Testimonials | Thomas de Cruz Architects & Designers
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Testimonials from our clients.

“We were early clients of Peter Thomas de Cruz in 2002/03. Then he carried out the revolutionary process of taking out all the interior walls at the rear of 19 Hartswood Road. This created a wonderful high-ceilinged open plan kitchen, dining, and living space. Near-neighbours of ours at number 13 followed suit, as did friends in Gordon Road,Ealing. His design has been much-copied since.

For our new house in Gainsborough Road we conducted an extensive review of top-flight local architects and designers who could not only address the Planning constraints of the Bedford Park conservation area, but innovate within them. Suffice it to say that Thomas de Cruz Architects & Designers won our job and we’re delighted with what he and his team achieved for us in 2014/16.

When you boil it right down, Peter has a genius for realising and releasing space to create the ‘wow factor’. This makes everyday living a pleasure and adds value to a property.”

Hamish Pringle

“We have been delighted with the results of our house project – designed and managed by Thomas De Cruz.  We had a slightly crumbling 1930s house but Peter was able to see the potential for innovative design and from the concept design phase through to completion we have been really impressed by the whole TDC team.  We were also novice house refurbishers and felt very supported through the whole process.  They were also excellent at advising on the planning process as we extended on 3 floors.  They advised that we were unlikely to get our plans through Hounslow’s planning department at the first hurdle (they were right), but they helped us through the anticipated appeal process and ultimately we were able to proceed with all of the features of the design we wanted.   Attention to detail was fantastic, we were guided very expertly through the many decisions and choices that needed to be made, and were also very pleased with all the recommendations for other advisers and contractors along the way.  We would highly recommend Thomas De Cruz for any project where you are looking for something special, bespoke and beyond the usual extension, and were very happy with the premium service we chose and the support we had for every aspect of the project.  Costs were clearly explained in advance and didn’t deviate.  We think they have been exceptional throughout. Having now lived in our “new” house for 8 months or so we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

Hannah Minty

“We first met Peter from Thomas de Cruz Architects & Designers at the Grand Designs exhibition in Birmingham in 2017. We hit it off with him immediately and have continued a great working and personal partnership with him ever since.

Peter sat us down right at the beginning of our project and went through all our hopes and expectations for the build; he wanted details of our lifestyle and our aspirations for how we want to live in our new home.

The design he came up with exceeded all our expectations – it’s contemporary, beautiful and unique, but most importantly it’s a home and the home that’s right for us.

We had some significant hurdles to cross when trying to secure planning permission, but Peter and his team were on hand the whole way through the process, dealing with our queries, the county council planning officers and other stakeholders in a professional, efficient and inspirational way.

Now we have secured planning (in no small way down to Peter and colleagues), we can’t wait to get started on the next chapter of our self-build journey.

We would both wholeheartedly recommend Thomas de Cruz Architects & Designers to any aspiring renovators or self builders.”

Ellie White and Lester DeSilva

“We are delighted with our enlarged and immeasurably improved home. While the project was a team effort, the crucial element was Thomas de Cruz.

Although we knew we wanted a bigger and better house, we didn’t how to achieve this. After going round in circles for a while and generally failing to juggle the project with our busy family life and jobs, we were fortunately shown a house extended and remodelled by Thomas de Cruz and then introduced to Peter Thomas de Cruz.

Peter and his team, principally Katy Hickson, together with trusted partners, took great care over each stage of the project; initial design, planning application, detailed design, costings, design amendments, tender, contractor selection, works monitoring, communicating with different parties, works review and snagging.

Two aspects of the job are worth highlighting:

1. Clever use of space

Although we added floor space through the extension to the kitchen, the house feels to have grown by more than this. This impression has been created through the use of floor to ceiling sliding doors, roof lights and internal glazing as well as subtle but spacious storage.

To achieve this, Katy and colleagues spend a great deal of time and energy on the details of the design and worked with us to, for instance, go through several drafts on each item of joinery. This ensured not only an outstanding design but a smooth construction process and no expensive surprises.

In addition features such as the hidden pocket doors, the recessed kitchen island extractor fan and the second floor laundry room have made the house work for us so much more effectively.

2. Handling of added pressure during pandemic

Starting the work in December 2019, with a scheduled end of May 2020 finish, meant that the initial wave of the Covid pandemic occurred at a critical point. Fortunately our excellent contractors were able to keep working throughout however suppliers, particularly of the glazing, were unable to meet supply deadlines.

This meant that key elements of the project were moved back to late summer and early autumn. An added problem was that we were unable to extend the lease of the property which we renting beyond the start of July.  Working with the contractors, Thomas de Cruz were able to ensure that key tasks were prioritised and so that we could move back into the house and generally reduce the related stress.

In summary, we would very much recommend Thomas de Cruz for the quality of the finished job, the engineering effort that went into each aspect of the property and the care taken to ensure that the house was built around us, to our needs and wishes.”

Matthew Roche and Camilla Chorfi

“Peter Thomas de Cruz are the most imaginative and hardworking architects I have ever commissioned. Peter has an intuitive understanding of light and space, a talent for creating harmony between interior and exterior and an eye for the details that can make a design endlessly satisfying to live with. I have no hesitation in recommending him and his team.”

James von Leyden

“I was very pleased with the work that Thomas de Cruz did for me. They came up with a contemporary design for my pool house which works well with the rest of the property. The project management was excellent and attention to detail was relentless. Great job!”

Daniel Palmer

“Thomas de Cruz Architects remodelled our old Savoyarde farmhouse into a business/skiing chalet with full modern conveniences. They did a brilliant job working with local builders and consultants providing us with numerous creative and practical design ideas – all the rooms were beautiful.

Peter Thomas de Cruz and his colleagues were a pleasure to deal with and we were most satisfied with their personal commitment and professional service.

The practice also worked extensively on our property in St Lucia and our house in Chiswick.”

Brian Abbs

“Peter turned my Victorian house in Wandsworth into a stunning, contemporary home that was included in the design book “One Hundred More of the World’s Best Houses” and featured in newspapers and design magazines all over the world.

I initially approached RIBA for a recommendation of architects who specialised in contemporary residential homes. From the list I then chose four architects and asked them to submit design ideas for developing an old dairy in Wandsworth Common to maximise its light and space, whilst still remaining a functional, comfortable family home.

The first three designs were a huge disappointment, but when I rolled out Peter’s plans I literally sobbed with relief as they completely fulfilled the brief and far exceeded my expectations.

It took 18 months before the transformation was complete and, from being a fairly dark Victorian house was now opened up into a light-filled and glorious space that stunned family and visitors alike.

I now look at the photographs of the house and can’t believe I left – I still dream about it from my new home in the Bath countryside.

I would highly recommend Peter for his gift of being able to bring light and space to even the most ordinary of houses and would not hesitate to use him again for my next job, wherever in the world it may be!”

Megan Witty

“When I first purchased my house on in Chiswick 18 months ago, I had no idea what a dramatic effect that an architect could bring to an old house. The main thing I wanted was space and light, and now I have that and more.

I’d never done any home improvement before, so I was very new to the whole process. As soon as I saw the plans I was really excited, and the whole process wasn’t that stressful considering it was 15 months from the plans being drawn up, to the house being completed.

The house now definitely has the wow factor. Everyone who comes around always comments on how amazing it is, and asks who the architect was. I even thought I’d spent too much money on the works, but had a recent valuation that proves that stunning designs will always add value beyond what you expect. If I ever want to build a new house, or to dramatically enhance an existing one I’d always go back to Peter to do the plans.”

Ben Grundy

“Having had one rotten experience with an architect prior to engaging Thomas de Cruz I was sceptical to the point of rudeness initially.

Our new project (home) was a Victorian house requiring a full structural and internal refurbishment in Hampstead; I met at least a dozen architects & building contractors before we set off on the 18month journey of rebuilding our home.

I came across Peter Thomas de Cruz by chance (referred to us by a building contractor) and he had a very different approach to the other architects I had met with. I asked the same 3 “interview” questions i had used with others – concentrating on the areas of most concern for us – the terrace doors, the staircase, the connection between lower/upper ground floors. Simply put, Peter showed more imagination, intelligence & boldness whilst respecting and understanding what we were broadly trying to achieve. He wanted to know in detail how we live as a family and he reflected every aspect in his design. We thought we knew what we wanted. He listened. He turned those basic concepts into something far better; Something exciting.

Richard Bell developed the original scheme and worked with us tirelessly and professionally throughout the project. No part of the project was too large (e.g. the replacement of the staircase) or too small (e.g. the location for a punchbag hook) for his detailed consideration and attention. Like Peter, Richard has great ideas (and great patience). He inspires confidence and is a pleasure to work with.

We ended up with an excellent building contractor (Rackham – Highgate) and Garden Designer (John Davies Landscapes) too.”

ThomasDeCruz architects were involved throughout and even after having moved in (August 2011) we get the same professional, considered, prompt response now that we are in the snagging phase.

I am hugely impressed and immensely grateful to Peter and Richard for creating a wonderful home for us.”

Steve Pegg

“We approached Peter at Thomas de Cruz having seen some of the stunning contemporary designs he had produced for other clients. Our brief was to create a stunning contemporary basement and redesign our ground floor accommodation to enhance best use of available space whilst limiting loss of garden space.

Peter was inspirational in the ideas he produced and we very much enjoyed working with him in the process of agreeing suitable designs to change and greatly enhance how we could utilise both current and additional space in the main living areas of our house in London.

Being owners of a modern Huf Haus on the coast we were looking to increase light and enlarge our living spaces in our London property. Once we got to planning, part of our application was rejected and Peter was able to successfully get this refusal over turned at the Planning Inspectorate using their new fast track procedure. A great result overall. They are a pleasure to work with produce truly original and exciting plans and I can highly recommend their services.”


Mark Richards

“Creating our dream home:

Its worth noting that all the best things in life do not come immediately. it takes time to create the right environment both architecturally as well as a living space, and as frustrating as this was at times Peter and his team guided us through with patience and understanding.

Peter asked us to start with a brief of what we wanted, and whilst we had a fairly good vision of the feel and comfort TdeC managed to translate that to a reality. We also stated in an enviable position that having purchased the house we didn’t need to live in it whilst works were being carried out. This helped enormously once we had broken ground and the contractors could proceed unhindered by having to keep access and services in place.

Seeking the planning permissions was handled with efficiency and TdeC gave us a wide range of contractors to consider ion the tender process. We agreed Werner and Werner had the right balance between size of business and its other commitments, experience in basement conversions and costs. We also agreed having the services of a quantity surveyor was vital on a project of this scale and cost. In spite of starting the project a week before the national lockdown caused by the Covid -19 pandemic, the project finished on time and on budget. Katy and Abby ensured regular site meetings and reports on progress, Stuart ensured we were paying for the work completed only and Stan always had solutions for whatever challenges arose. There are still a few client direct items to be finished off such as bespoke shelving and cupboards but otherwise the house is finished and looking as much of our vision as we could have dreamed. In fact I wake up very day and have to pinch myself that this is now our home.

We have already entertained, had parties, friends to stay in comfort and most importantly have space as a family to work form home if required in separate rooms but still eat together at the family table. In our brief we described the new part of the house as below;

“The Dutch have an untranslatable word ‘gezellig’. Literally, it means cozy and time spent with loved ones, seeing a friend after a long absence, or a general togetherness.

Jok sees this area as open plan, but not hollow, with a distinct change of use between the

cooking area, the eating area and relaxation area. Oriele’s concern is that we will have a

beautiful kitchen and then the living area and dining area on top of each other. Ideally want

to try and make sure there are three distinct areas that feel quite separate. We see this as an eclectic mix with a very modern, clutter free, practical kitchen area with a cooking area looking out into the living area, clean lines. A dining area that is not a dumping table, but kids will probably do their homework on there and Jok might work on his lap top here too. Some of our artwork on the walls. A lounge area with our L shaped grey leather sofa that comfortably seats 6 people to watch a movie or just chill out to music. Seamless flooring between the inside and outside patio with bbq area. Sliding glass doors

to the garden.”

TdeC met this brief in every way and some. Paint colours and final finishes were our choice and we researched these carefully but the space was filled designed beautifully and completed professionally with an acute eye for detail. Wires are hidden from view, the cat has his own entrance and our Frame TV is mistaken for a piece of artwork. I even have a cocktail bar! The basement is just superb and offers yet another space for our family to live in comfort. Although the garden design and work was carried out by another contractor it all works so well together, our kitchen space is large yet cosy, tonal and a calm space to breathe in.

Thanks to Thomas de Cruz, Werner and Werner and Batey Associates we have our dream home.”

Jok Dunbar

“TdC came highly recommended to us and having just finished a full house refurbishment project with them. I am happy to report that we too would recommend them without hesitation.

TdC helped us with all aspects including the designs, the planning approvals, and the on-going project management. In all three areas they delivered great value each step of the way, helping us realise our dream home.

One anecdote worth sharing has to do with a planning application that was initially rejected. With their knowledge of the regulations and experience with the local planning authority, TdC was able to appeal the decision and get it overturned. Not only did this make for a much better overall design but it also added considerable value to the house. Needless to say we were ecstatic.”

Henry Brock

“We trusted Thomas De Cruz Architects to transform our house from the worst in the Close to the best and they didn’t disappoint! Both inside and out our house now has a wow factor and we found Thomas to Cruz to be meticulous, innovative and their experience invaluable!”

Margot Kelsey

“We have worked with Thomas de Cruz architects on a number of projects not least a stunning stand alone new build nr Valencia and a highly contemporary extension in London. Fabulous ideas, problem solving, attention to space, light and detail. Spend the time visiting their own website, you wont be disappointed…aspirational.”

Julian Nugent