Best Home Goods 2013 | Handmade Riot | Shopping & Services | Phoenix

Nicole Whittington and James Waldron work in wood. The couple crafts home accessories, postcards, and toys with a playful, colorful bent under the banner Handmade Riot. Most notable (and popular) are their floating honeycomb shelves — though they've expanded their shelving to offer a modular, trapezoidal piece called the Half Nelson. On the sweet side are wooden popsicle-stick coasters in a rainbow of brights and elephant pull toys that are too adorable. Find their homey vendables at MADE, Frances, and GROWop.

Sarah Jessica Parker famously told Vanity Fair, "If you're a nice person and you work hard, you get to go shopping at Barneys. It's the decadent reward." We tend to agree, regardless of our long-harbored assertion that we are total Carries. The Scottsdale Fashion Square department store has a decadent reputation, thanks to stocking high-end designers like Saint Laurent and Givenchy. It's also the only spot we've ever bumped into the horrifically fabulous Simon Doonan, who serves as Barneys' creative ambassador-at-large. (Not to mention that the mall's best parking spots are right next to the store, making all purse purchases totally justifiable.)

Though not every shopping trip comes to as satisfying a conclusion as Kevin Smith's Mallrats, browsing and buying nirvana can be had at Biltmore Fashion Park — no shopping agenda necessary. With a variety of shops that'll entice and entertain, the outdoor center features grassy lawns and floral embellishments between such high-end stores as Escada, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Ralph Lauren. Only ensuring a more lengthy stay is the mall's recent addition: Union. It's a collection of 18 shops, including Smeeks, Citrine Beauty Bar, and Paris Envy, in spaces 500 square feet or less. Once you've sufficiently perused and poked around, refuel with eats from True Food Kitchen or caffeinated goodness at Royal Coffee Bar.

How many shops have been on Roosevelt Street for so many years you've lost count? We can think of only one. We love MADE for so many reasons, we lose track of those, too. Owner Cindy Dach showcases local artists and craftspeople and supplements her inventory with smart books. She hosts workshops and themed exhibitions. Her shop has become the focal point of a neighborhood she and her husband, Greg Esser, pioneered (and we are using that word in all seriousness) and continue to nurture. We love that these days, we don't just go to MADE to shop. No, we make a day of it — getting our hair cut a street over, window shopping the vintage stores up and down Sixth Street, grabbing a pastry at one of the coffeehouses, and struggling with too many restaurant choices when it's time for lunch. And it all began with one little boutique. Thank you, Cindy.

You see just about everything on a big college campus, and Arizona State University is no exception. But Walmart? We thought for sure there was some sort of law or at least a rule banning such crass commercialization on campus — you know, like guns. But no, there it is, on Apache, across from a sub shop in a student housing complex. This is no superstore, just a small outpost. But give Walmart time, and we're sure that's coming, too.

GreenHaüs is one of those places on Roosevelt Row that gets a ton of foot traffic during First Friday. We find ourselves ending up in GreenHaüs' boutique as a way to escape the merry-go-round of art exhibits and — even better — explore the boutique's cluttered shelves for quirky gifts and maybe something for ourselves, too. If you don't have the dough to drop on a local art piece in the shop's gallery, you still can find something to spend your hard-earned money on, like a Bison Made wallet or iPhone cover, Mitsura-designed watch, or one of the numerous vintage finds throughout the small space. Or you can just have fun picking through the selection of comic books. Either way, you're more than likely to spot something you can't live without or that you have to come back for.

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