When Peter Fragola first saw the house that he lives in today, he realized he had found something very special.
“There was something about this house that stood out the first time I walked inside… it wasn’t the normal things that people might notice like a kitchen, bathroom or storage space… it was The Cupboard Under the Stairs that stood out for me,” Fragola wrote on his blog, Chronicles of a New Dad.
Fragola, a school principal and former teacher, is a huge fan of Harry Potter, so the fact that this house had a familiar space under the stairs was a huge selling point.
It’s no surprise then that this clever dad of Jackson, 2, and Oliver, 1, turned to his fictional hero for inspiration. In about two weeks’ time and with the help of Internet searches, Fragola turned this empty dead space into a magical reading nook that has parents everywhere asking, “How did you do that?!”
“The Cupboard Under The Stairs” features some pretty cool amenities for a young reader. Not only does it look exactly like the real-deal from the Harry Potter series, but it inspires Fragola’s kids to hunker down and crack open a book.
Fragola tells Babble, “The single most important aspect in getting children (especially your own) to be readers, is to be a reader yourself! Children are inherently imitators … they want to do what you are doing. When there is time (when is there ever time?!!) take out a book yourself and encourage your children to do the same.”
It definitely helps if you have a cool space dedicated to reading. Fragola has some other suggestions for parents looking to get their kids to read more:
“Keep your favorite books out, have your own bookshelf, not just one for your kids. I have one at home and books all over my office in my school as well! Everywhere my sons turn, there are books that their parents love to read as well. It becomes a normal part of their world and it isn’t forced because it’s authentic. Lastly, have a favorite book that you and your children love to read together to go back to when you just need to hit the reset button after a long day. ‘It’s the books you read when you’re young that stay with you always.’ – JK Rowling”
Fragola’s kids have been raised knowing exactly who Harry Potter is. In fact, the fictional hero even inspired a super cute photo shoot of his two young kids.
With the scar, glasses, and brilliant Gryffindor colors, his kids look adorably Potter-fied. “Both boys have been around the Harry Potter series since they was born (we did Harry Potter newborn photo shoots),” Fragola shares.
“Jackson and now Oliver’s rooms have their own HP book sets, their Hogwarts acceptance letters and Hogwarts Express tickets displayed. Jackson is almost 4, so he is starting to develop his own likes and dislikes. But he definitely recognizes the characters when he sees them on TV or out in public on someone’s T-shirt. He loves telling anyone who goes in his new ‘Harry Potter room’ who all the characters on the wall are!”
The Harry Potter room turned out to be a bit of a research project for Fragola. The one aspect of the room that has parents so impressed is how the walls are covered in Daily Prophet covers. Talk about super cool! When asked where he found them, Fragola said, “The Daily Prophet pages are a mix of papers I bought on eBay, copies of pages out of the books, and other memorabilia I had laying around.”
Forget HGTV, you guys! This room is every décor goal ever.