A grand stand: updated pedestal sink


January 23, 1994|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Contributing Writer Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Despite what some sybarites might think, the bathroom is not a late-20th-century invention. Ancient civilizations may not have had high-tech gear in their lavatories, but many of them did assign a great deal of importance to bathing and its attendant rituals.

It's true, though, that only in North America -- and only fairly

recently -- has the bathroom in the average home begun to receive the kind of attention to design that it deserves.

While the human functions performed in a bathing environment have not changed, the look and conveniences of such a space certainly have. In fact, with the possible exception of the kitchen, the bathroom is now the most contemporary section of many homes.

That's fine with me. I'm personally no fan of those old-fashioned four-legged tubs, unless they have a definite functional advantage, such as much more depth than the standard model.

I'm also not wild about the antique pedestal sink, though it is, admittedly, a smart choice for a small powder room. When used in contemporary homes, I generally regard such nostalgic fixtures as an affectation because they seldom possess the sort of functional capabilities appropriate for today's lifestyles.

Why install a pedestal sink, I ask, when the standard sink cabinet affords so much welcome storage space? But what's wrong with a pedestal sink, you may ask in return, in one of those extra-roomy bathrooms that contains a separate, large storage compartment for toiletries and linens? Well, maybe under those conditions it would be OK, I am forced to concede.

My enthusiasm remains tempered, however, because storage isn't the only key aspect of a functionally designed sink. To my mind, a reasonable amount of counter space is just as important. And I've become happily accustomed to lavatory units with built-in lighting and easy access to various pieces of equipment.

So, let's welcome back the pedestal sink, though in a somewhat different form and proportion.

What do you think of the New Trocadero Suite from Kohler shown in the photo? It combines a dramatic single-basin vanity with ample counter space, a full lighting array and even a storage area -- all in dimensions measuring 63 inches in width, 24 inches in depth and 82 inches from the floor to the top of the arc.

The basin and the Avonite counter top rest upon a pedestal that flares upward from a narrow base. The large lighted mirror is flanked by shelves as well as by a pair of cabinets with curved, maple veneer doors. And the lavatory's distinctive back arcs upward to form a backsplash for the integral faucet deck.

As this model demonstrates, pedestal sinks don't have to be quaintly anachronistic. This is about as complete and contemporary a sink-and-storage unit as anyone would want. Nostalgia has been all but banished in this highly functional update of a classic design.

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