So here’s the situation: You’re a lifelong Harry Potter fanatic, but you’re moving out into the world with a brand new, adulty apartment that you can’t wait to decorate. You know you need to let go of your childhood bedroom, but you also suspect that your love for Harry Potter will last a lifetime. On move-in day, it’s the moment of truth: Will you find a new, mature style to show off how grown up you are, or will you hang onto Harry a little while longer?
In reality, life rarely offers black and white choices, and you can most certainly have your Cauldron Cake and eat it too. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to aging up your fandom into a refined style that will stay relevant through the rest of your twenties.
The trick to scoring the Harry Potter bedroom of your dreams is choosing classic pieces that can be mixed into a new style as your tastes evolve. This means no obvious props, and for the love of all that is good in this world, no Gryffindor color scheme. Instead, aim for simple touches that evoke a Victorian world with a slight industrial edge—they’ll feel whimsical and modern without the heaviness of Hogwarts’ medieval style. And as a disclaimer, some of these pieces are the stuff of dreamy wish lists, but if you hunt around second hand stores long enough, you can find similar pieces for a price that won’t drain your Gringotts account.
Okay, so technically these shelves are screwed into the wall using brackets. This type of shelving is ideal for a small room that can’t easily accommodate a free-standing bookshelf, and your books will be kept neatly on display. They look impressive but you won’t need a bit of magic to install them (just make sure you find the studs or you’ll ruin your drywall). Plus, deciphering Ikea instructions is an unavoidable rite of passage into adulthood. (Houzz, $40 and $70)
Owls–and other animal prints–are a chic way to class up the tattered “Goblet of Fire” poster that’s been Scotch-taped to the closet door at your parents’ house for so long that it’s practically become fused there. Go for clean lines and a realistic image with pops of color. If owls aren’t your thing, your Patronus is a 100% acceptable substitute. (Society 6, $18 and $17)
Test Tube Bud Vase
Some of the best scenes in Harry Potter are the passive aggressive verbal showdowns between Snape and Harry in the Potions lab. What’s more adult than learning how to lob disguised insults at your nemesis, right? These beautiful bud vases are a very subtle nod to the series’ most troubled and surprising character, and since most test tube vases are made from reclaimed materials, you’re sure to have a unique conversation piece as well. (Etsy, $60)
Velvet Wing Chair
…to sit in while you read, obviously. As much as I love these chairs, you could probably find something similar in a local used furniture shop for a little cheaper. I’ve seen some fantastic chairs like this one at our local Habitat for Humanity shop. The key is to go for a chair that’s as eye-catching as it is comfortable, and a luxe fabric like velvet will transform a functional piece into something special. (Wayfair)
Snitch Light Fixture
These lights are officially on my wish list, although they’re probably not feasible in a rental. But if you’re lucky enough to have collected enough pennies to buy a house, these cannot be beat. Slim and refined, they’re a grown up version of fairy lights that can bring a touch of personality into any room. And how much do they look like Snitches?! (Etsy, $108)
Victorian Metal Bed Frame
Hogwarts dorms are what I always hoped college would be–a cozy retreat from the chaos. A simple metal frame with a head- and footboard can evoke an English boarding school in the comfort of your bedroom. Bed frames can be pricey, so it would be 100% worth it to hunt for a used frame. As long as it’s sturdy, you can easily sand it down and spray paint it the color of your choosing–just be sure to go with a paint that has some gloss so that you’ll be able to keep it looking shiny and new. (Ebay, or your local second hand shop)
Trunks were an essential part of every trip to Hogwarts, and honestly everyone should have one. They’re stylish and functional, perfect for storing extra blankets or clothes that are out of season. Pro-tip: Use space saving bags for items you won’t be using for a while. (Etsy, $299)