A Harry Potter Haven


At the top of the spiral staircase . . . they found their beds at last: five four-posters hung with deep red, velvet curtains.

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling


When Riana Hull climbs into bed, she enters the world of a favorite book character: Harry Potter, the magically powered boy whose adventures at Hogwarts school of wizardry have thrilled millions of readers.


“I love it--it looks so cool,” Riana says of the room that was a surprise gift from her father, Roger, on her ninth birthday earlier this month.

Conceived by interior designer Debra Hennings of Laguna Beach, the burgundy-toned chamber features a queen-size, mahogany, four-poster bed festooned with red velvet tiebacks, a storage chest topped with an owl cage (a nod to one of Riana’s favorite Harry Potter characters) and starry, graphical elements on the walls.

To create the fantasy space, Hennings began with the canopied four-poster and the red velvet accents, key design elements in the dormitory where the fictional Potter lives.

Not wanting to overpower the 11-by-12-foot room, she went easy on the velvet and added an iridescent purple, sheer fabric shot with gold that can be drawn around the bed to heighten the room’s mystical ambience.

The bedspread, a muted chenille tapestry, was found by Riana’s father and his wife, Susan.

The design project has been an exciting adventure for his family, Ron Hull said.

“Riana is an avid reader who got us started on Harry Potter,” said Hull, who lives in Irvine. “She really enjoys the story line, and I appreciate the values that it promotes--that it’s your heart and determination that matter in life and that there’s a little magic to be found in everyone.”

A character out of the book introduced Riana to her new room. Professor McGonagall (actually, Hennings) outfitted in square glasses, witch’s hat, black wig and black cape stood on the steps of the Hull house as Riana arrived with her father.

“Welcome to your Hogwarts dormitory,” Hennings announced. “Enjoy the magic!”


Riana was flabbergasted when she viewed her transformed bedroom on what is sure to become an unforgettable birthday.

“I was really surprised,” she said. “I thought, ‘Wow! What’s happening?’ ”

Since then, her stays in the new room have her feeling a little like the resourceful Potter. But she’s not prepared to do wizard tricks just yet.

If she could, she’d probably whip up a “ ‘body-bind spell’ when the only thing you can do is breathe and blink and the rest of your body is, like, stiff,” she said.

On whom would she cast the trance?

“My 6-year-old brother,” she answered, laughing. “Sometimes he’s a pain.”