If your child dreams of receiving an acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (by muggle post if you aren’t members of the wizarding world, by owl post if you are) on his or her 11th birthday, knows the location of Platform 9-3/4 at King’s Cross Station, and would do anything to board the Hogwarts Express, why not bring some of the fun, wonder, and whimsy of the Harry Potter world to your child’s bedroom? For a child who devoured all seven of the Harry Potter books and waited eagerly for the opening day of all eight movies, a room decorated with a Hogwarts theme – while not quite as thrilling as putting on the Sorting Hat – might just be the next best thing. It's a great theme for children of any age and either gender.
Here are the Basics:
- While your home is probably not an old stone castle like Hogwarts, you can recreate the feeling with painted walls. Start with a light gray painted base, then use a sea sponge to stipple deeper shades of gray, brown and moss green over the surface until you achieve the look of aged stone.
- The Gryffindor dormitories where Harry slept had wooden flooring. Though we don’t see the other student dormitories, presumably they are the same. If your child’s bedroom has carpet, use a brown area rug to give the feel of wood.
- Students at Hogwarts sleep in heavy, dark wooden canopy beds surrounded by curtains that can be drawn for privacy. You might not have room – or desire – for such a large piece of furniture, but you can give a similar feel by hanging fabric from the ceiling around the corners of the bed. Use deep red if your child favors Gryffindor (Harry Potter’s house), or pick yellow for Hufflepuff, blue for Ravenclaw, or green for Slytherin.
The Fun Stuff
- Hogwarts’ students use trunks to transport their clothing and personal items between home and school. If you can’t find an old trunk at a local thrift store or garage sale, use a new one that only pretends to be old. Let your child decorate the trunk with Hogwarts stickers and decals. Trunks make perfect footboards for the bed and are a great way to store extra linens, out-of-season clothing, sports equipment or board games.
- The wizarding world uses owls to deliver mail, and Harry’s owl, Hedwig, plays an important role throughout the story. Hedwig was a snowy owl, but many different species of owls deliver mail in J. K. Rowling's fantasy world. Decorate a corner of the bedroom with a large stuffed owl on a branchy perch screwed to the wall, or set an old birdcage on the dresser to serve as the owl’s home.
- Make up the bed with a solid-colored comforter in your child’s favorite house colors, set off by white sheets. Add fun with a couple of bright throw pillows. If your child prefers to leave no doubt as to the room’s theme, choose a bedding set decorated with Harry Potter’s picture, name or scenes from the story.
- Quidditch, the favored game of the wizarding world -- and Harry Potter’s personal sport -- is played on flying brooms. You might not have a magical broom available, but you can do your best with a purchased quidditch broom, or one you decorated yourself. Prop the broom in the corner, or suspend it from the ceiling with clear fishing line.
- Decorate the bedroom walls with a few wall hangings celebrating whichever Hogwarts house your child prefers. Most kids will choose Gryffindor, which is Harry’s house, but others might prefer Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin.
- Every bedroom needs a mirror, and if that mirror reflects the looker’s deepest longing (as does the Mirror of Erised in the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), so much the better. Hang a full-length mirror from the back of your child’s bedroom door, then use gold or bronze metallic paint to create an elaborate frame around the mirror’s edges. If painting isn't your thing, use metallic decorative duct tape to cover the mirror's frame instead.
- Wherever possible, choose bedroom accessories that look antique and well worn. A brass, ornate lamp, old-fashioned alarm clock, dark, distressed bookcase, and electric candles are all good choices.