by | Nov 10, 2016 | Before and After

AFI has amazing clients, and we love creating spaces worthy of them. Recently, a retired F-16 pilot asked us to create a new space for his family in Mt. Pleasant.

The house was chosen for its proximity to the East Cooper Regional Airport, where he hopes to house a plane he’s building. However, the house needed some work to make it livable for his busy, happy family.

We started with the fireplace wall in the family room. The before pictures tell a typical story: a traditional mantle with diminutive proportions, outdated door facing and baseboards, and a dull black hearth and fireplace surround. The pilot and his wife, a former nurse with a passion for sailing, wanted a fresh start with their furnishings and accessories, so it was critical to set the stage for what’s to come. We changed proportions, updated the style, incorporated new materials, and came up with a wow! for this we’ll-deserving family of four.

Here’s what we did:

1- New Millwork with simple 1×4 and 1×6 facing and base are a budget-friendly way to update the existing 1990s John Wieland build.

2- We ripped out the existing mantle, surround and hearth and relocated HVAC returns to accommodate a larger fireplace front.

3- Notice the passageway into the hall. We took the header up to the full height of the ceiling in the hallway behind- about 9′. What a difference!

4- We mimicked the new header height with a faux transom above the closet door. Simple, inexpensive update.

5- Our new finishes include Arctic White ledger stone in a shimmery quartz. A river stone hearth is a perfect complement to the quartz, and keeps it from going “glam”. Notice also we took the fireplace 11.5′ up the wall.  We stopped before the full wall height of 13.5′ to keep the proportions correct in the room. This space is narrow, and had We tile the full height, the fireplace would have overpowered the room.

6- The gorgeous English walnut mantle and trim has a walnut oil finish, providing a low sheen with a protective seal.  We added inches to the floating mantle depth, coming in at a finished 8″. We also designed decorative up lighting and down lights, to enhance the glimmering quartz. The walnut surround is installed upended to give our wall a bit more depth.

7- we continued the look with a custom tv cabinet also designed by AFI. At a full 9.5′, this impressive case houses electronics and more behind massive solid walnut doors. The doors utilize hidden push locks and hinges. The finish is SW White in a lacquer enamel. We designed the case as a system of 3 stacking units, simulating Chinese stacking tables. The units graduate in depth, which keeps this massive piece from becoming overbearing. Dimmer LED pucks safely shed light on art and collectibles in the top unit. A Thibaut grass cloth adds the perfect backing.

8- We balanced the wall with a custom walnut veneered closet door and transom, but the pièce de resistance:

9- the super cool almost impossible to find F-16 canopy latch lever we outfitted to serve as a door pull. Wow! That was fun!

10- A Kings Grant chair from Taylor Burke Home and a few simple accessories get our adventurous couple well on their way to having one of the most unique family rooms in town.

Gotta love it! We love creating spaces for amazing people! AFI clients come from all walks of life, but the results are the same–spaces that reflect them! Come be a part of how we are changing the look of Mt Pleasant, one awesome client at a time!

Until next time,


Full Service Design  |  Custom & Quick Ship Upholstery  |  Window Treatments  |  Wallcoverings

 9 am - 5 pm
and by appointment

2447 N Hwy 17, Suite 100
Mount Pleasant, SC 29466

Alex Fleuren
Owner/Lead Designer

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