Ravenclaw Common Room

I found out at an early age that I’m allergic to white walls. Everywhere I live or work ends up plastered with T-shirts, posters, flags, toys, projects, tapestries— whatever it takes to make it feel more like home. 

When I moved to a new city, I knew I’d be living completely by myself for the first time in my life. I’ve been lucky in the past, in that all my other cohabitants have enjoyed (or at least tolerated) the eclectic nonsense that went up on the walls. Starting fresh though, I wanted a decor that was unique, thematic and at least a little classy. I always wished I could have grown up at Hogwarts, so I settled on trying to make my apartment feel as close to the Ravenclaw Common Room as possible. In this post you’ll find the DIY details I managed to document while taking on one of the biggest customization projects of my life. 

I knew setting out that this was going to be a lot more time consuming and expensive than just  thumb tacking a few items to the drywall, so I started by taking a look at the space as it was, planning out the major components and budgeting the supplies.

    

I spent a lot of lunch breaks at work sketching or making lists.

I even went so far as to make a Gantt chart on smartsheet.com to try and have it finished as soon as possible (This was actually helpful because I tend to get side-tracked easily by other projects in progress).

 

As you can see, I had a lot of ideas, but it boiled down to a few important components:

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Wallpaper

Light Fixtures

Pillars 

Mirror and Bust

Fireplace

Molding, Crests, and other details


  Skills: Making Do

This SKILL post is all about improvising and throwing something together out of whatever you have at your disposal. Many times I find myself in need of a prop for a costume or a part for a project, but don’t have the time or money to spend on making or buying a high quality version. This is one of my favorite kind of challenges. At times like this, hot glue, cheap plastic goods and spray paint will be your best friends.

But just like drawing, Making on the fly is a skill that involves studying a subject, breaking it down to its constituent parts and working from the abstract to bring things into greater and greater resolution, until they are recognizable. To show you what I mean, let’s look at a few examples of times I kludged some crap together and ended up with a passable version of what I needed. 

Continue reading “Skills: Making Do”