A 'Harry Potter' fan transformed his bedroom into Dumbledore's office, and the before-and-after photos are magical

Brian ThompsonBrian Thompson transformed his room into Dumbledore’s office.
  • College student Brian Thompson is a longtime “Harry Potter” fan.
  • He decided to transform his bedroom into Dumbledore’s office after visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.
  • After two months of work, Thompson was able to transform the space into an ode to the series, complete with a ceiling that looks like the night sky and a replica of the Whomping Willow.
  • Thompson used thrift store purchases and Styrofoam to create a unique space.
  • “You don’t have to be an artist, interior designer, engineer, or be made of money,” Brian said of people who want to take on this kind of project.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.


College student Brian Thompson transformed his bedroom into a scene straight out of the “Harry Potter” series.

Brian ThompsonBrian Thompson’s bedroom is an ode to ‘Harry Potter.’

Thompson told Insider he’s been a fan of J.K. Rowling’s series since he was in middle school, but he got the idea for the transformation after visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.

“I remember walking through the Hogwarts castle and seeing the incredible world that had been created,” Thompson said of the theme park.

“I felt as though time had stopped, and I really had entered the world of ‘Harry Potter.’ Like I was actually a student at Hogwarts.”


Thompson’s plan was to make his bedroom look like Albus Dumbledore’s office.

Brian ThompsonThompson’s bedroom looked fairly average before the renovation.

“I was fascinated by the interior design, architecture, and all of the historical and magical props he had lying around,” Thompson said.

Before the renovation, Thompson’s room featured tan walls and landscape artwork.


The renovation took 18 months to complete.

Brian ThompsonThe project took two months of work.

Thompson estimates he did two months of actual work, but it took him a year and a half to collect all of the items he needed from thrift stores.

“Most of my progress had been made in the month before Halloween when I spent every minute I had on putting things together,” he said of his timeline.

He estimates the renovation cost around $US1,500 in total.


Thompson began by creating faux bricks for the wall, which were made of Styrofoam.

Brian ThompsonCreating the brick walls was the most time-consuming aspect of the project.

Thompson said creating the bricks was the most time-consuming part of the project, as he had to cut each brick, use a glue gun to make the texture look right, and seal each piece with caulk so that they could be painted, according to Buzzfeed.

He also used rope between the bricks to create the illusion of grout, which allowed him to save money.


“It was hard to stay focused,” Thompson said of making the walls.

Brian ThompsonThompson took several breaks as he worked on the bricks.

“I would do one wall, take a break for a month … finish half of another wall, start on flooring, go back to finish the second wall, start a tree,” he said.

“It was a mess,” Thompson added.


But he eventually finished the walls, making them look like the ancient bricks lining Hogwarts. He also added a line of mirrors to the space.

Brian ThompsonThompson told Insider the mirror wall was his favourite addition.

He told Insider that the mirrors are what made the space really start to feel like Hogwarts for him.

“After adding them, it seemed to really open up the sky and made it feel like a real castle wall with real windows,” he said. “I preferred the illusion it created over just the solid brick wall it was before.”

“Plus, the mirrors were actually pulled from the trash after one broke in our house, so it didn’t cost me anything to add,” Thompson explained.


Thompson also painted his ceiling to look like the night sky, mimicking the magical ceilings in Hogwarts.

Brian ThompsonThe lights were the most expensive part of the project.

He told Insider that creating the ceiling was the most expensive part of the project, as he had to use multiple types of lights to create the effect he wanted.


“In total, the ceiling cost somewhere around $US275,” Thompson said.

Brian ThompsonCreating the ceiling was the most expensive part of the project.

Thompson told Insider he used LED string lights for much of the ceiling, and he required eight or nine sets to fill the space. Each set of lights was less than $US20.

“The chandelier was about $US17 from a thrift store, and the mirrors running along the upper trim of my wall were $US5 each,” he said.

The floating candles were a gift.


Thompson also painted clouds on the ceiling to make it look more realistic.

Brian ThompsonThe clouds make the sky look more realistic.

“I loved this effect because it added to the realistic feel of the ceiling being a night sky,” Thompson said.

“My goal is to find a way to make them stand out more in the dark without making it look too fake or cheesy,” he added.


Blank picture frames also hang in the room, creating the illusion that someone has just stepped out of them.

Brian ThompsonThompson used empty picture frames to create the illusion of enchanted paintings.

The empty frames look like the enchanted paintings that hang throughout Hogwarts.


Thompson wants people to know that “you don’t have to be an artist, interior designer, engineer, or be made of money” to create projects like this.

Brian ThompsonThompson bought items for the room from thrift stores to save money.

He collected items from thrift stores over the course of 18 months in order to be budget-conscious, and all of the physical work was done on his own.

Thompson used wire to create the limbs of his Whomping Willow.


He said he thinks of his work as problem-solving, and bringing his vision for the space to life is what motivates him.

Brian ThompsonThompson was able to make the tree look as though it had actual roots.

“The philosophy really is that simple,” Thompson added.

His attention to detail and patience led to a number of impressive features, such as the roots of this tree, which appear to be growing up the wall.


Thompson was also able to create a fireplace using Styrofoam.

Brian ThompsonThompson made a fireplace out of Styrofoam.

He spray-painted the fireplace to create a realistic texture.

If Thompson hopes to make the room a long-term fixture, he will have to remove the Styrofoam, as it emits a toxic fume if it catches on fire, according to Sciencing.

“In the end, if I can’t find a decent solution, I will have to take the bricks off the walls and use another method. But it would be a doable project,” Thompson said of the fake bricks’ future.


Thompson hopes to keep adding details from the “Harry Potter” series to the room.

Brian ThompsonThompson plans to keep adding to the room.

“In the near future, I would love to continue this room and add moving paintings, flying keys, Tom Riddle’s diary, a few owls, more detail in the trees, the Mirror of Erised, and a window with a dementor outside of it,” he said.

He has also envisioned creating spaces inspired by his other favourite fictional worlds, like “Star Wars” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”


“I think ‘Harry Potter’ has had a lasting impact on people because the characters are relatable to so many of us,” Thompson said of the series.

Brian ThompsonThompson thinks the realistic characters made ‘Harry Potter’ relatable for people.

“The story, the music, and the characters have all worked so well together,” he said.

“We begin to believe that we are truly a part of this fantasy world that J.K. Rowling has created,” Thompson commented, speaking of the series as a whole. “It’s a feeling we don’t forget.”

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