First impressions last or so the saying goes, and this is the case with this project. Our client noticed a completed project that was in the living design magazine, Cranmore Park which we had renovated and extended a dwelling which was similar to their own in Ormiston Gardens, so Norman decided to call. We met and after noticing his picture of the late Zara Hadid hanging on the wall I knew this was a client with an eye for exceptional design. We agreed from day one that a white box or any form of zinc or metal cladding was out of the question and that a design for a kitchen / living space should respect the existing period dwelling which is 100 years old.The existing house is red brick with the period detailing that would be expected, the large-scale windows and high ceiling all the qualities that give an architect a head start when approaching renovating works to a house like this. Joanne and Norman knew they needed a space that would allow them and their small family to engage with their south facing rear garden. The idea of moving between the outdoor and indoor space was something that appealed to them. They also wanted connections within the house meaning they didn’t want an extension that was just stuck onto the rear of the house.The approach taken was to provide a new axis from the front door through to the new space and out into the garden. A small existing courtyard would be interrogated within the new design and the use of mono pitched angled roofs allowed for volumes within the extension to be explored. The new space would be subtly divided into 3 areas giving a place to cook, eat and relax. Add Consulting integrated the steel work so that ugly beam stand downs were eliminated and kept all steel unobtrusive a task that isn’t that easy to achieve. The kitchen design was considered from the start bringing on board Mike from Robinsons Interiors and designed a kitchen that really suited the space and met with the eye of the clients. It was simply in design and moulded seamlessly into an area which allowed views into the garden and into the courtyard.The construction phase of the project was guided by Darren Sturridge the contractor. He was attentive to detail and considerate at every stage of the build. When it came to the task of selecting the reclaimed brick Darren made the process effortless making sure that the right bricks were selected. It is with the right-minded people that a design team works best and when all are wanting to produce something that is not only admired by those who look at it, but by those who live in it.The bi-folding doors supplied by Crosby Windows are beautifully created and when fully opened provide the client with the extended living space that they imagined. The doors and windows are aluminium in a grey finish set against the reclaimed brick the token act of sustainability on a small scale. Inside the client choose ceramic tiled flooring and white painted walls.Of course, the space would be void without the furniture and personality that the client brings. Norman selected pieces of furniture that are very simple, Scandinavian in style, they are positioned in a manner to suggest they have a part to play in the overall composition, pieces of art in their own right.The first impression lasted for a while but the issue with first impressions is that these can change. The client expressed that the extension has changed their lives and how they live. Lasting impressions are much more important than first impressions, the hurdle is often to clear the first impression and create lasting aspirations.