Top 5 reasons you need a farmhouse sink AND a prep sink

When we started our kitchen remodel, we knew we were going to move the sink to the corner under the new windows. We had already decided on a farmhouse sink and since we were having the cabinet custom built, it was just a matter of picking out a sink and then having the lower cabinet made to fit the space.

We had also decided to add a prep sink on the island next to the stove. As most things go in remodels, we decided the island wasn’t the best place for a prep sink. We ended up needing to move the stovetop over slightly to accommodate range hood centering. This didn’t leave enough room for even a small sink let alone prep space. We got to thinking…why don’t we just put the prep sink where original sink was? I️ mean…if I️ can’t cut my veggies up and turn around and throw them in a pot, I’m in trouble!

This is a lot larger than a traditional prep sink, but since we left it in original spot, we had the room. This sink does double, sometimes triple duty when we are entertaining. With the built-in colander and cutting board, you can rinse and chop veggies all in one spot. We also use this sink as a pot filler since our cook top is in the island. When we have a crowd it goes into triple overdrive scraping dishes to go in dishwasher. As the dishwasher sets between both sinks. Here is the link to the one we went with:

We picked this Kohler sink for our prep sink

Since I’ve been dreaming about a cast iron farmhouse sink for as long as I can remember, that’s what we installed as the main sink in our kitchen. This is the hub of all the dishwashing. I’ve always had the standard 2-part sink so the new one basin sink took a little getting used to. I absolutely love the way it looks. There is plenty of room for soaking pots and pans, etc. I do find the cast iron leaves black scuff marks easily so keep some Bar Keepers Friend at the ready. After looking at several here’s the one we went with:

We picked this Kohler cast iron farmhouse sink for our main dish washing sink

If you fit one or all of the following, two sinks would be a great choice:

  • Have a single basin – farmhouse style sink means that there is no way to scrape off dishes and wash dishes at the same time.
  • You can prep food and wash dishes simultaneously with 2 sinks, making cleaning up as you go so much easier.
  • Two – three people can work in kitchen effortlessly.
  • Using a separate prep sink keeps all the bacteria from raw meats more contained and not around your clean serving items. ( I always clean my sink with bleach or antibacterial agent when going from prepping raw meat to other food)
  • It just makes cooking a cleaning up in the kitchen so much easier.


Why we removed a breakfast nook and added an island.

In our original kitchen and floor plan, we had a decently large farmhouse kitchen complete with a breakfast nook.  Now to the naked eye…my kitchen was huge.  Huge isn’t always good though.  Things need to be workable ya know?

One of these pictures is of my kitchen originally before I had painted them the first time.  Checkout that 1950’s Hotpoint stove with double oven and a built-in rotisserie.  Man was I disappointed when it finally gave out!

See how the fridge is actually located in the breakfast nook area?  That’s because in the 50’s when my house was built, fridges were a brand new thing.  Not to mention, they were super little!

On the other side of that fridge is the basement stairs and the garage entry.  The only way to get to the backyard is through the garage, so guess what that means…It means that every time one of my kiddos would come in from outside or downstairs they had to go past the fridge (hope it wasn’t open) and run directly through the middle of the kitchen.  I always had to look both ways before I picked up a pot of boiling spaghetti noodles to haul across the kitchen to drain at the sink!

Right at first Drywall Hubby and I weren’t sure exactly how to reconfigure the layout…Then when islands became popular a few years ago, we definitely knew that was the way to go.


As you can see, we removed everything on the original fridge and stove wall except for the new wall oven / microwave combo.  This makes for a great walk thru area for all the grandkidos.  If we are using the oven, you can always walk around the island the other way.  With the added barstools at the island, there is always plenty of room for everyone to sit and visit while I cook. It’s so much fun having everyone over and I’m so glad we decided to configure the kitchen this way!

How we used OLD CABINETS to remodel our brand NEW KITCHEN!

Since we didn’t have the funds to spend tons of money on all new cabinets, we were super excited to find well built cabinets we could recycle.  They didn’t look all that great but the oak wood was in great shape and they were extremely well built.  No particle board on these babies!  We got busy and hung up two sets of cabinets on each side of the window.  The original sink was at the window and we decided to place the prep sink there.


Upper cabinets

We then added crown all the way around the kitchen and built headers around each of the upper cabinets to visually make them seem taller.  This also anchors them so they don’t feel like they are just “floating” on the wall.

There wasn’t enough pre-finished cabinets to go all the way around to the other side where my old breakfast nook was, so we had a corner unit custom made.  Since most cabinets are custom placed in a kitchen, the chances of having every piece fit perfectly in another kitchen is slim.  You will definitely have to have something custom made or buy a piece to fit the area.


Custom built corner cabinet

Drywall Hubby’s business partner at The Finished Edge and very good friend, Caleb Madison, built all of our custom cabinets.  He is AMAZING to say the least!  He matched all the profiles of the existing cabinetry we were using and made sure everything would fit like a glove in our space.


We got everything covered and I primed the cabinets and then painted all the bases in BM White Dove.  I almost always use lacquer on cabinets and I almost always spray cabinets.  Lacquer produces a beautiful fine furniture finish and is extremely durable.  I would definitely recommend spending the extra money and finding a cabinet painter that uses lacquer.  Yes, you can paint them yourself, but if your going to go to all this work, make sure they look good.  My friend Dana Tucker wrote a great blog post about why you should hire a decorative painter to paint your cabinets.  You will find the article HERE.

I am so in love with these cabinets!  I don’t feel at all like I have used cabinets in my kitchen or that the old and new don’t match. With the hiring of a great carpenter and a great cabinet painter 😉 you can have an awesome kitchen and still save a TON of money!




The Big Kitchen Remodel!

So the Van Gundy house has been busy, busy lately!  We recently finished our kitchen remodel… which was ONE YEAR in the making! I knew we would be doing a ton of the work ourselves (Drywall Hubby).

We have lived in our house 22 years and dreamed of a new kitchen for at least 15 of those years. We raised FOUR babies in our kitchen!

I painted our cabinets when my youngest was two.  The cabinets I loved were structurally falling apart. We had reinforced almost every drawer…The old linoleum flooring that looked so shiny and new when we moved in was peeling up on the seams and completely dull and lifeless. We couldn’t bring ourselves to replace the floor because we knew the cabinets were in such bad shape. We just knew the funds weren’t there so we just patiently waited…

In the meantime the children grew older..they graduated high school…they went to college…they got married…they had my grandbabies…so we just kept patiently waiting..

Then one day Drywall Hubby was doing some work in a kitchen remodel and the homeowners were throwing out their old cabinets. These were very high end Bertch brand cabinets!  Bertch brand cabinetry are extremely well made and I would highly recommend them to anyone replacing!  So anyway, Drywall Hubby brought them home.  Now,  I must say,  at first look I wasn’t impressed…they were dark oak with a heavy grain…they had kind of a dated profile. Making all new doors and drawer fronts was not in the budget so I would have to make it work…and make it work I did!


The next thing I know, Drywall Hubby inlisted the sons to help with the demo.  It was messy!  You see…we have plaster walls which means that the wallboard has metal lath in it.  It’s a lot more difficult than Sheetrock to remove because you have to cut the metal lath..and you get cut..a lot.   I knew we were doing this… but I didn’t know we were starting right then!  I hadn’t even got everything cleaned out of the cabinets!  This is kinda how drywall hubby rolls, so I just gotta roll right along with him…

All the demo was so messy!

 Since the windows in the kitchen were 50 years old, they had to be ripped out in order to reframe for new ones, and we ripped out a wall in to the dining room.  Did I mention we also took area from the attached garage and added a pantry?


So once we got everything demoed, ripped up, and gutted, we were on our way to the largest remodeling adventure of our 25 year marriage!

My Faux Life – How It All Began

Hi…I’m Stacey Van Gundy, proud owner of Stacey’s Faux Design. I started my own business about 10 years ago after working as a stay at home mom for 15 years. Raising four children on a one-income budget was not always easy. Funds to turn my modest home into the place I envisioned it to be was hard to come by. This was the beginning of my obsession with home improvement shows. Christopher Lowell was my television best friend for years. His “you can do it” motto made me feel like I was capable of anything. My white walls became a thing of the past!

As my kitchen cabinets began to look old and worn and again very little money in the budget, the research began. I removed all the doors and hardware. The doors went downstairs on the ping pong table. I sanded the cabinets, primed with Kilz, painted a blue-green basecoat to coordinate with my blue Formica countertops. Knowing nothing about professional faux products, I headed to my local craft store for crackle. I crackled the cabinets and the doors and top coated with an off-white paint. Not really liking the way they turned out, I hand painted Ivy and Flowers on the cabinet fronts to camouflage my misfortune. Two coats of Polyacrylic later it was complete. I liked it!

The next project was the living room…With my L-shaped living room/dining room combo. I talked my Drywall Hubby into putting in an archway with niches on each side to separate the dining from the living room. I faux finished my living room in green sponge painting (and yes it is still there). I began to long for Pottery Barn furniture. Definitely not in the budget. Twelve yards of off-white canvas, piping, upholstery thread and “how to slipcover furniture” pattern later, I was off. For weeks I sewed and fitted the fabric onto my sofa. I sewed and fitted. Now keep in mind, before this undertaking the only thing I ever sewed was dresses for my two girls. Again, “you can do it” was pressed in my brain. When it was all finished, I had custom tailored sofa and settee slipcovers complete with fitted cushions.
As time went on I continued to redo my home. Until one day…Drywall Hubby comes home from work to tell me how he was busy doing a patch in a house and there just “happened” to be a faux finisher there. This faux finisher “happened” to mention to him how she would like to hire a helper. Someone who was somewhat talented that would catch on quick, but not someone who has taken classes on their own. Someone who could learn and be willing to do things the way she did them. I just stared at Drywall Hubby. I could have kicked him! “What about me?” I said. (Now it’s important for me to say that Drywall Hubby takes FULL credit for this. Drywall Hubby claims that that’s why he mentioned it to me in the first place. Although, his actions did not let onto that at the time). Well, with a few conversations using my hubby as the go between. I went to work. Rag rolling and sponge painting was a thing of the past. My new best friend was named Neon Leon! I learned many things from her. She taught me what “dry edges” were and how to prevent them. She taught me the difference between over-the-counter faux finish glaze and professional glazing medium. She taught me how to prep a surface correctly. I watched everything she did down to how she interacted with the clients. She helped me to fall in love with faux finishing and decorative painting. I’m still in love today (with faux finishing and Drywall Hubby).