Now that the final Harry Potter film is upon us, it’s time to pay our respects to the set designers who brought J.K. Rowling’s written world so vividly to life. While fervent fans might insist on decorating with replicas of specific props and set pieces, prudent designers can take inspiration from the incredible sets without going literal.
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The Dursleys English countryside on Privet Drive
An explosion of doilies, petunias and pink pinstripe wall paper, the interior of the Dursley home on Privet Drive is an English countryside design gone wrong – on purpose, of course. While set designers overdid the look on purpose to fit the characters, the bare bones of the design style can be quaint and comforting when done right.
Avoid Petunia Dursley’s pastel transgressions by eliminating the saccharine sweetness of an all-pink palette and opt instead for a simple sage or a delicate baby blue as your base shade. For furniture, incorporate ladderback chairs, spindle leg tables and curio cabinets. Add in pops of warm color to the cool palette with pastoral pictures and floral arrangements. Remember, this country look is anything but casual, so keep the décor simple, clean and slightly formal – it is English, after all.
Balance the girls-only look of this sugary décor style by incorporating country farm accessories like raw-wood end tables and tin storage containers. Use a light touch when adding feminine frills like florals and lace – otherwise you might wind up with kitten-plate-covered walls like those in Dolores Umbridge’s office.
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Weasley’s boho chic Burrow
With a gaggle of seven hot-tempered red-heads to look after, Molly Weasley hasn’t got the time for formality. That’s why the eclectic boho chic look works so well for eccentric family.
Comfort and function are absolutely essential when selecting pieces to capture this look, but so is uniqueness. Forgo the cookie-cutter options you’ll find in furniture chains and scour flea markets instead for one-of-a-kind pieces. Look beyond the current appearance of each item to find tables and sofas with a bare-bones design you like, since you can always paint or reupholster. Select a palette populated with jewel-tone reds, blues and purples, and incorporate plenty of patterns for a rich, gypsy look. This look demands diversity in design styles, so forget finding matching sets or patterns and instead pick pieces that complement one another.
While the number of people packed into the Burrow necessitated a plethora of stuff, clutter will quickly kill this look. Avoid styling like a pack rat and remember this simple design law: Less is more. Arrange accessories in groups of three to create a magical balance and banish all unnecessary bric-a-brac.
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Dumbledore’s gothic steampunk study
Kingsley Shacklebot said it best: “Dumbledore’s got style.” Nowhere is this more evident than the steampunky vibe Albus brought to the Hogwarts gothic headmaster’s office.
Begin with a gothic base by selecting solid, carved furniture and heavy velvet fabrics. Mimic the grand architecture with arched mirrors and gilt picture frames. Dumbledore’s study walls are lined top to bottom with leather-bound books, so a bookshelf filled with aged texts is an absolute must to capture this look. Save yourself some bucks by skipping the high-priced volumes sold by vintage booksellers and scour used bookstores for books that have the right look — whether or not you’ll ever actually read what’s written in them.
Add the steampunk touch to the décor with a brass-strapped steamer trunk as a makeshift coffee table. Pick up polished metal gears and mechanical items like old telescopes or cartography equipment at flea markets to simulate Dumbledore’s magical machinery.
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