Pelham House is a Grade II listed building in Lewes, originally built in the 16th century and enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries. For many years the house was the private residence of the Pelham Family, and then a succession of other individuals, before being bought in 1928 by East Sussex County Council and used by it as council offices. In 2004 the house was sold to a family consortium and operated by them as a country town hotel until being bought in 2018 by Artemis Venue Services (AVS), for conversion into a private wedding venue.
Sedley Place’s two teams (Branding & Graphics) and (Architecture & Interiors) were briefed by AVS to work on the interiors and branding of the new wedding venue, on the back of work they’d both done on a number of other venues in this sector.
Our Branding & Graphics Team was tasked with defining the venue’s brand and refining its brand identity, and then documenting everything in a set of brand and visual identity guidelines. As part of the brand definition process we formulated the brand’s cornerstones, created a positioning (Private Wedding Townhouse), defined the brand’s personality and subsequent tone of voice, and devised names for the principal rooms.
Our refinement of the brand identity involved cleaning up the brand marque to improve its reproduction, opening up the spacing between ‘Pelham’ and ‘House’, introducing a new colour palette and typeface family, and designing a new pattern, using a heraldic device (known as crosses-flory sable) that features in the Pelham Family coat of arms.
Our Architecture & Interiors Team’s brief was to design the interiors of the principal public rooms as well as the wedding preparation room and honeymoon suite. In particular, it was to be mindful of the building’s status and its historical and idiosyncratic features (such as the 16th century oak panelled room and the reception with Doric columns, cantilevered staircase and trompe l’oeil ceiling).
The public rooms’ interior design is a carefully and stylishly curated mix of historic (e.g. Georgian) and contemporary styles. This curated styling has been undertaken at a room and at a detail level, with the building’s historic features (like cornicing, wood panelling, 18th century fireplaces and dado rails) accompanied with modern lighting and soft furnishing features. Special care has been taken to ensure the interiors are elegant and luxurious and that they continually surprise and delight. They are unified by a consistent colour palette throughout the different rooms and the use of geometric patterns in elements like lighting, furniture, wallpaper and fabrics.
While all of the public rooms have had care lavished on them, two rooms in particular have changed significantly. The old council chamber, with banked flooring, now has a light oak parquet wooden floor on one level, distinctive bespoke coffer lighting, refreshed wooden paneling, new wallpaper, and elegant up and downlighters. The old hotel’s wedding ceremony room, adjacent to the garden, has been restyled to become a sophisticated lounge with a stylish, purpose-designed bar, with the new Ceremony Room now occupying what was previously the restaurant and adjoining bar.
“Pelham House is a very good illustration of Sedley Place’s two teams working in partnership to create a holistic solution for our client, where the brand identity and interiors have been developed together to be different expressions and manifestations of the new brand strategy”, says Mick Nash, Sedley Place’s Managing Director.