Topher’s talents as an artist stem from creative photography sessions, as revealed previously to ITM readers. Much of his creative endeavors emerge on the heavily Haunted Mansion inspired website imafoolishmortal.
Recently Mr. Adam decided to add a bit of hot and cold running chills to his home office. Much to the delight of this author’s Haunted Mansion obsession, he also allowed Inside the Magic to take a peek about this haunting and magnificently macabre manifestation!
Enter the moldering sanctum of an exquisitely crafted Haunted Mansion themed study
We’d like to say we caught up with Topher Adam on a dark and stormy night. However, unless the fiber optic lines were enduring such a moody storm during our conversations, that probably isn’t entirely truthful as shelter safe at home rules apply to foolish mortals AND just about any haunted house these days.
Topher, the gracious ghost host that he is, indulged a few questions regarding the macabre metamorphosis of his haunted house-like study:
Inside the Magic (ITM): What inspired you to craft your Haunted Mansion themed Study?
Topher Adam (TA): I think what happened was when my in-laws moved in with us, I had to remove all my mansion collectibles from my living room as it would be a shared space and they are very superstitious. So, I sadly packed up as much as I could and kept a little out for my own sanity and lived that way for a year plus. Once they moved out into their own space, I said, the spare room is going to become my new study since my hubby works from home in the other room, AKA Office. I couldn’t work in there as he needs to be able to talk to online customers and well… I needed my own space dang it. That was when the process and development of my study started.
Being an obvious Haunted Mansion geek, I could have considered anything else then to build a sanctuary for my collectibles, my art, and my love for dramatic lighting and comfort in a dark room.
When you start thinking about building a Haunted Mansion inspired space there are so many spaces you could in the Haunted Mansion you could design off of. But I also didn’t want to be exact, I wanted to reflect my passion for the Mansion, but also ensure that my collectibles had the proper home and I could account for all the stuff I have. (I still have so much stuff, but had to tone i down to showcase the things that I knew would be wonderful in their proper settings, i’ll get to them sooner or later.)
I started my process knowing that I wanted the space to be antique, old world, and started off looking at antique malls, looking for the right elements, being a designer, it was the start of my research into the look and period of furniture I wanted. Second, I started by creating a color story, that’s important for making sure consistency happens in a room. Then i started looking on places like offer up, and goodwill, and anyplace I could source antiques I knew wouldn’t cost me a fortune, mind you people in Las Vegas do not value antiques. So I was really luck to source a lot of my furniture quickly. (I don’t get why they don’t like antiques in Vegas <eye roll.> Once I had the furniture, I ordered a round rug, and started pulling out my goodies from storage, and bringing my amazing collection out from hiding. Woohoo, I love my items, they all have a memory attached to them, when I got the item, from whom, and how. That’s the best part about being a collector. Not because the value *although yes they do go up as they get older and more limited, but because they mean something to me. That’s my joy, my passion, my obsession, and addiction. Why not surround yourself with the things you love and that inspire you to be who you are as a fan artist.
After the items were pulled out, I designed backdrops for my walls to cover them to help set a mood, and maid curtains to match the ones in the portrait gallery hall mixed with the corridor of doors concept of the ghoulish eye wallpaper. Once that was hung, I started to hang all my framed artwork, my paintings, and props that I make for myself first and sell to clients who also want these limited and rare items that the parks don’t make. With the overall tone and look of the space, I created the perfect setting for me to work, develop my collectibles, and design and draw the work I do for those whom love my art and get to celebrate.
ITM: Did you make the items? If not, where did you get them?
TA: I do make a lot of the items I have in my study, the Ghost Bride I made, the hatchet man portrait, the ghoul photos, and a lot more of the items in my study. This is the perfect setting for me to photograph my items in an environment that reflects the work that I am doing. I pride myself on being that kind of artist who can create something spot on as a replica, but also celebrate the fact that I create items the parks don’t make and offer them to my fans.
ITM: Do you have favorite item or items?
TA: I suppose my ultimate favorite is the very first miniature I got at Walt Disney World on my b-day (I share a birthday and birth year with Walt Disney World) and we stumbled upon artist Olszewski. The art of Disney store was empty, this gentleman as sitting at the table and he had the haunted Mansion miniature that he did on the table and a blue miniature there, it was out of my price range but my hubby decided to buy it for me, and he signed both pieces. They are my favorite not only because I got them and they were signed, it was because it was the start to someone noticing my work and thinking it was good, and he never, ever offered anyone to show my art to the board at disney like he did. it was amazing, he actually believed in me. I was blown away. But that’s my favorite piece, I have since collected more of his pieces, absolutely love them all. He was also what inspired me to be the artist I am today. The nicest man, and he still do believe in me as I saw and talked with him this last year at D23 as I was signing posters I did of Bob Gurr, he was there showing his art and I can’t remember enjoying the conversation as much as I did with him. Nice guy!
Making Final Arrangements
ITM: Any plans for other themed areas/decorating?
TA: I have started taking interest in more pirates, and tiki stuff. I created a group on Facebook called “The Haunted Tiki Mansion” which is an inspiration and blend of Trader Sams and the Haunted Mansion. Two of my favorite things while being at the parks. I absolutely love the story of how Pirates and the Haunted Mansion were once supposed to be tied together and figured why not bring those two things together as well. So, I have been doing some pirate stuff, with hopes to blend it with my mansion stuff and continue the story as we never saw it come to life at the parks. So why not do something that brings these amazing ideas back to life for fans to celebrate.
The theme park like room is quite definitely filled with several PRICEless artifacts. Even Madame Leota would be at home in this Haunted Mansion themed Study. Of course, we’re quite thrilled to be able to share this At Home Imagineering attraction with our ITM readers. Topher’s talents shine in the ambient lighting and amazing, after-life-friendly, FINAL arrangement of this impressive Disney Haunted Mansion themed study.
Oh, and one more thing, in the realm of FINAL arrangements, Topher is more than happy to help design a personalized own happy haunt:
… I also design haunted homes. LOL, I love helping people design their haunted homes to reflect the mood and feelings of a beautifully decrepit setting that you get to celebrate living in. I know as odd as it is, there are many of us who would just DIE to have a home like this. Can’t imagine anyone not enjoying a good creaking floor, or door in a home that evokes our love and passion for the Haunted Mansion. My style of work is about haunted opulence and decrepit glory of times lost. Victorian, Edwardian, and back. There must be someone who will do it, and that person is me. So, I may be the first to be an interior decorator for Haunted Homes, but at least I started a concept that I love and hope to help many find the joy in making their home, or space, or office into one that helps them inspire others.
Do YOU have a passion for theme and decor? Are there any extravagant rooms in your home or office inspired by a favorite ride or theme park? Please let us know. We’d love to share your magic with our readers.
Source and images: Topher Adam