interiors & styling

Trend Alert : Drip Rails

Trend Alert : Drip Rails - roomfortuesday.com Let’s chat about a practical kitchen design trend I’m predicting will be on the rise in the coming year… drip rails. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s a-ok. I’m about to explain and profess my love for the drip rail because I have one in our newly renovated kitchen and am loving it (from a practicality AND aesthetic perspective). I’m not certain if I’m noticing more of them because I have one of my own now, or if more designers are incorporating these into their kitchen design plans. Regardless, I am SO on board. Click through for the latest Trend Alert post, learn about drip rails, and get lots of incredible inspiration for incorporating one into your own kitchen.

I first decided I wanted a drip rail in my kitchen after seeing the above space by the incredible Jean Stoffer. She is a true innovative design queen and I love every single thing that lady does! I really liked the look of a contrasting piece that made the farmhouse sink feel more intentional and helped to break up the millwork and cabinetry.

Now… it doesn’t always have to be in contrast with the cabinets. Above, Studio Mcgee uses a drip rail in the same material and finish as the surrounding inset cabinets. It does add depth, but I’d say in this case- it’s more for function. So what exactly is the purpose and function of a drip rail?

The drip rail does exactly what is sounds like. When water spills or drips down the front edge of your sink, rather than running down the face of the cabinetry, the rail catches the water or diverts it. In our first kitchen (which was white), I remember the lower sink cabinets always getting icky and dirty from the sink water. I sure wish I would’ve known then to add a drip rail because it would’ve made the space look better (and saved me some cleaning time) on the day-to-day.

While it does have a practical purpose, I mostly love the way it looks. Remember when I talked about millwork giving you a sense of security and stability? I feel like the drip rail does that for the kitchen sink. Although it’s not a structural piece, it definitely makes the sink vignette feel more secure and balanced. A farmhouse sink can often feel too heavy (visually) for the cabinets beneath it, and this “ledge” gives the sink an aesthetically pleasing architectural element that makes it feel supported.

I’m a big fan of wood toned drip rails, that add warmth to surrounding paint grade cabinetry. It’s like adding a wooden dish brush to the edge of the sink on the countertop… that little organic element feels inviting and designerly.

I’m a details person and this is one classic, easy detail I absolutely love in the kitchen! If you’re planning to renovate or update your space, definitely keep it in mind. I’m sure I’m going to be asked where to buy a drip rail, and unfortunately- this isn’t an item you can easily find online. It’s often a custom cabinetry add-on or hack. We added ours after the cabinets were in place, and it was extremely easy to make. It took Emmett and I under an hour to cut one, radius the edge, stain it, and install.

Trend Alert : Drip Rails - roomfortuesday.com So what do you think? Are you into this trend? Have you been noticing more of these lately- or is this a totally new idea to you? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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  • Reply
    Peggi
    August 26, 2019 at 4:52 am

    I’m into it. Even with all the gorgeous detail in your kitchen reveal, my eye noted the drip rail. On the painted cabinets, I like the hit of wood warmth. On the wood cabinets, I definitely feel the “sturdy factor.” So interesting. Thanks for the educational post; now my eye will be searching for drip rails!
    And I agree that Jean Stoffer kitchens are dreamy! Happy Monday.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 26, 2019 at 10:56 am

      Jean Stoffer is aspirational for sure… everything she touches is incredible. I’m a big fan girl over here! I’m with you- wood tones for the win :) Have a great week Peggi!

  • Reply
    Kim
    August 26, 2019 at 6:27 am

    I’ve never seen a drip rail before. I like the look of it but I’d prefer one that wasn’t wood. If it’s to catch drips, it seems like the material should be one that won’t be harmed if water sits on it. Like marble, granite, quartz, etc.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 26, 2019 at 11:00 am

      You could definitely use any material… stone would be pretty, but I like the wood to offset the “hard” surface of the kitchen sink. As long as the wood is treated, it shouldn’t be an issue! We’ve had hardwood flooring in two of our kitchens and it held up beautifully against water. Now you’ve got me dreaming of what a marble one would look like :) I don’t think I’ve seen one of those yet!

  • Reply
    Melis
    August 26, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Yes! We’re in the process of finishing our new build and I’m doing a stone apron front like the queen, Jean Stoffer. I’ve been wondering about drip rails too and so glad to see all these good examples in one place. I definitely want to add one to our cabinets too. Love that it’s a fun detail AND functional!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 27, 2019 at 8:34 am

      That sounds insanely beautiful!! Congrats on your new build :)

  • Reply
    Betsy
    August 26, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I’ve never seen this in real life before, but honestly I don’t know many people in real life with farmhouse sinks – and I notice all the kitchens in this post have a farmhouse sink! (confession: I’m an undermount sink girl.)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 27, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Great point, Betsy! It definitely only applies if you have an apron front / farmhouse sink… not undermount.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 31, 2019 at 8:24 am

    How do you maintain it not getting gunky on the drip rail? It doesn’t appear to be a clear seal beteeen the sink and the drip rail and looks like a catch where it could get gunky if that makes sense? Even a little bit of trapped water over time would create that. I love the look but now I’m focused on how to clean the drip rail and keep that from getting yucky. Maybe I’m not seeing how it sits properly?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 3, 2019 at 9:24 am

      We really haven’t had an issue with it getting gunky or gross. Just like water running down the face of a sink, I just wipe any excess water. It sits flush and tight at the bottom of the sink, so there are not odd nooks to clean or areas for water to rest / mold. Hope this helps to answer the question!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    September 1, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Just wrapped my kitchen reno and I have a big farmhouse sink and no drip rail. This is probably something you can’t do after-the-fact but I’m wondering how you maintain a drip rail and where it diverts the water? Are you just trading gunky cabinets for a gunky drip rail???

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 3, 2019 at 9:27 am

      You could definitely add one after-the-fact :) That’s actually what we did! It’s literally zero extra maintenance. Rather than bending down to wipe the face of your lower cabinets, you can easy swipe the drip rail with a cloth. It doesn’t get gross or gunky, and helps protect your cabinetry.

  • Reply
    Kirstain McArdle
    September 13, 2019 at 4:44 am

    Does a wood drip rail need to be custom made or are they available for purchase? My contractor and cabinet company aren’t all too familiar with them. We are starting our kitchen soon and would love to add one!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 13, 2019 at 8:53 am

      They need to be custom made. Unfortunately, I think it’s a new idea so I wasn’t able to find any “readymade” options for purchase. We made our own. Hope this helps :)

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