Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shopping in the Melrose District: Phoenix, Arizona

I was recently in AZ helping my BFF/non-bio sister,  KK, prep for her first baby.  While we spent some time in the hospital thinking her gorgeous boy would be born, alas, I had to head back to CA not getting to meet my little angel.  But while we waited, hoping he would come, we did have some time on our hands while KK needed to walk and rest.  Her TH, Al, decided we should take one of our daily walks to the store only two blocks from their home called Qcumbers. The minute the street sign came into view, I ditched preggo and her husband and kicked it up to a full blown jog to get there (you know how I get!).

I immediately was not only kicking Al for not taking me here sooner, but running around the store squealing (again, you know how I get).  I started piling Pyrex on the counter and asking if it was alright for me to place things here as I made my way around the store.  The wonderful man behind the counter of course said, "Why, sure!"  Just as soon as I was grabbing more goods, I realized I had to fly home the next day... hmmm, what to do what to do.  I hollered to KK to borrow a suitcase, got the approval and was back to hoarding goods.  This heavenly labyrinth of a store just went on forreevvver.  I LOVED IT!  There were so many amazing mid-century items (which is my favorite time period for sure) that I just wished I had my TH's truck so I could bring back a real haul to CA.  Just as quickly as the glee spread across my mind, then came the dread.  Where could I put all the things I wanted to buy? Slow down, Em, just get what you know you have space for.... fine, fine, just this time though.  The prices were just SO reasonable that it was hard not to get carried away.  Often antique stores tend to charge more knowing their goods are hard to find.  Not Qcumberz; it was like a glorified flea market/garage sale found only in my dreams!

As I moved across the store, I found each room was filled with items both big and small. They even had an entire back room devoted to old doors and windows... did you hear me? OLD DOORS AND WINDOWS!  I was fighting back tears as I had to leave behind an amazing sunny yellow 1950's phone, piles of aged wood, tool boxes and suitcases of all sizes and colors, cameras and typewriters.  I just couldn't have it all.  But instead, I was able to buy three pieces of Pyrex (one didn't make the journey home, I did have a ceremony for it's passing) as well as a "liquor case" for my TH.  It is a genuine leather case which holds (and came with) two bottles, four cups and a bottle opener for bourbon  tastings on the go.  Since my TH has a brewing barrel all his own, I thought this was the perfect accessory for him to share his creations with others.

Pyrex party!
Now this is a TH's dream gift!
After chatting with the wonderful man behind the counter during check out, I was already planning my next trip out to AZ and this time we were DEFINITELY bringing the truck. I thanked him for my goods, applauded his merchandise and was out the door!

Since I was clearly on a vintage shopping high, Al decided to take me to a few other places. What? THERE WERE MORE??!!  Al smiled and replied, "Yeah, this is Melrose, there are a ton of vintage-ish shops around here, it's what they're known for." I almost reached up to the driver's seat to slap his head, WHY HAD I NOT BEEN HERE BEFORE? I COME OUT TO THIS GD STATE ALL THE TIME!!!!!

Next stop, Zinnias at Melrose. Now this place was a whole 'nother kind of WOW - it was HUGE!!  Two stories, multiple rows, tons of nooks and crannies to get lost in and find more treasures than one knows what to do with. 

My version of Heaven!
As per usual, I said goodbye to my companions and took off on my own.  I usually like to start on one side and work my way all the way across, so that is what I did.  Since a variety of vendors use the space for their goods, it is almost like walking past a number of different cubicles, all with different treasures, styles and themes. Each area is so packed, and you really have to go through twice just to make sure you didn't miss anything. Heck, why not make it three times just to be safe.

I quickly found an area of worn wood that had been recycled to be wall art.  I yearned for a few pieces donning "You are my sunshine" and "Love".  For just $20, I was impressed, that seemed quite reasonable to me.  Granted, I could find the wood, buy a stencil and make it too, but why when it was already done?  Moving on down the row, I spotted an old cake container made of brass that was just begging to come home with me.  It was perfect for a double layer masterpiece and would have been excellent for transporting for a party or simply some added counter class.

Perfect for a double layer vanilla cake with chocolate frosting much?! YES!
Next up I spotted a bright yellow rolling shelving unit.  This was a PERFECT addition to any room and could be used for a number of different needs.   Office items? Books?  Craft central?  Fresh produce in the kitchen?  I mean, it was awesome... and already had the casters!

Already castered? Done and Done
This bright blue metal chair was filled with character and desperately wanted to live on my future front porch holding hydrangeas or in my bedroom holding one of my vintage train cases.

This old wooden desk/chair combo made me think back to being a kid when your desk was connected to your chair and opened from the top.  I loved this throw back and wanted to put it in my future children's "work room" as a great little study space.  Throw some chalkboard paint on the desk and really let the kids get to practicing math and writing!

Such a throwback desk, love!
TONS of great Pyrex to choose from.  I swear, if I wouldn't have gotten charged for another suitcase, I would have bought even more for my growing collection!

After a few trips through the store, I realized I better get out of there quick as I was soon going to be a weeping mess on the floor having to leave empty handed.  Just as we were thanking the employees and I was handing them a TW card, I saw the industrial lockers.  I choked on my words and ran to them.  These were JUST what I wanted for my future son's room.  The perfect place to store toys out of sight while adding a whole different feel to the room.  It was amazing!

Locker room love
While I wasn't able to purchase too much, I was thrilled at all the great places I got to visit.  Al even told me that was just the beginning, that there was actually MORE to see!  I couldn't believe it.  Thank goodness their baby was born just a few days later and I have to get out there to see him asap!  I hope he likes going to do some vintage shopping with his Auntie Em!

If you are ever in Phoenix, DO NOT miss the chance to get to the Melrose Distrct and check out these amazing stores!

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  1. I live in the Melrose District and I am ALWAYS shopping at these stores. They are too fun.

  2. Aren't they just the best?! What are some of your favorites? I am heading out there again soon and don't want to miss anything good!

    Strive to thrive,


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