. Infinitely sexier than a Baldwin.

  43. Mindy says:

    My old sink drain was centered. I never thought twice about it. Until I got a new sink with the drain in the back. Who designed this crap!?!? And where was this backward sink install post when I needed it?!

  44. Susie Heller says:

    I love your sink…..but….. do not ever ever let aluminum cookie, pizza, baking what evers touch the sides of your sink. They are very jealous and will leave skid marks that do not ever come out. That is just the way aluminum is. It is a cheap metal that can’t stand being low rent so ruins pretty white cast iron just for the heck of it. Now you will have to purchase all new cookie, pizza, baking sheets in plastic or cast iron.

  45. Pat says:

    Faucet envy!

  46. Mary Werner says:

    Gorgeous! Practical! Perfectly Karen. Now tell us about the back splash in that teeny, tiny area. You probably have a wonderful plan.

  47. jo says:

    jalapeño hummus recipe please

  48. Susan Preston says:

    Beautiful! I love big sinks and especially cast iron ones. My tub is the old fashioned cast iron with feet. I am in love with my tub. There is another sink from ikea that I like. It has a front ‘apron’ and is white cast iron I believe. Glad your turned on by your tap!

    • Traci says:

      I have that sink and I love it! Everyone who sees it is super surprised that it is from Ikea and how inexpensive it is compared to any other apron sink on the market.

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