We Struck Gold!

It has been yet another excellent day out here, with a few unexpected twists and turns. Although I am sad to see my summer ending, I feel like today was the perfect capstone, complete with a triumph of huge proportions.

Blaise had a few antique shops he wanted to check out today – Zinnia’s being one of them. Although we keep running into fantastic mid-century modern end tables (mostly nesting or two-tiered tables), formica kitchen tables, bar stools, lamps, and various odds and ends, we’ve really had our heart set on the perfect couch. We’ve been able to visualize it, but mid-century couches have been very hard to come by at all. Either they are very, very expensive, or they are not quite right. Or, alternatively, they are nowhere to be found!

We have lately felt that we need to absolutely scour this city for its antiques and vintage items in order to find the right couch for the right place, which means that we can spend entire days dogging in and out of shops as far north as Cave Creek and as far east as Scottsdale, not to mention our uprooting of the entire Central Corridor (the Melrose District has been our little playground, lately).

The trouble with antiquing, however, is that despite having a vision for what you want or a certain era you are searching for, you always end up finding a great many other things that are also so very delightful.

For Example:

Excellent antique bottles that would be perfect for some of Blaise’s house made bitters… or moonshine!

Many, many perfect little mirror trays…

Turn Tables. You know how much I want (/need!) one of these.

Booths complete with all sorts of things you might imagine early Phoenix settlers to be using…

But you have to tune out all these distractions. None are mid-century modern, and none of them are a couch, either. However, there is the matter of neat mid-century mod things that you have to pause to admire.

Neat couch tables with floating nesting tables underneath. I think I might actually go back and get this one if it’s still at Switch next week…

Imitation Paul McCobb wine racks.

But we passed up on all of it. We were seriously on a couch mission today. Before each shop we entered, we began to whisper a little mantra: “our couch might be in there!” By early afternoon, we were definitely lagging. We went everywhere from Goodwill to Nest Interiors, from iConsign to upscale custom showrooms with no prices listed. Each place had its own little vibe – from darkly lit, densely packed warehouses to brightly colored showrooms. Our search took us through practically the entire spectrum today.

Cute and cluttered


Shiny new things

As we wound our way back into Central Phoenix, we were starting to feel a little dejected. It had been about two weeks of non-stop craigslisting, haunting antique stores, furniture dealerships, resale shops, etc. We had even talked about visiting junk yards for parts! I was beginning to wonder if we would ever find the right couch. Maybe our expectations were just too high, maybe all the good couches were already snapped up. I was ready to go home and take a break from all the couch hunting.

But Blaise suggested we stop at a little place called PHXUFO just for good measure.

The store wasn’t quite open yet, but the owner let us wander in anyway. I wasn’t entirely encouraged by the giant alien head out front. Could our mod couch possibly be in a place like this?! The owner (he was really quite friendly), allowed us to peak in his back workroom where he reupholsters and repairs the majority of the furniture that comes through the shop. While I don’t necessarily appreciate the fabrics he seemed to favor, it was clear that he did pretty great restorative work.

In the stuffy, crowded back room was a ton of neat chairs, bolts of fabric, and piles of foam. We glanced around and then…

…there it was.

In all its glory.


Well… the frame anyway.

I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t sure what Blaise thought of it, so I sort of stood there and gaped at it for a few minutes. It was piled on top of a few other couch frames, upside down and a little dusty. But it was clearly what we had been looking for… the wooden arms, the peg legs, the straight lines. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

Although I nearly blew the negotiations for how much we were willing to pay for it (c’mon, Cal, just play it cool, okay??), we ended up snagging this bad boy for a deal of a price. Although we could have also paid to have had it upholstered there at PHXUFO, we decided to take it elsewhere – or do it ourselves.

As we drove away, I felt a huge sense of relief wash over me. We counted out how many stores we’d stopped by between 10:30 and 2:30 today. It was fifteen. Fifteen. I can’t imagine how many dozens more we’ve been to in the last weeks. Although we now have our task cut out for us in attempting to make our own couch cushions, I’m just so relieved to have half the battle done. A couch! For us! Hooray!

And to be honest, I’m pretty excited to start shopping fabric. I’m thinking vanilla bean tweed (but I have a hunch that Blaise is thinking blue. Uh oh!).


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