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Forget about Universal Orlando, this UK ‘Harry Potter’ themed Airbnb is the real deal

By Monica Athnasious

May 13, 2022

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Unlike Game of Thrones, which we have all collectively wiped from memory—we all know why—the Harry Potter obsession has never slowed. Expanding beyond the realms of the books and movies—which ended over a decade ago now—fans have continued to come up with innovative ways to bring the witch and wizardry dream to life in our muggle reality. Now, Airbnb host Hannah Chapman is the latest to be offering a window into the world of witchcraft with the perfect sorcery staycation. Tucked away in a little street in York comes a magical home that will let you disappear into the fantasy universe for a while…

Forget about Universal Orlando, this UK ‘Harry Potter’ themed Airbnb is the real deal

The home, which is a traditionally terraced house, is located on the end of a quaint street just a five minute walk from York Racecourse and is affectionately named—in true Potter fashion—‘101 House At The End’. With black exterior trimmings, Chapman wanted the property to fit in with the other houses but still retain a unique, stand-out quality that builds upon its charming surroundings. Aside from opportune access to the racecourse, you can fulfil your Hogsmeade Village fantasy with a plethora of local whimsical independent businesses, cafés, pawn shops, a butcher, local farm and of course, a pub at your disposal. Sadly however, I don’t think butterbeer will be on the menu.

While the outside may look like any ordinary home, 101 House At The End holds some magic behind its muggle doors—a real-life version of Sirius Black’s 12 Grimmauld Place if you will—enough to win the hearts of witches and wizards everywhere. The interior of the property, in all its whimsigothic glory, comes with numerous enchanting features including: floating candle lighting, a floor-to-ceiling painting that is actually a secret door, a grand bathroom fit for any Slytherin and even a warm, soft kitchen that rivals that of the Burrow. So, where did this design inspiration come from?

“I’ve always grown up with Harry Potter. And the Addams Family, Hocus Pocus. So I’ve always been attracted to an escape from reality. That magical side of things,” Chapman told SCREENSHOT. That, married with her love of the Victorian era, became the perfect cauldron concoction for a home “where both young and old can enjoy the experience and just sort of close the door” to the outside world. But don’t get it twisted, this is not some cheap merch-like encounter—according to Chapman, with 101 House At The End you’re getting the real deal.

“My idea was as if you were walking onto a set, as if you’re going onto one of these films like Sherlock Holmes or Harry Potter—as if you’re actually going into the movie; rather than going into a Florida Harry Potter theme park where it’s all plastic and merchandise and it’s all very tacky. I wanted it to be authentic and genuine and as if someone was living the real thing,” she continued.

And a real thing it is. Accessorised with piles of potion bottles crammed into ornate, vintage cabinets, cauldrons aplenty and stacks of wand boxes, Chapman has a knack for making fantasy reality. The convincing character of the property comes from the 29-year-old’s vital experience. Utilising her background in fashion design and costuming, Chapman was able to draw upon her knowledge to accurately curate the perfect Potter home.

Forget about Universal Orlando, this UK ‘Harry Potter’ themed Airbnb is the real deal

“I originally was into fashion design and costume. I came to York to study at the Northern College of Costume when I was about 20 years old. You learn all different historical paths and cutting and dress making skills which I had been doing for years—I just wanted to develop my skills further. And I fell in love with the city,” Chapman explained. Such seamstress skills helped the home’s designer actually create many original pieces herself—namely, the iconic green and grand four-poster bed.

Forget about Universal Orlando, this UK ‘Harry Potter’ themed Airbnb is the real deal

“Every room is unique and has many different qualities to offer. But every single room has been thought out meticulously.”

Noting the piece as her favourite in the property, Chapman elucidated to SCREENSHOT that due to the narrow size of the stairs and hallways, a lot of the furniture was built in-house. Crediting some of the work to help from her parents, the magic fanatic described the intricate process: “My dad created the frame, the carcass of it, and then my mum and I we covered it all in this lovely emerald green velvet, we did all the lovely trimmings around it and had to attach it up into the attic so that was an ordeal… So the fact that we made that was phenomenal. That was a very big accomplishment.”

Forget about Universal Orlando, this UK ‘Harry Potter’ themed Airbnb is the real deal

It was this appreciation for historical accuracy and integrity that motivated the interior designer to not only hand-make her own unique creations but also simultaneously make use of (and elevate) the original features of the build. This was done, as if it couldn’t get any better, with environmental consciousness at the absolute forefront of the renovation mission. “I’m very passionate about recycling and minimal waste. I hate the idea of anything going into landfill. So I do my very best to recycle what I’ve got and produce very minimal waste.”

No fake theme park plastic over here. Once Chapman stripped back what she described as horribly grey carpet and awful textured wallpaper something quite spellbinding lay underneath. “The house just started exposing these fantastic original floorboards, beautiful red quarry tiles in the dining room, all the original floorboards in the bedrooms and the stairway was original—it was fantastic,” she detailed. The biggest delight, however, was what appeared to be original Victorian wallpaper that remained intact under the numerous layers of white—with no need to purchase anything new, it made for brilliant sustainable surprise.

Forget about Universal Orlando, this UK ‘Harry Potter’ themed Airbnb is the real deal

“It was like a pot of gold. I was like ‘we have to keep this’. It was pretty much just going with what the property had to offer and going with it,” Chapman went on to say. Not only was the sustainability evident in the creation of unique features and restoration of original elements but most decorative items were sourced second-hand. According to the Airbnb host, apart from hygienic items like towels and bedlinen, a majority of her eccentric trinkets and designs came from charity shops—adding that she hopes young people will be inspired and motivated to shop more thrifty.

Forget about Universal Orlando, this UK ‘Harry Potter’ themed Airbnb is the real deal

Ultimately, her goal for the project was to create a space that would fulfil that longing for escapism in the country—to let your inner child breathe in a home of witchcraft and wizardry while you await the ever-anticipated letter from Hogwarts. “Families, friends, people that just want to have a memory and staycation of a lifetime, because travel still isn’t easy” can find that in a property that offers warmth, cobbled streets and history.

To book your witchy getaway, click here.

AI

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

By Harriet Piercy

Apr 28, 2022

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Writers have a way of bringing their characters to life through carefully chosen words—after all, it’s what they live for. That being said, only a few manage to create such detailed universes we’ve all wished we could live in them. Harry Potter, JK Rowling’s series of fantasy novels, is probably the first example that comes to mind, followed by The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hunger Games.

But when it comes to adapting such complex stories into film, casting the perfect actors who not only look like how the characters are depicted in the books but are also able to give off the same energy is no easy feat. When it comes to Harry Potter for example, Neville Longbottom’s character was said to be blonde in the books. Yet in the movies, Matthew Lewis, who played Longbottom, kept his natural hair colour, brown. It makes you wonder, did the cast of the Harry Potter movies really look like their book counterparts?

It seems like one Vietnamese artist faced the same question, which led her to use artificial intelligence to show the rest of the world the similarities (and similarities) she had found between both. Here are 20 AI-generated images of exactly what the Harry Potter characters should have looked like according to JK Rowling’s words.

1. Sirius Black

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

In the books, Sirius Black is described as tall, with long black hair and greyish eyes. It’s also mentioned that he was rather good looking—“carelessly handsome,” in fact. Oh, prior to his imprisonment, of course…

2. Severus Snape

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

In the book series, Severus Snape is a thin man with sallow skin, a large hooked nose and yellow uneven teeth. His hair is greasy and pitch black, grown down to his shoulders. Snape’s eyes are cold, black and he wears flowing robes of black too that gust as he walks, giving him the appearance of an “overgrown bat.”

3. Ginevra Weasley

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Ginevra Weasley, or Ginnie, is described as energetic, lively but shy and always blushing in Harry Potter’s presence. JK Rowling also notes that she is tough but not in an unpleasant way, rather in a gusty way. Ginnie is also warm and compassionate. She has freckles dusted over her pale skin and flaming red hair which she wears in a long mane down her back.

4. Hermione Granger

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Hermione Granger is described to have “bushy brown hair” with brown eyes to match. Her front buck teeth are too large for her face. She has prominent features, externally but also in her personality, shown through her cleverness and logical matter-of-fact way of conducting herself.

5. Harry Potter

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Harry Potter has his father’s perpetually untidy black hair, his mother’s bright green eyes and, of course, a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. He was written to be small and quite skinny for his age, with a thin face and “knobbly knees” but, by the end of the series, he develops into a tall, handsome young man.

6. Luna Lovegood

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

According to the books, Luna Lovegood had straggly, waist-length, dirty blonde hair with very pale eyebrows and “protuberant eyes that gave her a permanently surprised look.” She is quirky in personality and has a serene disposition.

7. Young Voldemort

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Young Tom Riddle, who then became Voldemort, had jet black hair and was actually rather handsome. His dark eyes transformed later to match an attitude rather than colour, as the whites of his eyes turned permanently bloody after his rebirth. He became tall and skeletally thin, with a face whiter than a skull and a nose that was flat as a snake’s and that had slits for nostrils.

8. Ron Weasley

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Ron Weasley is described as tall, thin and gangling. Freckles all over his skin, much like the rest of the Weasley family. He had big hands and feet, a long nose and a mop of bright red, messy hair. His humorous personality is reflected in his mannerisms.

9. Dolores Umbridge

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Principle Dolores Umbridge, according to Harry’s description of her in The Order of the Phoenix, was large and pale, toadlike. She had a squat figure and a little neck, with a wide and slack mouth. Her eyes were described as large and round, slightly bulging. Lovely…

10. Dudley Dursley

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Dudley Dursley, Harry Potter’s first cousin, was spoiled by his parents. He had not much of a neck but a large pink face and small watery blue eyes. He had thick blonde hair that lay smoothly on his thick head. Described by his mother to look like a baby angel, but by Harry as a “pig in a wig.” We’ll take Harry’s word for it…

11. Draco Malfoy

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Draco Malfoy was described as a slender boy with sleek and blonde, almost white hair. He had cold grey eyes, a pale complexion and sharp, pointed features. JK Rowling pictured him to have haughty good looks. As an older man, his hairline started to recede which further accentuated his sharp features.

12. Neville Longbottom

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

The books described Neville Longbottom to have a round face—in fact, he was imagined to be short, plump and blonde. He lacked self-confidence and was quite shy starting out in the first novel, but developed into a bolder and more courageous character later on. Gotta love Neville.

13. Fleur Delacour

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Fleur Delacour was described as stunning. A beautiful girl with golden hair and large blue eyes, she had a light, airy figure. In the books, she comes across as a little arrogant because of her good looks, but she is also kind with a generous heart.

14. Cho Chang

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Potter’s eventual sweetheart, Cho Chang was described to be a pretty girl with long, straight and shiny dark hair. She had a freckled nose and was generally described as sweet, well-mannered and easy to get along with.

15. Nymphadora Tonks

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Nymphadora Tonks, or just ‘Tonks’ is first described in the books as having a pale heart-shaped face, dark twinkling eyes and short, spiky hair that was a violent shade of violet. She is brave, dependable and selfless in character.

16. Argus Filch

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

The caretaker at Hogwarts, Argus Filch was described as bitter and rather cruel, and seemed to hate the students. He wandered around the school corridors with his cat Mrs Norris, trying to catch students who broke the rules. He was pale in skin tone and had a soft and greasy voice as well as a scrawny body. Funnily enough, his beloved cat was described to look much the same.

17. Bellatrix Lestrange

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Bellatrix Lestrange was described as a tall woman that had long, thick and shining black hair. She had thin lips, dark and somewhat heavy-lidded eyes. More details also painted her as classically good looking, with a strong jaw and features. She was impulsive in personality, thrill-seeking and indulgent.

18. Cedric Diggory

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

As a Quidditch enthusiast, and eventually Captain of the team, Cedric Diggory was tall, which was unusual for a seeker. He was described to be extremely handsome with chiselled features, dark hair, and bright grey eyes. His personality was brave, kind and Hufflepuff to a T.

19. Gilderoy Lockhart

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

In the books, Gilderoy Lockhart was described to be foppish but also handsome. He had wavy blonde hair and particularly straight and shiny teeth. He was known for wearing flamboyant, flashy and incredibly extravagant robes in a wild array of different colours. He was, however, extremely vain, and like most vain people, he was terribly insecure. Oopsie.

20. Remus Lupin

Artist uses AI to show what ‘Harry Potter’ characters should have looked like according to the books

Remus Lupin was described as compassionate, intelligent, tolerant, level-headed, peaceful and, overall, good-natured. He was tall and had brown hair with brown eyes to match. Later, his hair greyed and became a little shabbier but remained unwerewolf-like, which was what he really was, come full moon.

 

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