Bathroom Vessel SinkIf you're looking for a seriously modern punch for your custom home, think about adding a vessel sink or two. What is a vessel sink? It's a free-standing sink that that is placed directly on top of a counter. They are most often used in bathrooms.

Vessel sinks come in a wide variety of materials: glass, copper, stone, bamboo, stainless steel, and the more traditional porcelain. Commonly they are round and bowl-shaped. But they come in rectangular, oval, rectangular with oval basins, and all sorts of irregular shapes. Some are very shallow with just a slight rim and a sloping surface, adding to the dramatic look. It's almost like pouring water onto a plate. But it doesn't spill over. Cool.

If you choose a vessel sink, however, you'll need a special vessel faucet. Given the height of vessel sinks, typical faucets won't cut it.

Bathroom Vessel Sink FaucetMany specially designed faucets are simply taller, elongated versions of the more typical bathroom faucet. They come in all the typical fixture materials (chrome, nickel, bronze, steel, brass, pewter, etc.). And most of them are quite stylish. Some don't look anything like a faucet, but more like a waterfall. My favorite vessel sink faucets are plumbed out of the wall instead of the countertop.

While I love the look of vessel sinks, we chose not to use any in our home. Our reasoning was strictly utilitarian, not aesthetic. For ease of use and efficiency in cleaning, I chose undermount sinks with no edges, lips, or sides. The kids' bathroom sinks are all integrated and the other bathroom sinks are undermounts with a great, modern shape.

But if you're looking for maximum style and the wow factor, vessel sinks are the way to go.