penny arcade

I stumbled along Penny Arcade a little while ago - it's that kind of place. While there are an increasing number of businesses opening in this reasonably quiet street of Sydney's Surry Hills - the shop isn't on a main thoroughfare such as Crown or Oxford Sts. But the detour is definitely worth it as you'll find one cool homewares store. Here, owner Michael Bracewell reveals what got the whole thing kick-started.

When and why did you open Penny Arcade? The store opened 11 months ago – the result of a desire to explore other interests after being in fashion for 28 years. I have a love for good design whether it be architecture, automobiles, fashion, furniture, lighting, etc. I enjoy shops that are outside of the square.
Why Penny Arcade? The name was taken from a 1970s sign from Luna Park, which hangs prominently in the entrance.
What has been the response? Surry Hills is undergoing a transformation from an old inner-city working class ragtrade area into a diverse new culture of small businesses, cafes, bars and restaurants. So an interesting store packed with great furniture from the 1950s onwards, plus vintage clothing, has been warmly welcomed.
What five words best describe the shop? Eclectic. Danish. 20th Century. Modern. Inspiring.
What product can’t customers get enough of? Australian companies such as Fler, Parker, Danish Deluxe and Tessa, which were all influenced and did a good job of interpreting the Danish furniture of the 1960s and 70s - especially chairs and sofas.
Where do you look to for inspiration? Books. Internet. Anything on the giants of this period including Eames, Panton, Conran, Wegner, Featherston and a host of others.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Living - Sir Paul Smith - fashion mogul and collector. Dead - Fred Lowen - Australian Furniture design pioneer.
What are you reading?
Iconic Australian Houses 50 60 70 and Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario.
What’s next? The challenge is always to find unique pieces to make the store great. It is a constant as there is no regular supply chain, but I guess that's part of the fun.

Images courtesy of
Penny Arcade.