Comic's family room no laughing matter

Gerry is a standup comedian with a schedule that is no laughing matter. He recently got married, moved into a new home and had a baby -- all while playing the comedy circuit and participating in the hit series "Last Comic Standing." Needless to say, his busy lifestyle didn't leave him much time to work on his new house, and his family room was in desperate need of help.

The space was dark, underutilized, outdated and painted a shocking shade of green, thanks to Gerry's lone design attempt.

He wanted the room to be warm, comfortable and contemporary -- a space where his family can relax while he is on the road, and a place where he can entertain friends when he is at home (after all, his friends provide him with great material for his comedy routines). So with my sense of humor intact, I gathered my crew together and geared up to create a standout room for a standup guy.

The first order of the day was to get rid of all of the green and lighten up the space with a neutral-colored paint. I then got busy dividing the room into two main zones: a lounge zone and a TV/media zone.

I wanted the lounge area to be reminiscent of an old English pub -- a hospitable place where friends and family could gather for drinks and conversation. I chose a warm palette of plum, caramel, copper and cream. I also put in a lot of wood finishes for a homey vibe.

The focal point of this area is a new fireplace elevation that features gorgeous earth-toned glass tiles and is flanked with horizontal strips of rustic dark-wood flooring. I installed two bars, one on either side of the fireplace; one features a beautiful bar sink and one has a built-in stainless steel bar fridge. Beside the fireplace, I put in a beautiful bar table in solid, heavy quartz with a pendant light above.

In the TV/media area, I put in a luscious new plum-colored upholstered sectional with an abundance of pillows in the room's various colors, a creamy leather ottoman and a beautiful area rug. Across from the sectional is a big-screen TV -- perfect for watching "Last Comic Standing."

Because the room was short on windows, I decided to lighten it up with mirrors and other light sources. I put in floor-length mirrors with integrated sconces that flank the large-screen TV. I then used the same type of sconces on the opposite side of the room for a bit of balance. I also added a really cool art installation: a series of three backlit digital photos (all of microphones) that give the room a personal touch -- and more light.

After some final finishes, including a plum, crushed-velvet curtain that marks the entryway and looks like a stage curtain, this family room was complete. What was once a cold, underused basement is now a warm and modern gathering space that is perfect for Gerry, his family, his friends -- and his future comedy routines. Now that's divine!

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV's "Divine Design." For more ideas or information visit Her column is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service.