Monday, 27 September 2010


It never fails to delight us to see all the new treasures that we are constantly discovering in The Secret Arcade. We report this week on the launch of hand drawn wallpapers, limited edition art prints and truly unique lighting, handmade organic soap and fabulous French children's slippers! Not only can you find gorgeous products in the arcade's designer shops but also a wealth of ideas for your home and family are waiting to be discovered by visiting their individual blogs. But be warned you can disappear for sometime once you have entered this secret kingdom - indulge and enjoy!

New Zebra Wallpaper

The wonderful Turner Pocock Cazalet trio have once again delivered up a new wallpaper design. Following the success of the original Zebra Wallpaper they have added a new blue / grey colourway to their collection offering lighter grey tones and indigo blues. The overall effect is one of subtle sophistication with a playful but stylish edge making it a perfect choice for both children and adults decor. All designs are hand drawn and use environmentally sustainable materials.

To view this wallpaper and their full range visit the Turner Pocock shop in the 'Home Decoration Passage' of The Secret Arcade.

Ghost Furniture at The London Design Festival 2010

The London Design Festival is a nine-day celebration of design in the world’s creative capital. The Festival is a platform for the widest spectrum of design disciplines, brought together as a unique and accessible programme. Ghost Furniture was invited to exhibit a collection of their unique lamps at the prestigious event and some were also displayed at the newly opened Tom Dixon shop 'The Dock' in Notting Hill.

To view more of Ghost Furniture products go to the Homeware Passage of The Secret Arcade.

A Treasured French Connection

The lovely Ashlyn of the children's designer shop Olive Loves Alfie has launched a range of indoor shoes from the chicest of French companies, Collegien. Ashlyn has very fond memories associated with the company, saying "Nothing pleases me more than rediscovering something from the past that I once loved. I had a fabulous friend who grew up wearing Collegien shoes that her equally fabulous aunt used to send her from Paris. Every time she grew out of them a new pair would arrive but in a different colour or new design. She kept the smaller ones for me to dress up in when I went to visit"

If you would like to start a family tradition visit Olive Loves Alfie in the 'Children's Passage' of the Secret Arcade.

A Moroccan Beauty Secret

Simply Roses is the fantastically fragrant one stop shop for anything rose related. They have just launched a new soap that combines the classic rose with argan - widely acclaimed as a miracle oil. Argan oil is extracted from kernels of the argan fruit which contains high levels of vitamin E, natural anti-bacterial properties and essential fatty acids that all work wonders on the skin. Long considered a Moroccan beauty secret, the fruit is harvested from the Argan forests in the south west of the country where the local Berber women regard the extracted oil as the elixir of youth. Combined with rose oil, organically grown argania spinosa is the star ingredient of Simply Roses' new Rose Argan Soap which come in two bars in a pretty pink organza pouch.

If you would like to treat yourself to a small beauty miracle visit the Simply Roses shop in the 'Perfume & Beauty Passage' of The Secret Arcade.

A Little Bit of Art - New Artist is Launched

Artist Ros Shiers has joined the already impressive collection of contemporary artists currently showing at the online gallery A Little Bit of Art that sells affordable original prints. Ros Shiers produces unique illustrations under her name 'I Heart RS'. Her work combines a passion for all things decorative and beautiful with a love of strong ,bold graphic illustration with subject matter from burlesque femme fatales to botanical flora and fauna. Her love of vintage ephemera and Victoriana inspires her work alongside her memories of childhood circus visits and reading Alice in Wonderland books. The work is produced using the Giclee printing process which ensures a print with brilliant colour and razor sharp detail. A Giclee is a recognised and collectible category of fine art and are guaranteed not to fade or age and have a colour life of 75 - 100 years.

To view Ros Shiers prints and the full range of other artists visit A Little Bit Of Art's shop in the 'Books, Prints & Art Passage' of The Secret Arcade.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


This week has seen the first signs of Autumn with chilly nights and the first flutter of falling leaves, children back to school and time to start thinking of putting away our summer wardrobe for another year. Never fear - we have cheered ourselves up with a wander around the jewellery passage of The Secret Arcade and have selected a few autumnal pieces from the amazing array of designers to brighten your day.

Clara Francis has created a stunning necklace of striking red autumn leaves using her distinctive
ultra fine bead work. Clara skillfully works together tiny coloured glass beads to create subtle shading and colour that produces the most exquisite pieces.

Sarah Home's collection 'Bordering on the Bizarre' is a series of intricately laser cut and etched jewellery pieces using black, gold and silver mirror perspex. Our current favourite is an amazing necklace entitled 'An Unkindness of Black Ravens' - laser cut black perspex on gold plated fine trace chains. It has so much animation that you can almost hear the evocative 'caw caw' of the crows!
Jenny Hattersley is the designer behind Dark Horse Jewellery. Her trademark style is defined by her use of leather to create stunning handmade statement pieces. Her new range includes the 'Winter Garland' necklace which has handcut, individual leaves and winter blooms layered, stitched and riveted onto a leather bib with D-ring attachments and a generous grosgrain ribbon tie. Autumnal hues and metallic highlights make this stunning neckpiece redolent of the winter months with subtle texture and tones.

The 2010/11 collection of luxury handmade necklaces by Nicole Akong has been launched for this autumn and is a celebration of jewellery as the ultimate physical embellishment to convey status, individual style and power. Here, Nicole has applied traditional stitching and weaving techniques to the materials and language of jewellery making — chains are weaved together to make fabrics, trims are stitched on to chains — to produce the most exquisite and intricate embellishments fit for fashion royalty.

LeJu is a fusion of two talents: Lenny Trines, a Dutch-born jewellery designer, and Juan Munoz, a London-based businessman from Colombia. It was in South America that Lenny discovered her natural talent and creativity by working with various artisans, learning different techniques. She is truly inspired by the natural world stating, “I work with a product that has a wonderful purpose, which is to help stop the killing of elephants to obtain ivory. Moreover, it is 100% sustainable and its quality is superb. I try to create designs, which reflect its roots. Nature is full of wonderful colours and I use them to reflect it in people’s lives.” The 'Botanias' bracelet is part of their new autumn/winter collection - a combination of Vegetable Ivory seeds skillfully carved and intermixed with Horn presented in their characteristic bold colours.

Visit any of the above designers in the 'Jewellery 'Passage of The Secret Arcade.

Thursday, 2 September 2010


We are a bit later than normal posting our newsround as it has been a busy old week with lots of new visitors to The Secret Arcade, due largely to the fantastic Daily Candy piece about Helen Musselwhite (her e-shop is situated in the Books, Prints & Art passage in The Secret Arcade). Although it was about Helen, the piece linked to The Secret Arcade website address so the rest of the shops benefited - the power of the collective! Helen was thrilled with the feature as not only did she receive lots of visitors to her site she has also been contacted to produce a children's book and a commission to design a window display for a prestigious London stationery shop!

Pretty as a picture

This feature in the current issue of Homes & Antiques magazine very much reminded us of the Tulip & Nettle window that we designed for The Secret Arcade. The picture frame here is reminiscent of those we chose to frame the wonderfully romantic portrait photography that is so characteristic of the company.

Based in Northumberland Tulip & Nettle produce clothing for children (and some for adults). Its unique, restrained style is both historical and wearable with lots of lovely pieces that have the air of classic quality. We very much like their new 'Heroine' blouse - an exquisite new season look for girls. A ravishingly romantic piece that is made from layers of cotton voile and trimmed with ribbon and lave. You can see it here worn with pale blue velvet hotpants over thick knit tights - what a great look!

The Tulip & Nettle shop is located in the 'Children' passage of The Secret Arcade where you can also visit four other shops from the amazing Apolline who creates delightful and whimsical fabric toy creatures, Molly-Meg's classic children's furniture to the magical illustration of Belle & Boo and the bold fabric prints of Olive Loves Alfie.

Visit the 'Children' Passage at The Secret Arcade

Dress Up And Be Happy

Speaking of Olive Loves Alfie we are delighted to report on the success of their recent inspirational kids project that was launched at Lollibop last weekend. Inspired by Woodstock and taking the festival feeling of free spirits, music and summer, Olive Loves Alfie created a magical space for kids to play with their unique sense of style. The woodland dressing up camp was wrapped up in bunting made from frayed vintage denim, Katvig and Marimekko fabrics. A beautiful selection of vintage clothing, Olive Loves Alfie’s customised festival clothing and specially designed accessories were displayed on clothes rails or piled high in vintage suitcases that were hidden amongst the trees. With irrepressible invention over two anarchic days the kids created a joyous array of improvised outfits and exuberant dressing-up styles themselves.

To view Olive Loves Alfie's wonderful range of children's clothing visit their shop in the 'Children' passage of The Secret Arcade.