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  1. Kellie Slater
    December 10, 2019 @ 12:36 pm

    Did I really think my morning of reclining on my $20 thrift store Ethan Allen sofa (in perfect condition, I might add) could get any better? Nope. But then, I got your email going through the reasons why you might not have been so keen on going into that sconce shop. As I was reading I thought to myself (she is a snob, just like me, that’s why she didn’t want to go into that creepy looking place and besides, anyone who rescues kittens gets a “snob get out of jail free” card, in my clonish opinion).
    Love, love, love reading your blog. Thank you.


    • Nanci Courtney
      December 10, 2019 @ 12:49 pm

      The video is JUST what I needed on this dark and rainy morning!


  2. Mary Beth
    December 10, 2019 @ 12:36 pm

    Don’t bother with the instant hot water. First of all, to make good tea (or coffee) you really need water that has been brought to a rolling boil. The water coming out of these isn’t hot enough to properly steep the tea. Second, my parents had two of the instant hot water faucets (one in the kitchen and the other for the coffee bar in the master bedroom) in their house and both needed replacing in a fairly short time. They ended up thinking they were a waste of money, but had to fix them so they were in working condition when they sold the house.


    • liz
      December 10, 2019 @ 12:56 pm

      Mary Beth, that were my thoughts also.


      • Liz
        December 10, 2019 @ 12:57 pm

        Should read “those were my thoughts also.” AARGH!


    • Susan C
      December 10, 2019 @ 3:08 pm

      I am a tea drinker and I use an multi temperature electric kettle by Breville. I would t mind a hot water spout but not for tea.


      • Lauren
        December 10, 2019 @ 3:44 pm

        Susan, I have had the same one for two years and use it daily. I LOVE the thing. It’s a bit expensive but I will replace it in a heartbeat should it break I hope I didn’t just jinx myself! Tea really should be brewed at different temperatures depending on the tea. Also, it keeps a whole pot hot for about an hour before it shuts off so I can have more at the ready. If I don’t finish the pot I throw it in the fridge and drink it as iced tea later. It only takes two minutes to boil the pot of tea.


        • Alison
          December 10, 2019 @ 4:34 pm

          I must politely disagree with Mary Beth and Susan C. I am a lifelong tea drinker, and have a Chinese mother-in-law who is also a tea snob like me. I have used my instant hot water dispenser for tea every day for over twenty years, and we’ve only had to replace it once. I cannot appreciate the difference between tea I make at home lickety-split with my dispenser, and the tea that I make at her home with her kettle. We also use the hot water dispenser for small amounts of hot water to clean surfaces without the need for nasty store-bought cleaners. Works great, sometimes we add a spritz of vinegar. Saves on plastic and avoids chemicals. Good luck with your kitchen remodel, VEB!


  3. Karen
    December 10, 2019 @ 12:39 pm

    Take the finish you’re trying to coordinate with to a showroom, and look at the samples in person of the Newport Brass option. NB has so many variations of brass, one will work.


  4. Jennifer
    December 10, 2019 @ 12:42 pm

    I think those Insinkerator tap handles look suspicious — like something that would be hard to fix, mounted so close together. I like the Newport Brass, and I’d order the unlacqured brass (and check to see if it’s exchangeable in case you don’t like the finish.) I’m inclined to think it and the faucet would age in such a way that differences would become minute. But I may not be as particular a noticer as some. 🙂


  5. Laura B
    December 10, 2019 @ 12:50 pm

    Loved your explanation of the sconce shop – but the real question is why did PAUL want to go in there? He must have been bewitched!
    Also, I think that laquer would be very easy to remove – isn’t it? Paint thinner?


  6. Suzanne Melton
    December 10, 2019 @ 12:56 pm

    Victoria, anything, ANYTHING!, can be re-plated. For less cash than you might think.

    Do the fixtures have to be unpolished brass all the way through?

    If you find two fixtures that have perfect designs but are chrome or bronze or nickel or whatever, have them re-plated in unpolished brass. This would be especially great if both fixtures were re-plated at the same time.

    I bet they could be plated to match the sconces.

    Please talk to some of the plating companies in the Philadelphia area before making a decision.

    I just googled [Philadelphia copper plating] and you have choices!


    • Suzanne Melton
      December 10, 2019 @ 1:00 pm


      [Philadelphia brass plating] will give you wan you want.

      We painted the house and garage black and painted the corners, sconces, and garage door copper so copper’s been on my mind.


    • sherrie
      December 10, 2019 @ 1:55 pm

      I was thinking the same. My son plays trombone and all his trombones are lacquered brass. He has one or two he delacquered himself. There are music shops the repair lacquer all the time. I image you could get whatever style you prefer and change the finish for relatively little money. Considering you’ll look at and/or touch this equipment multiple times a day for years, I think this is not the place to compromise.


  7. JeanFB
    December 10, 2019 @ 12:58 pm

    Ooooo I love the story of the Ghost GiantFancyThing Shop! It appeared for you, just like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter. A Room of Requirement for GFTs makes perfect sense to me!

    And it sounds like South Street has become…. even more so (since my PhilaPA days in the late 80s!)

    As for the faucets, I think that as long as they are both vintage in style and both unlacquered brass you will be fine, for the very reason that the brass will become patina’d over time, and any discrepencies in color will sort of work themselves out. Does that make any sense?

    Thanks for another lovely post!


  8. SusieQT
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:03 pm

    Before you commit to unlaquered brass finishes, especially with hot water taps, please read up on copper (brass is a copper alloy) poisoning. Here’s an article which mentions tea, specifically:

    …”Semple al. (1960) reported an outbreak of copper poisoning from ingestion of tea that was contaminated with copper sulfate scale deposited in the water used to make the tea. The authors estimated that the total copper in the suspension was 44 mg/L….”


    • Suzanne Melton
      December 10, 2019 @ 9:28 pm

      Interesting. Why are they making copper compression socks, gloves, and jock-straps?

      My eye doctor even put me on copper supplements every day.

      People are replacing their lead plumbing with copper due to lead poisoning (see Flint).


  9. Lisa Garber
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:04 pm

    Idon’tknow Idon’tknow Idon’tknowwwwww!!!!! I trust your judgment. And Paul’s of course.


  10. Mary McDonough
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:04 pm

    My son made me promise to go find that shop of lights several years back and I did and won’t forget it ever. I was in heaven. There was an elderly man behind the counter and he was ready to talk about any parts of his prized collection. It was great!


  11. Julie Aarsvold
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:07 pm

    Hello! I love your blog and enjoy reading your exploits. i did get goosebumps when you found out the sconce shop had been closed for 2 years. It seemed like a twilight zone moment, like it was open just for you!

    I think you should go with the faucet that matches everything else as closely as possible, although, i do like the really expensive one! I do not like the smallest one, it looks cheesy and definitely not Giant Fancy. Also, you could consider an electric kettle that you could store away until needed and keep one more thing off your counter top. I don’t think they’re instant, but close to it.

    there is my 2 cents for what it’s worth. thanks for thinking and saving the kitties, more people should be as caring as you!


  12. Elizabeth
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:08 pm

    I would forget about the instant hot water tap altogether, although my vote is for the Newport Brass if you ignore my suggestion to not buy an automatic hot water dispenser. Different teas require different temperatures for proper brewing. I have a Kitchenaid tea/hot water kettle ( that we all love that has different temperature settings! We use it to make our own blend of herbal tea and I use it in the morning to heat water for my French Press. It takes only a few minutes to heat the water. And it costs much less than the dispenser and the hot water works you would be buying. It also has a really pleasant chime.


  13. Jen McKeon
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:15 pm

    You are a brave woman, South Street scares me… I do not have the ability to (even with prodding) walk into any of those weirdo stores. I am so sorry you couldn’t find a wall mounted option 🙁 I saw the Insinkerator (are you invading a small country with that name???) does come in brushed brass… What is that? it doesn’t sound fancy! I am sure your inner diva will tell you which is the best 🙂


  14. ajt
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:19 pm

    Any update on the induction cooktop?


  15. Lisa Felipe
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:25 pm

    Why not remove lacquer? Martha Stewart says it’s easy (see you tube)—just soak in acetone & use very fine steel wool if necessary


  16. Carol
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:28 pm

    Hello VEB, We, too, have an amazing Ali Baba’s cave of lamps and things. It is in a pretty crappy part of Riverside, close to several autombile chop shops and other places I would rather not go. However, this place is worth the trip IF they are open. It is owned by two elderly brothers who open it when they feel like it. You must call ahead but then they only answer the phone when they feel like it.

    Chances are that every city has some strange and amazing stores in strange and amazing places. Always an interesting hunt!


  17. Linda
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:29 pm

    I thought the biggest benefit of Induction cooking (ie the cooktop you’re getting!) is that it boils water “instantly”? Buy yourself a pretty stove-top kettles and… voila!


    • Pericolosa
      December 12, 2019 @ 5:23 am

      This is true. But a kettle seems more like clutter than beautiful faucets pleasingly located.


  18. Patricia Ann T
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:35 pm

    “HN2D” advocates hibiscus 🌺 tea as I recall
    (+ flax seeds). South Street is one weird carnival to traverse for a deadly steak & ‘wiz @ Jimmy’s.


  19. judy
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:52 pm

    I have a Christmas wish from you and Paul. Considering the profound microscopic attention to teeny tiny details you & Paul bring to every decision,and Paul’s ability to bring genius into every build/rebuild effort. I want you to run for President and Vice-not Vice as in South Street,vice as assistant to the boss -since you must be in control and I think Paul is indifferent to control issues as long as everything is on time on budget-you must be Boss. If you can put this into execution just a wee bit more quickly than the completion of the KITCHEN-I believe you can save the planet and We the people. Thanks for the wit & all the guffaws when life becomes weary,dreary,full of fear-ee. I always smile from ear to ear when I see your posts. Joyous holidays to all.


  20. Tracy
    December 10, 2019 @ 1:56 pm

    Your posts are always a pleasant escape. Today was no exception as I rabbit trailed over to electric tea kettles and found a bday gift for my husband who, like yourself, always has a mug nearby. There are some attractive editions out there–Will there really be NOTHING on your counters?? Your patience to get exactly what you want is inspiring. You are certainly building our anticipation for your completed kitchen.


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