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We have many natural pairings in our kitchen — wine and cheese, chips and dip, peanut butter and jelly to name a few. We also have a few inedible pairings like faucets and sinks. Since their invention, and until the past few decades, they’ve been purely functional tools. But, over time, their aesthetics evolved and, today, they can add much style to our kitchens as well.

I can still clearly remember my early years standing next to my grandmother as she cleaned vegetables in her farmhouse sink. It was a big, white, cast-iron sink. Its size and durability served their purposes very well. As an aside, this sink was in her garage, which doubled as a second kitchen. We ate in the garage unless we ate on the backyard patio. The dining room was reserved for special occasions and holidays. Although I thought this was normal at the time, apparently it was so only in Italian households. I’d love to hear from any of you who grew up this way — and especially if you know why.

Naturally, farmhouse sinks, also known as apron sinks, spark warm nostalgia in me. I think many who were raised in the Napa Valley can relate. But, today, with the introduction of new farmhouse styles, such as Blanco’s Silgranit sinks, they suit a wider range of kitchens. They are no longer geared toward traditional or country kitchens but can fit a more modern and sleek space.

Silgranit is a material composed of 80 percent granite and 20 percent acrylic, ceramic and color pigment. Silgranit sinks are as hard as stone, which make them heat and scratch-resistant. Normal impacts from pots and pans and falling objects will not cause them to crack or chip. They are virtually stain-proof and easy to clean. Dark, metal objects may show a scuff on lighter-color sinks but they are easily removed with a scouring sponge and water. Silgranit sinks come in a variety of shapes, farmhouse and otherwise, as well as 10 colors. These colors offer a way to elevate the design of your kitchen.

Your sink is the hardest working appliance in your kitchen. So, its user-friendly and functional features are paramount when choosing the best to suit your needs. And now, with the many options on the market such as Silgranit, your sink can also be notable and stylish.

What would a sink be without a faucet? User-friendliness and function are again obvious key players when it comes to this handy tool. Technology has been ramping up with enhanced convenience such as touchless, tap-on/off, or foot-control operation, magnetic docking, and multiple spray patterns that offer low-flow or pause functions to conserve water. The added amount you spend for this last feature is negated after a few water bills.

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High-arc faucets are popular for their ability to accommodate larger pots and pans. Because of their height and prominence, manufacturers have paid careful attention to their design and shape. They are clean, contemporary, and minimalistic leaving the finishes to become the focal point rather than fussy details. While polished chrome, bronze and nickel continue to stand the test of time, matte black, matte gold and champagne are gaining ground.

Like modern-day sinks, there is no shortage of new styles when it comes to faucets. There are hundreds of possible pairings to enhance your kitchen’s aesthetic appeal — a cause to celebrate with a bowl of cookies and cream.

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Patti L Cowger is an award-winning Napa-based interior designer and owner of PLC Interiors. For more information about her design services, visit her website at plcinteriors.com call (707) 322-6522; or email plcinteriors@sbcglobal.net.

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