But sometimes even Ikea isn’t enough.
Brian Thompson, a barista from Thousand Oaks, California (and we’ve been told, a Gryffindor) has transformed his bedroom into something that seems to have jumped straight from the pages of Harry Potter.
After visiting the Wizarding World at Universal Studios, Brian took it upon himself to create a space fit for any wizard or witch. Over an entire year, he carefully hand-picked items from second hand stores that could’ve easily been featured on a Potter film set.
And all (well) under the $125 million budget of the films. So it’s fair to say Brian had to use a good deal of resourcefulness to keep his vision at the lowest price. Finishing at a total of $1,500, Brain says he found the budget limitations a healthy challenge, which forced him to the extent of his creativity.
“Each red chair in my room was about $6 (£4.60). The black display case was $5 (£3.90). I must have made over 100 trips to thrift stores over 18 months to find everything I have.
“Everything is covered in a thin layer of caulking so I could protect and paint it all easily. the tress have a chicken wire fence structure that I have covered in Great Stuff insulation foam.“
Even among all the amazing details, people seem to be most blown away by the beautiful ceiling, designed to look exactly like the night sky.
Complete with chandelier and ‘floating’ candles, Brian used a lining of door mirrors to give it an ‘infinity’ effect.
“I found the perfect LED string lights of Amazon and ordered about eight strands. I painted the wires black, painted my ceiling black, then used a staple gun to sporadically distribute them throughout the ‘sky’.
“The chandelier is from the thrift store. I painted it gold and hung it with chains that I painted black to make it look like it was floating. The floating candles are very light and were hung by fishing line.”
And if this doesn’t sound magical enough, Brian added that although the candles are currently stationary, he hopes to one day make them hover up and down.
So, what does his family think about all this? Considering I personally lost my deposit at Uni for one measly iron-shaped burn on the carpet.
“My family had no idea I was doing it until the ceiling was done. Then they started asking questions. They’re pretty hard to impress, so their compliments really fuel me.
“There were a few times I had to take all of my original belongings out of the room to make space to work, and my stuff would just be sitting in the garage or living room for a week at a time. It frustrated my parents once in a while, but they knew it was a small price to pay for a good investment. At least, that’s what I told them!“
Although not currently being available for public viewing, Brian hopes to one day have a place of his own to completely shape into the perfect Hogwarts.
He also has dreams of becoming a Disney Imagineer!
“I’ve wanted to be one since I heard the word ‘Imagineer’ when I was about 10. I’m also passionate about roller coasters and would love to create an experience for people that would have them lining up for miles.
“My passion I ambience, inspiration…a deep sense of wonder. I’d love to just wake up each morning, contributing a little more to a vision that will make people feel the way I do when I ride my favourite rides, or watch my favourite movies.”
Even after a year, and painstaking care and work, the whole room was probably easier to assemble than the MÖRBYLÅNGA from Ikea.
Currently attempting to survive as a part-time writer, full-time incompetent adult, Sarah O'Neill can often be found writing about how much she hates the new seasons of Arrested Development. She does her best writing under pressure and her worst writing under pressure, and hopes one day to write under better conditions. Like by the sea. You can contact Sarah at [email protected]