Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vintage Shopping in Central Phoenix - Part One

I've gone back and forth with the angel and the devil on my shoulders about just how much to share.  If I tell people about all the places I like to shop and they start shopping there too, will it hurt my chances of finding future goodies?

Finally I gave myself a reality check and realized this is a ridiculous thing to stress over.  First, because it implies that I have such an enormous readership that it is capable of wiping out entire vintage shops upon my revealing their names.  Self-delusion is hilarious! 

Second, because even if this were true, I set my own schedule and can go shopping pretty much anytime of the week.  So, there's that.

But honestly, the more turnover there is at vintage shops, the more great stuff they can bring in.  Instead of seeing the same pieces month after month, when more people purchase from my favorite vintage shops, the stores can have an ever-changing inventory of exciting, new pieces.  Everyone wins!

Just to keep this from being the longest post in the history of man, I'm going to split this into two parts.  Today I'll show you the photos and divulge the sources.  Next Thursday I'll go a little deeper into how I shop each store and how I decide if a particular piece is worth the price to me. 

Also keep in mind that I'm using the term "vintage" a little loosely.  Technically, vintage furniture is at least 30 years old and up to 100 years old.  For the purposes of this post, I'll be using "vintage" to describe anything found at actual vintage stores and at second-hand stores like Salvation Army & Goodwill.  

Onto the list!

I like the location on Central just South of the I-17 for lighting, new and used plumbing fixtures (they sometimes have Kohler faucets) and paint. Yesterday they had 5 gallon buckets for $15 and the colors were actually pretty good! In addition to lighting (good lamps!) and furniture (which is usually so-so to me) they've got gobs and gobs of building materials like cabinets, countertops, doors (if you want a cool old door for a headboard or table) and windows.

I didn't find anything yesterday that I wanted so I didn't snap any photos but here are some from their website:

And oh yeah, toilets.

My favorites are the one on Central just North of the I-17.  It's not in the best neighborhood but I see lots of women there with their kids and I've never felt unsafe there.  They didn't have anything photo-worthy yesterday but the second location I like, on 7th Ave and Indian School, did:

I really wanted this lamp but it was $24.95 - if it were 50% off Saturdays, it would've been  mine.

They had a great selection of headboards that were in good condition.  After a couple of coats of pretty paint, they'd be showstoppers in any bedroom.

This was the best photo I could get of this headboard made up of four, chair-back-looking parts.  They were all in a big rack and I was nervous about them crashing down on top of me if I moved them too much.  The rest of the headboard is behind the other guy at the bottom of the photo.

I love the caning and pretty carving on this headboard.  If I had a daughter, or even just a super-feminine style in my house, I'd snatch this lady up and give her a coat of soft grey paint.  Gorgeous!

Next on my stop:

Zinnia's is essentially an antique mall with tons of different looks all at a pretty decent price point.  They've got booth after booth filled with a everything from ornate vintage & antiques, industrial pieces, kitschy stuff from the 60's and really feminine, french-like treasures.  I could easily spend hours here, looking in every nook and cranny and I'm sure I wouldn't have scratched the surface.

Here are my photos of what caught my eye. 

Acrylic (or lucite maybe?) candleholders for only $9.95. 

Fun, metal letters in blue

This would make a really great office chair.  All it needs is new cushion in a hot fabric and a darker stain.  Oh, I suppose you could paint it if you insist.

This next piece took my breath away:

A chinoiserie screen in the most mind-blowing colors.  The photos don't do it justice but trust me, it's OUTRAAAAGEOUSSSSS!!  If I had a large, uninterrupted wall above my sofa this baby would be mine.  I can't wait until I have a large enough clientele so I can snap up great pieces like this to use in future projects.  It broke my heart to leave this one at the store.

I've had my eyes on this set of tumblers for a while now.  The price hasn't gone down yet, $49.95 for the set, it's a fair price but I'm cheap on a ridiculous level.  But seriously, aren't they pretty?

But, they can't all be winners:

You can make yourself feel a little better about dropping some duckets here because proceeds benefit Florence Crittenton, a great organization that helps girls and women.  This shop tends to be a little pricier than say, Goodwill & Salvation Army but the goods are of a higher quality and in really good condition.  FYI: I spied a Michael Weiss for Vanguard sofa there yesterday that had sold for get this....$75.00.  It was in excellent condition, just needed a cleaning and it would be beautiful!.  

I fell in love with this chest.  The curves and that hardware are killing me!  If I could, I'd wrestle this into my trunk, take her home, strip off that hardware and slap on a lacquered finish in a kelly green, peacock blue or coral.  I wouldn't do a thing to change the hardware.  It's perfect as is!

Last on my tour:

What's a soda fountain got to do with vintage furniture?  Plenty!  In addition to being an actual soda fountain (after a full day of shopping, a handmade, rootbeer float is well-deserved) that serves food & ice cream and dates back to 1928 (Barry Goldwater & Frank Lloyd Wright are said to have dined there), MacAlpine's has all sorts of vintage furniture and other goodies.  If you're looking for some mid-century finds, they've got a great selection to choose from.  I really like their selection of art.  Apparently, so do a lot of other people because every piece that caught my eye had a big, fat "SOLD" tag on it.  

Like this piece:

The colors are actually deeper and more vibrant than they're showing here.  Whoever purchased this piece needs to take it home already!  It's had that "SOLD" tag on it for at least a month now and I get hopeful every time I walk in and it's still there. This would definitely be for a client, it's listed at $400.  It is a large piece and really dramatic so I don't think that price is out of line.

So there you have it!  A list of some of my favorite places to shop for one-of-a-kind furniture, art and accessories.  I hope you check out these stores and if you do, I'd love to hear all about your score!  
There are more stores I like to shop at but in the interest of keeping this post from being too long, I've narrowed it down to ones I've had the most luck at and that seem to consistently have a good selection.

If you're interested in hiring me to do some personal shopping for you or to give your home a makeover, mixing vintage finds with some new pieces, please email me.  I'd love to work with you!


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