How To Install Farmhouse Kitchen Towel Bars

July 10, 2017

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

I can't believe it's been more than 8 months since our farmhouse kitchen reveal. We've been very happy with the results. But hey, even great rooms can be improved upon, right? That's why I convinced my husband that after 13 years we finally deserve to have a kitchen towel bar that's actually within reach of the sink. Truth be told, this kitchen has never had ANY built-in towel bars whatsoever. Nada. So we had to get creative.
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As obsessed with farmhouse kitchens as I am, you can be sure that I've scoured Pinterest for towel bar ideas. One really clever idea I found, and the best idea in my opinion, is to use that empty space just below and in front of the sink to install your towel bar. Genius! I mean, it's not like anything else is going on there, right?

White Farmhouse Kitchen Sink

As you can see, no towel bar in sight. That area right in front of the sink is actually called a "dummy drawer" since it looks like there's a drawer there -- but there isn't. (You can actually buy kits to turn it into a real drawer, or tip out tray, but that's a whole other blog post.) 

White Farmhouse Kitchen Sink

Just look at that empty space in front of the sink, begging to be used! So we did. It was all very innocent, really. My husband and I were at Menard's for a completely unrelated project, and as we were walking past a certain display I noticed that it was all about stainless steel barpulls. And the light bulb went off. Why not use one of those extra large barpulls as a towel bar in front of the sink?

So, I just so happened to have the dimensions of the space written down in my purse (hhmmm what a coincidence), and it was 27 inches wide. Wouldn't you know it, they had pulls that were 25 and 3/8" wide, perfect! And the stainless steel would match nicely with our newly installed brushed nickel kitchen hardware, a.k.a. farmhouse cup pulls and knobs. 

brushed nickel farmhouse cup pull

Here's the farmhouse cup pull we used.

white farmhouse kitchen cabinets with brushed nickel knobs and cup pulls

Here's the full effect of the new cup pulls, cabinet knobs and freshly painted (by me) hinges. 

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

And here's the same sink with its own towel rack and some gorgeous turquoise dish towels! Do you see the same transformation that I do? Looks great and is utilitarian at the same time. So, how did we do it?

How To Install Kitchen Towel Bars

  1. First, we measured our kitchen sink's front panel to be sure to get the appropriate sized towel bar. 
  2. Then we took a pencil and rubbed over the towel bar's screw holes so that when you firmly placed the towel bar against the front panel it left rubbing marks showing us where we'd need to drill our holes.
  3. After we matched the drill bit size to the diameter of the screws provided with the towel bar, we carefully drilled all the way through the wood panel, creating the hole for the screw. 
  4. Then we did the same for the other side of the panel. After that, we countersank the screws by inserting them into the towel bar from the back, or inside of the counter. 

This part can be tricky depending on your cabinet's configuration. Our sink front towel bar was not too bad to install, however we went the extra mile and installed one in front of the stove as well. That one was not as easy. 

white farmhouse kitchen cabinets with brushed nickel knobs and cup pulls

Here's the stove area before the towel bar installation. It has the same dummy drawer as the sink does.

removal of electric stove top

I hadn't really thought about it but Mr. OHH had to lift up our electric stovetop to get to the inside of the cabinets and install the towel bar due to that whole countersinking thing.

removal of electric stove top

Once that was removed, he was able to install the towel bar in the same way he installed the towel bar in front of the sink. 

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

Here it is, after install in front of the stove.

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

I do think the towel bar blends in seamlessly with the cabinets.

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

I already feel like its always been here.

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

And here we are back in front of the sink.

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

Some might argue that the towels will get in the way of opening the lower cabinet, and that's true. However, for as little as I open those cabinet doors and as easy it is to slide the towel that's in the way aside, I'm ok with it. Also, on a regular day -- aka not photo shoot day --  I'd only be hanging two towels, not three, so that's even less to get in the way.
kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

I do wonder about the finish on the doors if they're subjected to too much water/dampness from the towels. However, I've not heard anyone complain that this is a problem for them. Plus, the rule in this house is not to hang up super wet towels anyway. I'm a freak that way. I always put really wet towels right into the laundry room.

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

Plus I'm the one who painted the cabinets so I can always manage a touch-up if necessary.

kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

I'm totally happy with these two simple, economical kitchen updates. I mean, what's not to like?  Don't you just love it when making a small change like this can create a big impact? I do!

So where do you hang 
YOUR kitchen towels?

Well, that's it until next time, friends!

I hope you enjoyed reading 
How To Install Farmhouse Kitchen Towel Bars.
And thanks so much for spending 
time with me today!
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kitchen towel bar install sink dummy drawer

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Leave a Comment!

My thrift store addiction said...

Looks great, Kathleen! I love your breadbox, too ;)

Kathy said...

Very nice. Hope you had this as an excuse for new towels (mine usually look like they are ready for paint rag)s! I've lived in this house for 29 years and I am still hanging towels off the drawers and oven door. If I had a dollar for everytime I've picked one up off the floor, I could redo the entire kitchen!!!! I tried one of those slip onto the front of the drawer ones and it was a bigger pain than help. Your solution makes good sense!

Combaton's Blog said...

Love it!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Great idea,Kathleen! Looks wonderful and adds function, too! said...

That is pretty genius to use the bar handle & how nice that it matches the rest of your hardware. You can't beat the price. Your kitchen remodel is so nice! There's no way I would have gone to that much trouble to install the other one! haha, I'm lazy, not that I would be the one doing it...LOL. But I guess I'm the inspiration for these "honey-do's."

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Your towel bar really adds charm to the previously plain front.

Unknown said...

Good Morning!!

I can't believe how perfect this is! I have the same situation in my kitchen and a lightbulb went off when I this! I will be doing this very soon! I just hope we don't have to remove the stovetop to do it!! Fingers crossed!
Thanks for sharing!!

Christine @ Rustic-Refined said...

Your towel bar looks lovely and I think you picked the perfect spot. I'd have to say unless women start designing kitchens, a lot of them don't have a perfect spot to hang dish towels, unless it's on an end cap or an island. Mine usually wind up folded on the counter, drying. Thanks for linking up with us at the Dishing It & Digging It Link Party. Hope you found some great new friends.

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