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Create a Magical Cupboard Under the Stairs

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

When we first meet Harry Potter, he's living in a tiny storage space under the staircase in his aunt and uncle's house. While Harry's closet was full of fuse boxes, spiders and sawdust, we've reimagined the cupboard under the stairs and created a cozy hideaway perfect for reading, journaling and games of Harry Potter chess!

The main room pictured here is the Magical Common Room at The Storyteller's Cottage, and you can see the Before and After transformation HERE. But what's under the staircase? Let's take a look back at what this closet looked like when we first bought the house.

This space was used as a dumping ground for random craft supplies. Once the previous tenants moved out and we could get a good look at the layout of the room, it became obvious that this space would make a great magical spot inspired by the Gryffindor Common Room, and we could even decorate the closet under the stairs!

This little spot has wood floors, built-in shelves, and even a rudimentary lightbulb with a pull-string to turn it on! The doorway is small, and the ceiling is sloped, but it's the perfect spot for children to curl up and lose themselves in their imagination.

I started by painting the exterior of the door in the same dark brown as the rest of the trim in the main room. All of this trim had previously been painted white, and since a castle like Hogwarts would have had unpainted wooden doors and trim, we tried to mimic that with our dark paint.

All we needed was a little pun on the door, and the stage was set!

I started furnishing the cupboard with a tiny nightstand that I found for $10 on Craigslist. I used two small chairs to flank the table. Originally I purchased four of these for $25 on Craigslist, thinking they'd match the other dining room furniture, but when I got them home I realized they were significantly smaller than the chairs I was trying to match, so I was thrilled to find that they fit into the little closet perfectly. Our Harry Potter chess set fit exactly onto the nightstand as well!