Top of the wish-list were an open-plan kitchen with easy-access storage and a larger living room; to make it work, the space needed 'a serious structral change', explains Neil. Top of the agenda were taking down a wall and repositioning the cooking areas, as well as creating consistency across the woodwork elements of the space, namely the windows, skirting boards and floorboards.
Whilst the kitchen was a key focus ("we wanted a cooking area with two cookers, easy-to-reach storage and bright natural light," explains Neil, "and the option for seating for up to 12 guests") other areas were also due an overhaul: the couple wanted an ensuite bathroom in their bedroom, as well as an assortment of storage units and wardrobes in the rooms they planned to use as spare bedrooms and offices.
Also to be taken into consideration was the scale of the project: the Fletchers were down-sizing from a multi-storey home to the single-floor apartment, bringing with them an extensive personal library of their favourite tomes.
The project in a nutshell
Who lives here? Maggie and Neil Fletcher
The property: A ground-floor home in a 1920s-built apartment block London
The style: a vibrant space that matches an assortment of requirements
Essential to the project? The perfect visionary to lead it; someone who could understand the couple's vision and breathe it into life. Enter Michael Schienke, director at VORBILD Architecture, who worked with the couple to transform the space.
"We met with a number of London-based architects and designers - Michael really seemed to understand what we wanted," explains Neil. "He invited us to see a few sites he was working on at the time and we were very impressed."
The hurdles the team managed to navigate largely centred around structure, with one historical details providing a particularly tricky problem. "The building has got an existing and rather antiquated power supply," explains Michael. "It couldn't be removed and it's right there, in the kitchen! We decided to make it into a feature of the space..."
The couple wanted 'strong, unfussy' designs in their home, with consistency providing a seamless flow from room-to-room. A Mondrian-inspired colour scheme sees primary-bright splashes throughout, especially in the kitchen (see that yellow Corian worktop and that punchy red paint on the walls).
As already mentioned, an ensuite was also required for the main bedroom; the boudoir was given an update, too. Michael advises the basic principles of Feng Shui as a great starting point for working out how your bedroom should look: "most of its rules are very much common sense," he adds, "but it helps guide you towards a good layout".
So what advice would Maggie and Neil give to homeowners who are currently planning their own home redesign? "Decide at the outset the main features you want your home to have, and also work out which structural changes (the most expensive part!) you want or need, too".
A strong relationship with your designer is also crucial to making the whole process enjoyable; "it was a great experience and one we enjoyed," says Neil. "We had never designed a house or apartment as a single project from start-to-finish before - it was challenging but incredibly rewarding".
Being budget-savvy is also key: "when we sold our previous home, we set aside some of the proceeds to pay for the project, meaning we had to stay inside that budget. It's never easy but if you plan the main elements of the expenditure from the start and can keep a spare sum to-side in case of unexpected elements, you'll manage it".