When living quarters restricted creative decorating desires, one fan found returning home was the key to making magic. Fortunately, for Brian Thompson, his family is also big fans of the Wizarding World saga, as he transformed part of the home into a Hogwarts-inspired haven.
The California resident earns the title of at home Imagineering wizard for his Potter powered palace project. More than just a few pictures on the wall, this immersive incarnation invokes all the wonder that is Hogwarts Castle.
California resident Brian Thompson and his family are huge fans of J.K. Rowling’s tales of the boy who lived. However, it was a visit to Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter which fueled the frenzy for this magical make-over.
After learning about this spellbinding Hogwarts-inspired haven, Inside the Magic caught up with Brian. After a few questions, we learned that creative trial and error, and not magic wands or spoken spells, brought about this magical masterpiece.
From humble home to Hogwarts-inspired haven
Brian’s magical creation includes notable hints from Rowling’s Hogwarts (both book and film version). This enchanting transformation includes floating candles, star clad ceilings, large tree formations and more. Faux fireplace, hand-made brick walls, and parquet tiles enjoy accents like lush carpets, fine furniture and several paintings.
Interviewing a muggle wizard about his Hogwarts-inspired haven
Inside the Magic (ITM): Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself:
Brian Thompson (BT): When I’m not making props for my room or working as a barista, I enjoy spending my time playing piano, doing photography, watching space documentaries, and satisfying my guilty pleasure of scrolling through inspirational, tear-jerking Facebook and YouTube videos.
ITM: What inspired you to craft this immersive creation?
BT: After moving out of my parent’s house into an apartment with some friends… I was bummed there were so many restrictions on modifying your living space. I began to dwell on the fact that I had missed out on such an opportunity living with my parents…I had so many chances to create whatever I wanted to. A few leases later, I brought myself back to my parent’s house to allow myself the opportunity to find a new path of creative expression. I didn’t know quite what I wanted to do, but I just knew there was something out there waiting to happen, and I needed to find it and bring it to life.
I remember going with my sister one day to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal for the first time. Our family was just as enthusiastic as the next about the series…but when I saw the castle in front of me, the true magic had come alive. I never knew something so grand and bewildering existed. I ran along the rugged brick hallways, thinking of all the ways I could recreate this in a small world of my own. The architecture, the music, lighting, moving paintings, projections…I couldn’t get enough. I was inspired by how thousands of ideas and possibly millions of hours of work all came together to create a world of magic. More than the books and movies themselves, the manifestation of the world itself in a theme park is what ultimately fueled my motivation.
ITM: Where did the elements for this clever Hogwarts-inspired haven come from?
BT: Most of my items were simply modified and painted items carefully chosen from countless thrift stores (picture frames, candleholders, sconces, chairs, display cases, etc.). I had to create the ceiling, walls, fireplace, trees, and floor on my own.
ITM: What feature(s) of your new castle do you favor the most?
BT: My favorite feature in my room is the ceiling. I particularly like the one foot or so of mirrors that borders the top of each wall where they meet the ceiling. It reflects more “stars” and allows the illusion of the sky extending beyond the castle walls.
I came up with this idea after a handful of other failed ideas…I don’t know how the idea of mirrors came to me; it just did. My process usually works just like that. Run through as many ideas as it takes to find the right one. I’m still working on the ceiling… finding ways to make moving clouds and adding more convincingly “distant” stars and galaxies, but for now, I’m happy with the results!
ITM: What’s next on the creative horizon for you?
BT: For now, I don’t have any more space to create a new bedroom unless I do it for someone else. But in the meantime, I will be adding to the room so I can truly “bring it to life”. The hardest challenges are yet to come… moving paintings, flying keys, floating “clouds”, dementors, etc. I plan on making a video once it is all finished.
After that, I plan on dedicating more of my time and energy to my family’s graveyard for Halloween. Our Facebook page is called The Pumpkin House. We can’t wait to add even more and see what becomes of it next year.
ITM: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
BT: One thing people may not know about me when seeing this room is that I didn’t do it foremost because I was the number one Harry Potter fan, or that I wanted to live in “Hogwarts”. In fact, I’m no bigger a fan than my family or friends. Although the inspiration for the project idea itself came from within the magic walls of Hogwarts at Universal Studios, my dedication for pushing through to completion is derived from a deep desire to believe that I can make my own visions come to life.
Ever since I was a child, I dreamt of designing rides for Disneyland or Universal Studios, but I thought it was something only creative geniuses could do…or perhaps those with lots of money and decades of experience. But now that I’ve gotten to this point in the project, I truly do believe the real power of making your vision come to life is within perseverance, patience, and a positive attitude.
Inside the Magic would like to thank Brian for opening up his castle to our readers. We certainly appreciate learning a few details of the transformation process. We certainly look forward to seeing (and sharing) the finished masterpiece. For those who want to see more of Mr. Thompson’s creativity beyond the Potter series, check the Facebook page dedicated to the family’s Halloween creations: The Pumpkin House.
Do YOU enjoy a passion for dressing up your residence, office, or even vehicle to honor your pop-culture passion? We’d love to share that with our readers. Please contact Michael Gavin regarding your version of At Home Imagineering.
Source and images: Brian Thompson