simple stuff: a stainless steel water dispenser.

June 16, 2022

It’s a habit shift, it’s apartment progress, it’s baby proof in a family where the youngest baby is a walking, talking two-year-old calling her dad…Jimmy. It’s a stainless steel water dispenser, otherwise known as an Italian fusti, and so far, we love it!

These classic stainless steel vessels with a handy and handsome spigot are most commonly used commercially as olive oil and honey storage—but they can also be real charmers in the home hydration department. We found ours secondhand and it had clearly spent its previous life in its intended role as vegetable oil keeper. Taking pride of place on the top of the small rolling utility cart in our kitchen, it’s now part of an easy access one-stop shop for water procurement that even the smallest in the household is able to navigate (mostly solo but typically with the *very* eager assistance of her older siblings).

I’ve written before about the ease I try to find for myself and my kids by creating accessible spaces in our apartment. Art supplies and kids clothes and other everyday items are kept in places that kids can reach for themselves but until now, I didn’t have that ease or access fully cracked in the water department. Our cabinets and countertops are high, even for me, and I hadn’t fully committed to toddler-height open glass storage. Well, consider this a new chapter.

Here are more details about our set up should you want them:

+ We have a 15-liter Sansone Fusti. Somewhat randomly, I found ours secondhand on Poshmark for a small fraction of the original price, so even though I was hoping for a 5-10 liter fusti, it was cheaper to go bigger. (And it is big.) If you’re looking to purchase new in the US, many olive oil and Italian goods importers sell the Sansone Fustis in a range of sizes from 2 liters all the way up to practically bathtub size. CB2 is currently selling the 15-Liter Fusti on their site. (As an added bonus for my label averse brethren, their version comes without the signature comic-sans style branding.)

+ We’ve been using Kishu Binchotan charcoal sticks to purify our tap water for the last ten years and love them. Putting them into the Fusti couldn’t be easier and it’s been so nice to have a break from the constant clank of the charocal sticks in our glass pitchers. (Here’s a full Simple Stuff: Water Filters post from the archive if you’d like a deep dive on why we put sticks in our water and what other water filtration options are out there! Berkey enthusiasts, I know you’ll be pleased.)

+ I made a butcher’s twine potholder in the right dimensions to serve as a crash pad for two stacks of the glass cups we’re keeping within easy reach of the spigot.

+ After experiments in other glassware, I’m firmly back on the 5.75 ounce Duralex Picardie for the kids in the family. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if it is broke, replace it with a Duralex Picardie.

+ The fusti isn’t insulated so it doesn’t keep the water inside truly chilled, but even these former fridge-cold only water drinkers haven’t been bothered. I’ve just been adding a tray’s worth of ice cubes in the morning and everyone’s been happy. (This is our stainless steel ice cube tray. Only James can successfully crack it without cursing, but I’ll never admit defeat.) We’ve had minimal sweating and condensation on the outside of the fusti so far, though I’m sure there will be more in the higher humidity days of July and August. I’m not worried.

+ The whole operation is poised on top of our Yamazaki Home Utility Cart, which we’ve had for about a year now and which has been really great in this spot.

+ For good measure, I’ve been keeping the fusti from resting directly on the cart by employing a trusty trivet I made from a length of corded rope.

+ On a whim I decided to put our enamel (vintage! found locally!) bucket to use as a drip catcher in case of emergency. Yes, I have one child who revels in filling their glass to the absolute brim. I have another child who has twice walked away from an open spigot, cup sufficiently filled, head in the clouds. Preposterously, I have still another child.

+ If stainless steel is not what you’re after but the idea of a dispenser has your heart a-flutter, I’d also recommend the Canyon Crow Home Enamel Beverage Dispenser. This past weekend Rose and I escaped for a working weekend to The Rivertown Lodge in Hudson and they had one at the ready for guests. Also great and it comes with a simple stand for easy access.

Questions? Just ask!

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  • Reply Amy June 16, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    Are you worried about anything yucky growing in it?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE June 16, 2022 at 1:46 pm

      No! Stainless steel is pretty great about not growing yucky things and it’s seamless and easy to clean!

  • Reply Jen June 16, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    “Preposterously, I have still another child.”

    • Reply laura June 16, 2022 at 2:26 pm

      also made me laugh out loud

      • Reply Mari June 16, 2022 at 4:55 pm

        Same! Still giggling. 🙂

  • Reply Sarah June 16, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    Beautiful solution. I’ve looked at the stainless ice cube trays the last time you mentioned them. . . clicked on the link again and see that according to product description, all you need is a “flick of the wrist” — particularly hilarious, considering your aside about how easy it isn’t 🙂

  • Reply Emma June 16, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    It is beautiful! How often do you think that you’ll be washing it?

  • Reply Kellyn June 16, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    I ahve those ice cube gtrays! I put a thin layer of water on top and leave for a minute or two – makes it much more mangeable to get them out (I pour off that extra water into my glass…nice and chilled)

  • Reply Kristin June 19, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    I picked up two of the metal Onyx ice cube trays at my local Goodwill for a buck apiece. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who can’t crack them!

  • Reply C June 20, 2022 at 8:39 am

    The basket (of linens) on the shelf underneath the fusti is sublime! May I ask from where it was purchased, or if there’s a link to an Erin B x Rose P tutorial for guidance?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE June 21, 2022 at 9:21 am

      I made it with a bundle of leftover materials from Alexa at! It’s quite rough, but I love it! No tutorial for the moment, but maybe one day!

  • Reply Celeste June 22, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    I just want to say that I saw your post on Instagram, immediately bought one of these, and it is perfect. Great for kids, great for a backyard birthday party, and great for overnight guests, who immediately knew where to find a glass of water. Never been so happily influenced!

  • Reply Shimkiri June 26, 2022 at 8:18 am

    I have been hunting for a solution like this for the past couple of weeks! Thank you!

  • Reply Leanne June 29, 2022 at 9:59 am

    Loved this whole post 🙂 where do you buy the charcoal sticks?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 5, 2022 at 12:25 pm

      have found in a few different places locally, tho haven’t purchased very recently! link in the original piece linked here!

  • Reply Mrs. Ainee C. Beland August 8, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    I am sorry that the stainless steel water dispenser is no longer available at CB2. I wanted to find out the cost of this. I viewed the Binchotan activated charcoal and put this on my wish list for a purchase someday; to stop buying bottled water. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Meagan Isbell February 12, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    May I ask where you purchased the hanging clips for your cute little mini sweeper? Are they included with the cart?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE February 13, 2023 at 3:40 pm

      Included with!


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