Calling all Harry Potter fans: Your favorite scar-sporting wizard is back. Even if you’re not a Potter nerd like I am, you’ve probably already heard about the new story J.K. Rowling published Tuesday on Pottermore. Loyal HP fans flooded the site, eager to read more about the famous fictional wizard. Considering it’s been seven years since Deathly Hallows was published (crazy, right?), the reaction is no surprise. The frenzy even crashed Pottermore.com for a period of time, but don’t fret! The site is back up and running!
The short story comes in the guise of a Rita Skeeter gossip column in which Rowling gives readers a glimpse at the lives of Harry and crew, now in their mid-30s. We learn sparing details, like how Harry has a new scar and “a couple of threads of silver” in his hair — sorry, no more spoilers. Instead, to honor this momentous day in the lives of HP fans everywhere, I’ve compiled pictures of furniture and accessories that are reminiscent of the Wizarding World — without resorting to the obvious broomstick or wand. Here are 6 ways to translate elements of Harry’s world into decor even us muggles could actually use:
Top, L to R: Red and Gold Living Room (Gryffindor Common Room), Tree Canopy Bed (Enchanted Forest) | Middle, L to R: Eclectic Mirror (Mirror of Erised), Upcycled Bottles (Potions) | Bottom, L to R: Telephone Box Book End (Ministry of Magic Entrance), Stair-Step Bedroom Dresser (Cupboard Under the Stairs)
Did you go anywhere fun for the 4th of July holiday? I went to the beach with my folks and bought a handful of souvenir postcards to send to friends, but then I saw these adorable postcard ideas and considered keeping them myself. Hey, can you blame me? Take a look at these creative ways to use and display old postcards and you might be tempted to hoard yours as well.
Credit: Emily Fazio
OLD POSTCARDS —> NEW BIRTHDAY BANNER
This birthday banner (made with Pantone postcards) by Emily Fazio is festive, cute and cheaper than a banner you’d find at a party supply store if you use postcards you already have. Get all the how-to instructions on DIY Network’s Made + Remade blog.
MORE PRETTY IDEAS FOR POSTCARDS
Congratulations Sara P. on your win! We hope your cat enjoys his new treats.
Behind almost every Design Happens blogger is an adorable, spoiled pet. Kayla is our resident cat lover with her 4-year-old feline D’Artagnan, while many of the rest of us share our homes with dogs of all shapes and sizes. I love coming home every day to see my Corgi-bulldog mix puppy Miles beaming at me through the window. And if I bring him a new toy? The money I spent is totally worth the look on his face, not to mention the hours of enjoyment we both get as we play fetch or tug-of-war.
This month, we’re giving the fellow cat lovers in our midst the chance to win a prize pack complete with everything needed to delight a favorite cat — and you don’t have to spend a dime! Read on to see what you could win, and enter for a chance to take home this prize pack in the comments below.
One lucky winner will receive:
To enter for a chance to win this prize, leave a comment below. This month’s question: What’s your pet’s favorite treat, toy or activity?
This post brought to you by Litter Genie® Cat Litter Disposal System, an ultimate hassle-free solution for controlling cat litter odors. Keep your home fresh and cat happy. Click here for up to $5 off a Litter Genie® System. Purchase the Litter Genie® System at these retailers.
You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on June 20, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on June 23, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $127.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932
June is Great Outdoors Month, and for good reason. These warm summer nights are begging us to get out of our homes. So, while the nights are still balmy, why not throw a movie night with the stars? No, I’m not saying you should invite Leo DiCaprio. What I mean is, move the party outside and screen movies in your own backyard! Here are a few tips for making your cinema soirée a success:
Create a Display
First things first: set up your theater. DIY Network shows you exactly how to transform your backyard into an outdoor entertainment center. Renting an inflatable screen for your movie night is a great option, but you can also project the movie on a white drop cloth or large white wall.
MORE MOVIE NIGHT TIPS
Who doesn’t love a good snooze in the shade? This bear in Daytona Beach, Florida certainly did (much to the homeowner’s surprise). But hey, it’s summer! Sounds like this bear has the right idea!
Here are some more outdoor sleep spots, daybeds and backyard hammocks where we think this bear (and you) would enjoy getting some shut-eye.
Design by Anne Marie Allen
This gorgeous canopy bed will put Hammock Bear right in the thick of his natural home while still offering luxuries like soft flannel sheets. The whimsical curtains block out the sun and give him some privacy from those pesky humans!
Design by Jamie Durie
Although this bear seems to enjoy human amenities, he’s still a bear, so we think he’d enjoy this cool hammock suspended high in the tree tops; it combines his natural tree-climbing instincts with a comfy net for napping.
Design by Jamie Durie
When the rest of the world is starting to feel un-bear-able, this suspended hammock-daybed hybrid is the perfect place to escape. Equipped with a serene lily pond on one side and dining table on the other, what more could you need for a relaxing afternoon?
MORE BACKYARD SPOTS TO CATCH SOME ZZZs
Cake decorating is an art (I mean, truly), but let’s be honest…sometimes the idea of all those piping bags of frosting (or wrestling with fondant) can be a bit overwhelming. With this in mind, I set out to make colorful candles that dress up even the most basic grocery store sheet cake. They are easy to make and can be customized for any occasion (make the patriotic star candles now and stash them away for your Fourth of July barbecue!). Watch the video to learn how, it’s a real toe-tapper:
I started off making these candles for my daughter Lulu’s birthday but then I couldn’t stop. They are seriously fun to make. What shape would you make?
BRIANA: Move over, duck face — there’s a new craze sweeping Instagram called the “shelfie.” Apparently, tastemakers everywhere are taking pictures of artfully-arranged shelves and posting them to social media with the hashtag. What do you think of the trend? Is it a fun way to share your personal style or does showing off your possessions make you seem shelf-ish?
Design: Brian Patrick Flynn | Photo: Rustic White Photography
JESSICA: I’m a hoarder and lacking in shelf space (read: furniture), so looking at people’s neatly organized shelves is very relaxing.
KAYLA: I’m one of those people that rearranges my bookshelves once a month, so seeing people’s “shelfies” gives me ideas for placement. (I had no idea that was a thing, though.)
DAVID HAYNES: I’m with Kayla. I’m all for seeing what other people are doing along these lines and I will happily cherry-pick and plagiarize their ideas. However, I’m more the type in search of the Holy Grail of shelf arrangement, so once I have a shelving strategy and display theme I’m happy with, it’s likely to stay that way to the end of time.
MARIEL CLARK: Here’s a trend I can get behind. I love being inspired by real-life design and bookshelves are such a great reflection of individual personality and style. I probably won’t share my own “shelfie” right now since mine is a study in juice boxes, train sets and baby blocks. But I will eagerly flip through others’ perfectly arranged shelves and dream of one day having just the right bookends that will pull the entire shelf — no, the entire room — together.
FARIMA: I love a well-decorated shelf, and I truly think it takes talent to design one perfectly. Saying that, the closest thing I have to a bookshelf is an electric blue China cabinet that I’ve decorated minimally because I hate dusting!
MORE SHOUTING ABOUT SHELFIES
We’re one day away from Derby Day at Churchill Downs, and those not heading to Louisville, Ky. are likely prepping their kitchen with mint leaves and bourbon. (Get our perfect recipe for a homemade mint julep.) But, if you’re looking for a more modern twist on this signature drink, then try out some of these fun and refreshing concoctions.
Blueberry Mint Julep Ice Pops
Get the recipe here >>
More Kentucky Derby Recipes
2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cups Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Condensed Milk
1 oz (normal jigger) King’s County Bourbon
1 Tsp of Bourbon Vanilla
1 Pinch of Salt
Yield: 1 Quart
1. Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a large bowl and coat with a small amount of the sugar. Gently muddle the mint macerating it slightly. Add the heavy cream and whole milk to the bowl and stir gently. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the mint steep in the cream mixture overnight. [Alternative: If you want a quicker way to extract the mint you can heat this mixture over the stove for 5 minutes and then move to the next step; however, steeping the mint provides a unique and superior flavor.]
2. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a 4-quart saucepan and discard the mint leaves. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining sugar, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt. Heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add the bourbon, and then place the mixture in an ice bath and let cool for approximately 30 minutes.
3. Add the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We have used a KitchenAid stand mixer with their ice cream attachment here. Setup KitchenAid stand mixer with ice cream attachment (Note: you must leave the ice cream attachment in the freezer overnight for the product to freeze properly). Turn the KitchenAid to the “Stir” setting and pour the cold mixture into the ice cream attachment. The product should begin to thicken within 20-30 minutes and once the attachment begins to slip is when the product is ready to be removed.
4. Remove the product from the mixer into a storage container. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about four hours. The flavor contains bourbon so the consistency will naturally be slightly softer than a normal vanilla homemade ice cream, but it should be firm and hold shape when scooped.
**Recipe by Steve’s Ice Cream
More on Derby Week:
Antler decor makes any place feel a little more like home to me. (What can I say? I’m originally from Pennsylvania and my dad’s side of the family counts a long line of hunters and outdoorsmen.) If you live near a wooded area where deer, moose or elk roam, you can find shed antlers in the winter through the early spring. Urban dwellers, you may be able to pick them up at flea markets or online. But whether you spot a single “shed” or a few matched pairs, there are so many interesting ways to accent your home with antlers, as you can see below. (Not feeling real antlers? Go faux, like Erin Loechner did in her laundry room.)
We’ve basically exhausted the crafting possibilities around wine (see: corks, bottles, glasses, crates AND barrels), but this ingenious antler wine rack from Meg Caswell is a cool way to store and display your wine before you’re ready to sip it/craft with it.
UNUSUAL BUT ATTRACTIVE IDEAS FOR ANTLERS