AUSTIN - In this Ravenclaw Common Room, all houses are welcome — at least until Harry Potter superfan Mitch Goss moves later this month.
Inspired by the dormitory common rooms illustrated in the Harry Potter novels, Goss, an Austin resident, transformed his studio apartment into his very own Ravenclaw Common Room. However, unlike the one seen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it will soon be closing its doors to all.
“I spent months making this wonderful Harry Potter-themed hangout,” wrote Goss on the Ravenclaw Common Room Facebook page. “But unfortunately I can’t afford the rent any longer, so I’m hoping to have at least one get-together of a few like-minded Austinites before I pack it all up.”
Complete with custom-made wallpaper, lighting fixtures, a bust of Hogwarts legend Rowena Ravenclaw, a fireplace and plenty of other eccentric details, Goss transformed a boring white-walled apartment into a Ravenclaw paradise. Details of his entire building process can be found on his blog Brain Venom Studio.
“It’s hard to say when it was really complete,” Goss told KVUE. “I continued adding things here and there but most of the stuff was done within about a month and half. At my most obsessive point, I probably spent about five hours a day working on some part of it or another.”
Though this Ravenclaw hasn’t opened up his apartment doors fully to the public, he frequently hosts small parties and movie-watching events with friends and neighbors.
“A few times I’ve even opened it up to the Reddit community and made some cool friends that way,” he added.
If you’re not a Potterhead, you may not know that students of witchcraft and wizardry attend a school called Hogwarts, where they are separated into four houses — Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Gryffindor — based on the personal qualities of each student. Each of those four houses has a dormitory and common room hidden in the castle, each with their own system of preventing a student of a different house from entering.
Above all others, Goss said he chose the Ravenclaw house because he’s a “total nerd” and always knew he would have been sorted into Ravenclaw had he ever set foot in Hogwarts.
“I love learning new things, so the Ravenclaw motto really resonates with me: ‘Wit beyond measure is a man’s greatest treasure,’” he said.
Goss also quoted the infamous Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore when recalling his favorite quotes from the series: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
“It’s a great reminder that just being yourself and focusing on the things you love can get you through some really tough times,” Goss said. “Working on projects like you see in the Common Room is definitely a kind of therapy for me.”
Though he doesn’t currently have plans to rebuild the Common Room in his next home, he certainly still plans to use his creativity in the future.
“As sad as it is to take all this down, I’m excited about what I’ll get myself into next,” he said. “I’d really love to find a way to volunteer — or better yet get a job — on movie sets or the House of Torment.”
To learn more about the Ravenclaw Common Room, check out its official Facebook page here.
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