Adding a sink skirt to your bathroom can be a simple yet impactful way to embrace vintage style. Sink skirts lend charm and elegance, while hiding unsightly plumbing. Here’s an in-depth look at when, why, and how to incorporate this timeless trend.
What is a Sink Skirt?
A sink skirt is a decorative, fabric cover that wraps around the base of a pedestal sink, concealing the drain pipe and plumbing underneath. Sink skirts come in a variety of materials like cotton, linen, lace, velvet, or brocade. They can be solid colored or patterned. Ruffled, pleated, gathered, or smooth designs add beautiful detail. Sink skirts range from simple styles that just hide pipes to more ornate options with intricate trim. Their vintage vibe pairs perfectly with traditional, cottage, farmhouse, or shabby chic bathrooms.
When to Use a Sink Skirt
Highlighting Vintage Fixtures
Adding a sink skirt is a great way to play up the vintage charm of an antique or reproduction pedestal sink. The skirt complements and showcases ornate designs or feet. If your sink has decorative coloring, carvings, or metalwork, a skirt draws the eye to these details.
Softening Modern Spaces
Sink skirts can lend an old-fashioned feel even in contemporary bathrooms. Their romantic fabrics and details provide cozy contrast to sleek, modern sinks and vanities. A ruffled or ruched skirt adds feminine flair.
Updating Builder-Grade Bathrooms
Many mass-produced sinks lack character. An easy DIY skirt gives boring basins more personality. Choose lively patterns and trims to disguise dull sinks. Vivid florals, vibrant plaids, and contrasting ruffles do wonders.
Concealing Unsightly Plumbing
Exposed pipes, drains, and cluttered cabinets can make bathrooms feel unfinished. Sink skirts offer an instant facelift by covering unappealing under-sink views. Select solid fabrics if you need heavy-duty concealment.
Why Use a Sink Skirt?
Sink skirts harken back to turn-of-the-century bathrooms. Their nostalgic style sets the tone for vintage-inspired spaces. A tailored linen or delicate lace skirt has old-fashioned elegance.
Softness & Texture
Fabrics infuse coziness into bathrooms. Cottons add warmth, velvets lend luxury, and ruffles create charming texture. Skirts introduce pleasing tactile contrast from hard surfaces like porcelain and tile.
Creative touches like ruffles, pleats, trim, and patterns provide decor options. Play with different looks by coordinating your skirt to towels, shower curtains, or wall colors. Change up styles seasonally.
Installing a skirt is a fast, simple DIY project requiring just basic sewing skills. It lets you refresh your bathroom’s look in an afternoon for a fraction of the cost of a full remodel.
A skirt neatly hides clutter like pipes, bottles, and cleaning supplies. Some designs have built-in pouches or layered fabrics to organize bathroom necessities.
How to Use a Sink Skirt
Measure around the widest part of the sink base where you want the skirt to fall. Add 1-2 inches so the skirt isn’t too snug. Measure sink height to determine skirt length. Standard is 15-18 inches.
Select a Material
Cottons like eyelet, gingham, and calico have timeless charm. Linens and lace provide dainty elegance. For luxury, use velvet, silk, or brocade. If concealing plumbing, opaque fabrics like denim work better than sheers.
Choose a Style
Gathered and ruffled skirts have romantic flair. Pleated and tiered options offer tailored polish. Contrasting trims like rickrack and ribbons add whimsical detail. Pocket panels create storage space.
Sew the Skirt
Cut fabric to your measurements, adding seam allowances. Create a simple gathered rectangle, or design panels, tiers, and trim. Sew side seams to make a ring. Finish by enclosing the top hem and adding fasteners.
Install the Skirt
Wrap the skirt around the sink base and secure with ties, velcro, buttons, or snaps. For easy on/off access, use hook and loop tape on the side seams. Make any final adjustments so the skirt hangs evenly.
Style Ideas and Tips
- Try classic white eyelet for a light and breezy cottage feel.
- Choose floral prints in soft hues like pink, sage, or powder blue for a romantic look.
- Pair vibrant plaid or buffalo check skirts with farmhouse decors.
- Let luxurious brocade or damask fabrics inspire glamorous vintage bathrooms.
- For shabby chic style, select delicate lace paired with distressed wood sinks.
- Contrast plain pedestal sinks with ruched and ruffled skirt details.
- Coordinate fabrics like gingham or toile with window treatments for a pulled-together design.
- Skirt colors can pick up on wall paint or tile colors to tie the room together.
- Use trims like ricrac, ribbons, fringe, pom poms, or contrasting florals for pops of interest.
- Look for water-repellent or moisture-resistant fabrics that can handle splashes.
- Change skirts out seasonally to refresh your bathroom’s look.
Common Questions about Sink Skirts
Are sink skirts easy to install?
Yes, sink skirts are very DIY-friendly. They simply wrap around the pedestal base and fasten with ties, velcro, buttons, or hook and loop tape. Measure for a custom fit, sew the skirt, then install – no plumbing or carpentry skills required.
How do I keep a sink skirt in place?
Using velcro, sturdy fabric ties, or snap closures ensures your skirt stays put. For easy access to under-sink storage, attach one side with velcro or tape – you can lift the skirt off and re-secure it whenever needed.
What fabrics work best?
Cottons, linens, lace, and velvets have timeless appeal. For durability, tightly woven fabrics stand up well to moisture and laundering. If concealing pipes is a priority, choose opaque, non-sheer options.
Should my skirt go to the floor?
Not necessarily. Standard length is around 15-18 inches. Longer 24-30 inch skirts can work with high-rise vessel sinks. But taking them fully to the floor isn’t needed visually.
Can I still access my plumbing?
Installing the skirt with one detachable side makes under-sink access easy – simply unfasten that section. If your skirt is permanently secured, carefully lifting and peeking underneath should allow you to reach plumbing as needed.
Whether you want to play up a vintage pedestal sink or add old-fashioned flair to a modern bathroom, a decorative sink skirt is a charming accent. Choosing your perfect style, fabric, and details allows you to create a look ranging from delicate and romantic to bold and farmhouse-fabulous. With just basic sewing skills, you can fashion and install a custom skirt to give your bathroom an instant vintage vibe.