How to Decorate Like You’re At Hogwarts (& Keep it Stylish!)

Ever watch any of the Harry Potter movies and desperately wish you could snap your fingers (or wave your wand) and find yourself in one of those magnificent rooms in that medieval castle?! Yeah, me too. If it were up to me I’d live in Hogwarts indefinitely.

Here’s the problem: I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to decorating than most people, the interior designers of Hogwarts probably included. I can’t stand a lot of clutter, too many patterns, or clashing colors. I detest primary colors. Guys, there are so many primary colors in Harry Potter. Talk about my personal nightmare. But there are also a ton of ornate golds, delicate designs, warm wood tones, cozy textures…all of which I can get behind! If you choose & pair wisely, it’s actually possible to add in some Hogwarts-inspired flair to your home decor without being too obvious or looking like you just cleaned out the gift shop at Universal Studios Harry Potter Wizarding World. I threw together a few of my favorite items that I thought fit the bill, and now I’m kiiind of considering a living room re-design. 😉

 

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You know Hogwarts was probably covered in old Persian & Turkish rugs. This soft piece from Anthropologie adds texture and is just patterned enough without being too busy. Plus, the colors simply belong in Gryffindor tower (but again, aren’t so primary). 

Read any passage about (or watch any scene in) Gryffindor common room and you’ll know just how important cozy cushioning is for when you need a comfy place to work or just lounge with your friends. Add vintage throw pillows to armchairs and sofas, lay down some floor pillows for extra seating (hello, movie nights!), and throw in a Moroccan pouf so you can put your feet up (preferably by a roaring fire). 

Speaking of staying warm (sans fire… #apartmentlife), how good would it feel to curl up with a good book under this giant faux fur blanket?!

Every single mirror I own in my apartment is gold. If there’s any decor trend I am truly and 100% behind, it’s that one.  This mirror has a vaguely similar shape to the Mirror of Erised, just with more modern, rounded edges. It’s similar enough to make the association, but isn’t too obvious that it’s cheesy.

This ceramic white stag mount is so cute, plus it’s a decorative item that’s actually pretty popular so it won’t raise too many eyebrows! How could you not look at it and think the words “expecto patronum” every single time?!

Sport your Gryffindor pride with a vase decorated with lions. (Full disclosure: I’m a Slytherin, but unfortunately there aren’t a ton of cute decorative pieces with snakes…)

Is there anything better than the Harry Potter score?! It still gives me goosebumps and brings me to tears. Listening to it on vinyl would be unreal. Especially on this record player that looks like it would be found in a Divination class (that ethereal pattern though…)

Displaying an impressive library is a pretty Hermione-ish move (in the best way!). Your Harry Potter books deserve to be displayed. This neutral (but still thematic!) book cover set makes it so you can display your collection without clashing with your other belongings.

Finally, this golden snitch clock is just too adorable to pass up. It’s the most obvious item on this list, but it’s so cute that I simply don’t care.

Other ideas:

Not ready for a full re-design of your living room? I get it, we can’t all be crazy. There are other easy and inconspicuous ways of showcasing your HP love. Frame a print of a favorite quote (or one of your favorite chapter pages). Display your wand(s) in your pencil cup. Collect themed mugs. Display pretty little trinkets (like a music box that plays Hedwig’s Theme) here & there in tasteful ways! Whatever you do, make sure you have some fun with it. 😉

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Thanks for reading! xx

Reflections & 2019 Resolutions

As we close out 2018, I’m forced to reflect on what a year this past one has been.

Most recently, I hosted my family and Mark for Christmas and felt all the good feelings. Having my loved ones gather in my little, cozy home was wonderful. We had a great Christmas together (I think?!) and got to experience the holidays in Raleigh, which made me fall in even more love with my city.

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In the past four months, I’ve had each of my immediate family members visit me individually, and I was able to make a trip to visit them in New York in September. This never happened in Los Angeles, it just wasn’t feasible. Having this kind of access to each other again is something I will never, ever take for granted.

My best friend is a mere 45 minute drive from me now, and once again we find ourselves in a season of life where we can FaceTime each other at 6:30 pm with bribes of pizza and movies if one makes the trek to the other, and by 8 we’ll be together. I saw her 3 times the whole time I lived in L.A.

Oh, I moved! I took matters into my own hands and left Los Angeles in May. I drove cross country with my mama, took a huge leap of faith, and moved to somewhere I had never been before. With the help of friends and family, I moved into two apartments this summer (the first one for only a week, the second was the winner…what an adventure). But then, I proceeded to set up my home alone. I carried packages, set up furniture, arranged online bill pay (yaaas), hung shelves and curtains and pictures alone, and pretty much learned how to function solo. I learned a lot about independence this year. Thankfully, I still never needed to unclog a toilet (it’s my biggest fear). 

By learning how to be more independent, I also learned to be a better partner to Mark. I became more self-reliant, which in turn made me more appreciative. I also became more open to compromise and alternative ways of doing things. Weirdly, the forced long distance over the past few months has made us more aware of how much we want to be together. We’re in a better place than ever before.

Mark and I both dealt with loss. It sucked. It really freakin’ sucked. That’s been the ultimate low of this year.

I also had a really shitty couple of months with major dental issues. Ugh.

I left a great job in L.A and quickly found a great gig as a veterinary technician in Raleigh. I even got hired as a food stylist a couple of times, which was a dream come true. I successfully got top grades in the Animal Nutrition course I took alongside everything else.

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I quickly fell in love with my new city, and that has calmed my soul in ways I can’t even explain. I feel so much less turbulent than I did this time last year. I sometimes miss L.A for very specific things, but I’ve developed a healthier mindset about that, too.

I religiously stuck to budgeting, which allowed me to save over $6,000 this year! Y’all, my retirement is poppin’.

I reconnected with old friends. I made really valuable and meaningful new friendships.

Finally, this little blog had the highest engagement ratings in its history! I think I made big strides in providing good content, better photos, relatable stories, etc.

I’ve had some creative ruts, some health ruts, some personal ruts. But guess what! I’m still here and I’m still working every day to be better. It was a long year, at times an exhausting and disheartening year. But overall, 2018 was pretty kind to me and for that I am grateful.

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As for last year’s resolutions? I think I did pretty good. I saved a lot of money! I started listening to NPR, so I like to think I’m more informed. I took the ceramics class and loooved it. I called my mom more, even though she might argue this fact! I eliminated  more toxins (buh-bye deodorant), and I did go somewhere new on the cross country road trip. Success!

Now, on to this year’s resolutions.

  1. Complete another whole30 and gain back some control over my health habits.
  2. Explore my career aspirations in a tangible way. Make more progress towards whatever goals you develop.
  3. Save even more money! I’m going to do a blog post soon on how I’m succeeding with this.
  4. Finally travel to NOLA (in February, with my sister!)
  5. Start regularly taking vitamins for sleep, stress, and energy support.
  6. Take yoga more consistently. I’m never happier/healthier than when I take a regular vinyasa class.
  7. Read more books. So, so easy with my library card!
  8. Establish a more consistent skin care routine.
  9. Establish a more consistent bedtime routine. Meaning turning off the devices, not falling asleep to the TV being on, and consistently getting 8 hours of sleep. Also, hopefully making strides in improving my overall sleep quality.
  10. Have Mark move in!
  11. Take a food photography course. I’m excited about this one!
  12. Continue to improve viewership and engagement on this blog, which has remained my favorite creative outlet.
  13. Be a better friend in general. I could always be better about reaching out to my long distance buddies.
  14. Floss every night. And never ever skip a 6 month dental cleaning.
  15. Use time more wisely. I go back and forth on being good at this. Instead of binge watching Gilmore Girl episodes, maybe listen to an informative podcast and get some to-do list tasks done. Instead of surfing Instagram, study for the GRE. Ya know?

Okay, that’s it! I probably won’t even make it to the ball drop tonight (grandma status, always). My plans include working on meal prep for tomorrow, wearing a charcoal face mask, and sipping some hot lemon water while I listen to Auld Lang Syne. Happy New Year, friends!