JD Wetherspoon spent £1.26m redeveloping a former retail outlet in Church Street, Seaham, County Durham. Harrison Ince Architects used its former millinery use as a stimulus for the use of the spaces in the new development.

Located on a busy shopping street, The Hat and Feathers in Seaham was originally a number of smaller separate buildings that had been used as a collection of shops later merging into one and becoming a department store selling furniture, clothes and fine hats with feathers.

“Using this as the stimulus,” explains Kay Brannon, partner at Harrison Ince Architects, “we tried to reflect the many uses within the site by dividing up the space into distinct areas.

“The lower area has a deeper, darker, warmth to it, created by the use of gold and black fabrics and rich paint colours whilst the upper bar area opens up into a brighter more vibrant space with strong bright paint colours with lots of light.”

Throughout, the textures and colours of the development have been inspired by a peacock feather, one of the most recognisable feathers and a key staple for the milliners store and the chosen name. 

The wall at the end of the bar uses shingles to give a textured feather-style effect, whilst the back bar is finished in tiles in multi-colour peacock hues. The bar itself is reminiscent of an old shop counter with its polished simple glossy panel and traditional chequered floor.  

The main entrance is a grand double height space with the ladies toilet gallery wall with its large stained glass windows and balcony area. A multi-colour hat display again relates back to the former milliners use.

The large bronze light fittings utilises a material and colouring reminiscent of the pawnbroker’s signage.

The Hat and Feathers pub specialises in real ales, serving a wide range of beers, including those from local and regional brewers.