The unique look of the Harry Potter films inspires many to re-create the magic in home interiors that both parents and children can enjoy. Doing this with any measure of success requires a light touch. The iconic imagery, wealth of ideas and sheer invention of the Harry Potter stories could never be contained within the decor of one room. The trick to success is choosing a few favorite themes and keeping a tight focus on the overall look.
Hogwarts School is a great place to start looking for style cues. The high Gothic attitude, arched windows, heraldic references, suits of armor, portraits and acres of ancient stone can all be referenced in a Potter-esque bedroom. Start with a background theme such as the planets, or stars and magic, then overlay with extra detail. A midnight blue ceiling painted with a celestial scene such as the Milky Way or decorated with glow in the dark star decals, creates the perfect mood. Depending on allegiances, banners bearing the house names suspended from the ceiling will add drama and authenticity to a Potter-pad. Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Gryffindor all deserve a mention, and colorful fabric banners work as wall art or can accentuate ceiling height if hung from above. Basic banners can be customized with extra decorations such as crystals and golden threads that catch the light.
Furnishings at Hogwarts are dark and solid; think of the mile long wooden refectory tables in the great hall or the fine cabinetry in Dumbledore’s office. A dark wooden chest of drawers will fit perfectly, providing storage for clothing as well as Potter memorabilia. A wardrobe with arched, Gothic detailing and great depth (big enough to house a Boggart?) is ideal for storing capes, cloaks and all manner of witchcraft and wizardry apparel. Consider also a dramatic bed, possibly four-poster or at the least with an ornately carved wooden headboard. Atmospheric lighting is achieved with wall sconces fitted with flickering candle-flame bulbs.
Accent on accessories
For a stylish homage to Hogwarts, use subtlety. Avoid the obvious such as bedding emblazoned with Harry’s face and seek out richly colored vintage style quilts in satin, tasseled velvet bolster cushions and richly embroidered textiles in shades of deep violet, gold and magenta. Conjure up the eccentric steam-punk look of Dumbledore’s office by raiding thrift stores for old timepieces, star gazing equipment and chemistry sets. Buy up a selection of old picture frames and spray them all a uniform gold, then fill with portraits of favorite characters. All bedrooms need a mirror, but why not make it extra special and turn it into the Mirror of Erised? Look out for a large antique looking glass with ornate frame and clawed feet – spray the frame gold and paint the famous quote above in elegant script “I show not your face but your heart’s desire” – backwards if preferred, exactly like the books. Finally, for a dramatic visual treat, source old fashioned brooms from the hardware store, paint them in rich colors and suspend them on invisible twine from the ceiling.
There’s a rich seam of ideas to mine for a Hogwarts themed interior. And if it’s proving difficult choosing exactly which ideas to embrace, ask the Sorting Hat for a second opinion…