Expert Advice

  • Single Bowl vs. Double Bowl

    Top designers weigh in on the merits of single and double basin sinks

    Single Bowl VS Double Bowl

    Since the invention of the kitchen sink, homeowners and designers have been debating the merits of a single bowl vs. a double bowl. On the one hand, a double basin makes washing dishes a snap – one side serves to hold soapy water and dirty dishes while the other side is reserved to keep them clean. On the other hand, single basins can be real space savers (often coming in a wider range of sizes than their divided counterparts) and they can be roomier for washing pots and pans. We could make endless arguments for both sides but the truth is it comes down to personal preference. Need some inspiration to make your choice? See below for some of our favorite single and double bowl installations and hear what some of our favorite designers have to say about each.

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  • Selecting a Tub Filler

    Expert advice on tub fillers from kitchen & bath design pros

    copper bathtub with tub filler Adina tub filler by Altmans with Aurora copper bathtub in Antique by Native Trails

     
    Now that you’ve settled on a dreamy bathtub to sink into, you will want to know how best to fill it with water. Look no further; this compendium of advice from three top kitchen and bath design experts will tell you everything you need to know to find the right tub faucet for every style and space.

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  • Brains, Brawn & Beauty: the Three Bs of Brushed Nickel

    Why Hammered Brushed Nickel is the Best Finish for a Luxury Sink 

    Farmhouse kitchen sink in brushed nickel Farmhouse Duet hammered copper kitchen sink in Brushed Nickel.

    Brushed Nickel: So beautiful, yet so many questions! How is the finish achieved? How does it hold up? Is it easy to maintain? How does it compare with stainless steel? Why would I choose Native Trails’ Brushed Nickel over a traditional stainless steel sink or another luxurious alternative?

    The short of it: Yes, our Brushed Nickel is very durable and super easy to maintain. Due to the hammered and brushed texture, it is incredibly forgiving. Those nicks, dents, and scratches that occur during everyday use make a stainless steel sink look beat-up over time, but they are hardly visible in a hammered nickel sink. Ours is considered more luxurious and eye-catching than stainless steel, and our processes for achieving this finish are a big reason as to why it maintains its luxe appeal over time. Continue reading

  • Selecting a Bathroom Sink Drain Finish

    Choose the Right Drain Finish for Copper or Concrete Bathroom Sinks

    Maestro Lotus bathroom sink in Antique paired with Teardrop Drain in Oil Rubbed Bronze Maestro Lotus bathroom sink in Antique paired with Teardrop Drain in Oil Rubbed Bronze

    Now that you have found your perfect bathroom sink, there are other decisions to make: namely, what is the best faucet and drain for your sink and your space? For faucet guidance, see our bathroom faucet guide. As for the sink drain—that seemingly inconsequential piece of this plumbing puzzle—find out more about Native Trails’ four bathroom sink drains and how to install them, and read on for our sink drain finish insights and tips.

    Diminutive though it may be, the drain has a big job to do, not to mention that it can effectively tie together the sink and faucet combo you have so carefully selected. We often get asked about the best drain finish for a copper sink or for a NativeStone® sink. Not only are Native Trails sink drains designed to function perfectly with all our sinks, but our five finish colors—Brushed Nickel, Polished Nickel, Chrome, Oil Rubbed Bronze and Weathered Copper—coordinate beautifully with our copper and concrete sinks while also allowing room for customization. Continue reading

  • Why Sink Grids are the Kitchen Accessories You’ll Wonder How You Lived Without

    The Best and Easiest Way to Keep Your Kitchen Sink Looking New

    Farmhouse 2418 concrete sink and coordinating bottom grids Farmhouse 2418 concrete sink and coordinating sink grid in stainless steel.

    Once you’ve done the hard part—or the fun part, depending on how into kitchen and bath design you are—of picking out the kitchen sink of your dreams, you’ll want to know how to protect it so that it remains the kitchen sink of your dreams. (No hyperbole here, we promise; there is, in fact, such a thing as a kitchen sink worth dreaming about. The farmhouse sink in particular has inspired more than a few sweet dreams.

    While there’s plenty out there on the subject of how to clean or polish your sink, there’s little on how to prevent damage to your sink floor—so often subject to high temperatures, abrasive surfaces, acidic foods, sharp utensils, harsh cleaning products, and so on.

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  • A Basic Guide for Bathroom Sink Drain Selection

    Cuyama bathroom sink with 1.5" Dome Drain Cuyama concrete bathroom sink with 1.5" Dome Drain

    A quality drain is essential to complement a finely crafted basin. We have searched high and low to find and perfect the best quality, most innovative and high-functioning designs in the industry. After all, if our bathroom sinks are designed to last, we want our bathroom sink drains to do the same. Each Native Trails drain is best of class: made of a thick 17-gauge metal with high-quality plating.

    Choosing a Sink Drain for Your Copper Bathroom Sink

    Perfect fit and seamless coordination are priorities when choosing a sink drain. Most sink drains out there do not thread all the way up, requiring the use of a spacer, which can be quite a hassle for the unsuspecting plumber. This is one reason we strongly recommend pairing a Native Trails copper lavatory sink with a Native Trails sink drain: our drains thread all the way up, creating a snug fit against the bottom of the basin, and installers love us for supplying the perfect drain for the job.

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  • Modern Rustic Design

    Naomi Neilson Howard, Founder, and CEO
    This article originally appeared in Modern Builder + Design.

    Today's Modern Rustic Homes Hit All The Right Notes With Builders and Homeowners.

    Modern Rustic Design - 24" Cuzco Vanity in Antique Copper 24" Cuzco Vanity in Antique

    Just as the most interesting paint colors are those that straddle two hues—i.e., the watery color created when blue and green mingle or the chic “greige” that comes from gray and beige—the most interesting homes color outside the lines of any one design style. “Rustic modern” may sound like an oxymoron, but the name (and others like “rustic contemporary” and “urban rustic”) suits this emerging design style perfectly. Today’s modern rustic homes hit all the right notes with builders and homeowners who seek eclectic spaces with the warmth and charm of an old farmhouse or ski lodge and the bells and whistles—and sophistication—of a new build. The following trends drive this movement. Continue reading

  • Bathroom Faucets Guide

    A Basic Selection Guide for Selecting the Right Bathroom Faucets for Your Space.

    Sonoma Forge’s WaterBridge bathroom faucets Sonoma Forge’s WaterBridge bathroom faucets partnered with a pair of Hana sinks.

    You have innumerable options in bathroom faucets. Where to begin? Be sure to work closely with your designer or plumbing showroom specialist, who has expertise in faucet selection, and use a professional installer who follows the manufacturer’s installation guidelines. In the meantime, understand the parameters. Here are five basic tips that will help you down the right path:

    TIP 1: Know your design style

    Whether your bath is contemporary, modern, rustic, or anywhere in between, your bathroom faucets should complement your sink, the overall design, and the life cycle of the project.

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  • A Perfect Pairing

    Choose The Best Vessel Sink Faucet

    Dion Wilson, Manager, Waterhouse Kitchen & Bath Studio

    California Faucets Vessel Sink Faucet With its height and curved neck, California Faucets Avalon provides a perfect angel over the thick rim of the Laguna.

    Bathrooms are no longer predictably outfitted with conventional white porcelain sinks and chrome widespread faucets. There are so many more options today, and vessel sinks are one of the most stylish and elegant ways to dress up the bathroom. They combine modern functionality with old world charm - their design is actually inspired by wash basins used in centuries past, before the invention of modern indoor plumbing, when a simple bowl and pitcher were placed on a table for washing up.

    Today’s vessel sinks modernize that same basic design concept. They are now practical and diverse and are available in a wide variety of designs, shapes, colors, and materials. Because their diameter and height will vary, vessel sink faucet selection is a very important part of the design process. Since vessel sinks generally sit above the counter, they require faucets that are slightly different than standard faucets. Continue reading

  • See for Yourself: The Magic of Copper

    copper patina Birthday message written in ketchup left in copper sink for several hours.

    Copper is magical.

    If you don’t believe it, this living, self-healing metal will prove it to you. It may just take a bit of patience. Here is an example that pretty well illustrates it's naturally self-healing properties—a big plus especially for kitchen sinks, which are inevitably exposed to acidic substances. Using a pastry decorator, a message was scrawled with ketchup at the bottom of one of our copper farmhouse sinks. After a few hours the ketchup was rinsed off to reveal this bright and shiny birthday message.

    Within a week the text had all but completely disappeared from the sink.

    Those who have owned Native Trails copper sinks for an extended period of time come to understand that their sink will constantly change and heal itself with normal usage. Some homeowners become so comfortable with this fact that they even have some fun with their sinks—like writing special (temporary) messages to their family. Continue reading

  • Five Tips for Selecting a Bath Vanity

     

    Tip #1: Choose open storage for showcasing heirlooms or linens, closed storage for cleaning supplies and personal affects. Look at your current bathroom and storage and determine your ideal design. This bathroom vanity, from the Vintner’s Collection, is handmade of reclaimed wine staves and boasts open storage shelving and closed storage drawers. There's even a "secret" removable front panel for easy plumbing access and hidden storage!

    Tip #2: Vanities that resemble dressers are a great way to get plenty of drawer storage.

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  • Why Copper Turns Green

    And Why Your Copper Sink Won’t

    Maestro Petit Copper Sink, Antique finish Maestro Sonata Petit hammered copper sink in Antique.

    People often ask us if copper sinks turn green. The short answer is “nope!” Copper is a living metal, meaning it has a wonderful capacity to protect itself from the elements, called a patina.

    Time and continuous contact with trace minerals left by water are what cause copper to turn green - it is protecting itself from the minerals and possible corrosion.

    Customers often ask us how to clean their sink. Maintenance is as easy as wiping it down with soap and water and drying it off occasionally. The patina process has already started with the antique finish, and to some degree, with the tempered finish. Your copper sink, like a frequently-used penny, will continue to patina over time and become visually richer and more beautiful Continue reading

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