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posted: 10/12/2013 6:00 AM

Basement transformation fills a prescription for R&R

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  • It took just the right prescription to transform this emergency room doctor's critically ill basement.

    It took just the right prescription to transform this emergency room doctor's critically ill basement.
    Photos Courtesy of HGTV

  • Dr. Nick's waterlogged basement was dried out and needed resuscitating.

    Dr. Nick's waterlogged basement was dried out and needed resuscitating.

By Candice Olson
Scripps Howard News Service

Dr. Nick works in the emergency room of a busy downtown hospital. After his shift, the doc retreats to his home for some much-needed R&R. But the peace and tranquillity of Dr. Nick's castle was shattered by a massive flood that brought four inches of water into his basement.

After the restoration work was completed, it was our job to give this space a new lease on life. The prescription? Create a multipurpose basement fit for entertaining, relaxation and guest accommodation.

Dr. Nick needed us to pack a lot of purpose into this space. He wanted a complete chill-out zone where he could entertain family and friends, enjoy his collection of fine wines, host a party and put up overnight guests in style.

To transform this basement, I began by making plans to section off a self-contained bedroom suite with a room-dividing panel. I found some amazingly innovative pull-down, twin-size wall beds that are perfect for the bedroom area. When they're not needed, the two beds just disappear into the wall, leaving more space to accommodate larger groups.

On the other side of the remote-controlled room divider is a comfy sectional sofa facing a TV and media center. Beside that is what I like to think of as the wine bar -- a warm and inviting corner equipped with a couple of white swiveling barrel chairs, a leather-topped bench for extra seating and a modern, wall-mounted ethanol fireplace, featuring fire rocks instead of traditional logs.

Dr. Nick is a wine connoisseur and is very proud of his extensive collection. By creating a customized feature wall, with sleek acrylic wine racks to display his wines, we really elevated wine to the level of art. Taken together, the furnishings in the "wine zone" are warm and inviting, and deliver the perfect relaxation factor for this busy ER doctor.

Dr. Nick's basement had a small kitchen area, which he wanted to incorporate into his new space. We didn't have much room to work with, but with the help of space-saving, innovative appliances and a well-planned design, we created a basement kitchen that really cooks!

Instead of a traditional refrigerator, we selected two fridge drawers that pull out from underneath the counter. A stainless-steel gas range, built-in dishwasher and other appliances will make guests feel right at home. The kitchen area has a lower ceiling due to ductwork that we incorporated into a bulkhead, so we created a counter-height peninsula with counter stools, which doubles as a prep area with additional storage below, as well as a place to sample everything from hors d'oeuvres to gourmet main-course dishes.

Dr. Nick's waterlogged basement was dried out and resuscitated with a multifunctional plan that delivers the ultimate in relaxation. In his own words, it's a real "man-cave experience" that serves many purposes. It's a great place to entertain, a warm and welcoming guest suite, and the perfect venue for a relaxing popcorn-and-movie night.

This space delivers all that Dr. Nick envisioned, and then some. It took just the right prescription to transform this critically ill basement, but in the end we delivered just what the doctor ordered.

• Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV's "Candice Tells All."

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