Some things are so common that nobody sees the need to question them. For example, why do most kitchens have sinks facing a window? Is this a rule that must be followed always when designing a house?
Well, this is not a rule. But still, when you go to most homes, in any corner of the world, you would find the sink installed under a kitchen window. As it turns out, the reasons have much to do with practicality than conventions. So, your sink doesn’t have to face a window if the layout doesn’t allow it.
Here are some reasons why most kitchens have the sink facing a window.
It is easier to install kitchen plumbing on the exterior wall
In most cases, the exterior wall will have a window. But that is not the reason why a sink will be placed there. Whether you have a double or single kitchen sink the plumbing requires a lot of drainage connections and water lines. And the best way to ensure plumbing is accessible is by installing it along the exterior wall, where there happened to be a window.
Sometimes you can do it with a little view while doing your kitchen chores. Most of the kitchen chores are not that exciting (unlike you are Monica Geller), and so you may need to take your mind off a little bit by gazing outside through the window.
Many things go bad in the kitchen – the leftovers, unused ingredients, expired foods, dirty dishes – and without proper air circulation it may be nerve-wracking to stay around. Having the sink facing the window gives you an opportunity to allow in the fresh air and get rid of the odors.
A sink under the window can also come in handy when you have burnt something and need a place to chuck a hot pan while expelling the smoke out of the room
Having a sink installed under a window means you do not have to turn on the lights when using the sink during the daytime. All you need to do is open the window and a bucket load of natural light will shine inside your kitchen.
If you have a sink under overhead cabinets, it will be tricky cleaning larger utensils. Moreover, a countertop under the window will look odd and out of place.
It’s just been that way since always
Before the invention of indoor plumbing, the sink was placed under a window so that it would be easier to bring water from outside into the kitchen. Since then, this has been the way sinks have been installed.
A sink under a window allows steam from hot water to escape outside rather than accumulating inside the kitchen and making it unbearable to work.
So must you place your kitchen sink under a window?
No, it is not a rule that all kitchen sinks should be placed under the window. There are many reasons not to actually go with this kitchen arrangement, including:
If you don’t clean dishes that much
One of the main reasons to have a kitchen sink under the window is so that one can have a great view while washing the dishes. But since a genius lass by the name Josephine Cochrane invented dishwashing machines, people are not spending that much time at the sink as before. So if you have a dishwashing machine, the only thing you will be taking most of your time is preparing food. Which brings us to one way you can use that space by the window instead of placing there a sink – food preparing.
Uninterrupted countertop space
For more space for food preparation or any other chore, you can place a sink at the center of the countertop run to free up some space. Alternatively, you can place the sink at the end of the run or in a corner.
While traditionally, it makes sense to put a sink under the window in the kitchen, sometimes it’s just not applicable. Moreover, if you stick to “a sink MUST go under the window”, you may miss out on applying your creativity in your kitchen.