Field Trip: Design by Harry Potter

Before I visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour, I never thought it would be an outing that would turn into a blog post. But, oh wow, is it an amazing place. And I’m not really a Harry Potter person. I read the first three books to my daughter at her request (she then read the rest on her own) and I saw the first two movies way back when they came out in the theater with my sister in law, who was a big fan. So although I’d been exposed to H.P. and enjoyed it, I wasn’t into it the way lots of folks are. I’d also never visited a movie set before. The Studio Tour is located in Watford, just north of London, and is on the actual property where all 8 movies were filmed. I was there because I thought my daughter would like it. I had no idea how much fun it was going to be. I was able to see the actual sets, props and costumes – among other things – used in the film. They are amazing. I was totally blown away by the astonishing level of detail of every item and every set. It was a design junkie’s dream (except that none of it was for sale!). And once again, I was the crazy lady photographing the floors and the silverware…


Dining table in the Great Hall, which was decorated for Christmas at the time. I loved the fiddlehead details on the flatware, the boar’s head pitchers and the lovely worn tables and benches.


Beautiful floors in the Great Hall:



Although the Great Hall was breathtaking when you walked into it, Dumbledore’s office was my favorite space:


His cabinets were filled with captivating things:



They even had the blueprints for his chair and the architectural model of the office on display:



There were a zillion other things to see – here are a few of my favorites:


The Hogwarts clock. Enormous and stunning in person! I felt tiny standing next to it.


The Weasleys have a Thonet chair too! (See mine here.)


I adored the wonky stained glass windows in the Weasley’s kitchen. (And the self-washing dishes!)


Gorgeous deep green tiled walls in the Ministry of Magic.


Umbridge’s Ministry of Magic office.


Gringotts vault door.


The tattered elegance of the Gryffindor common room.


The Potions Classroom had so many things to look at. The immense round table and ancient looking marble floors were both wonderful.

The Bridge had fantastic detail:


Miscellaneous props and decor…





Most of the faces in the paintings displayed at Hogwarts are of the people who worked behind the scenes on the movie!


The scale model of Hogwarts takes up an entire room (a really big room!) and was covered in snow for the winter. Amazing is an understatement! See the clock?


I took so many pictures of so many wonderful things but to share them all would make this post ridiculously long – this is really just a small fraction of what I saw. So let me put it like this – if you’re in London, go check it out. The amount of creativity that went into bringing this story to life is beyond belief. I connected to it all from a designer’s perspective, but every person can find something that amazes them. (I didn’t even mention parts of the tour like the walking down Diagon Alley or peeking into Hagrid’s hut or the Creature Shop or Quiddich Special Effects or drinking Butterbeer!) You may not be a Harry Potter fan when you walk in, but you will be one by the time you leave! I certainly am.

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