Fan explains why she spent $30,000 to re-create the bridge of Star Trek's Enterprise

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Apr 29, 2019, 7:27 AM EDT (Updated)

If you're reading Blastr, chances are you've wanted to live on the Enterprise, quaff a glass of tranya and wager your quatloos on a death match. You can't -- not until quatloos are legal tender. But if you're Line Rainville, you can have the next best thing: a full-sized basement that replicates the spirit of the NCC-1701.

When Rainville, a French Canadian novelist and scriptwriter, was refurbishing her basement, she thought she would spend $30,000 on something she really wanted. Although the bulk of her budget went to necessities such as tiling, plumbing and electricity, she spent the rest of it on creating the look and feel of the 23rd century. "I had to renovate the basement anyway," she said.

Potential DIYers, take note. Rainvillep -- whose favorite episodes include "Operation: Annihilate," "The Corbomite Maneuver" and "Shore Leave," as well as the fan production Star Trek Continueshas no design experience. But she wasn't afraid of manual labor, which included painting walls and sawing wood, with a little help from family and friends. "I'm lucky for that," she said.

Still, it took a year and a half of work (plus the prior six months of collecting items) to achieve Trek perfection.

If you want to undertake your own decorating mission, Rainville suggests you take it slowly ... but not because you need to make sure you've made the right design decision. "If you're as passionate as I am, they're going to like it." No, you need to take your time so you can savor the experience. "When I first started, I painted [the basement] gray. I enjoyed it. But people said it was sad to be surrounded by gray, so I added the red. I enjoyed that too. Go slowly to appreciate each step."

In terms of practical design advice, Rainville says, "The most important pieces are the smallest ones." She placed a lot of emphasis on getting the lighting and the buttons right. "Without the lights and buttons, it won't look Star Trek."

Rainville most enjoys her "home theater, where I have the main screen, the science officer panel and the communication panel." But her guests prefer a different section: the bathroom.

Her bathroom, which was "inspired by both the sick bay and the observation deck," is decorated with Starfleet tilework. From the pictures, you can see that the shower is large and, after a day wrestling Andorians, inviting.

Has anyone asked if they can bathe there? "Yes, they have. It's special."

George Takei, the former Mr. Sulu and current Facebook tastemaker, agreed enough to post her photos on his own page. He wrote, "Now, I wouldn't recommend just anyone do this. But you can't say this fangirl isn't living out her dream." 

Rainville is happily doing just that. "It's a place for me to relax, to connect with this capacity we have as a child to play, and to find that world where we can dream and feel we are somewhere else."

But Rainville can't say whether her project is complete or still a work in progress. "There are two rooms [downstairs] that I did not touch, a laundry room and a library," she said. "I'm thinking about the library."