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Transforming Our Homeschool Playroom: A Magical Space for Play, Learning, Work, and Rest

A woman standing in a field with trees
Hi, I'm Cawnawyn! Astrologer, Composer, Mom, and Witch

As an Astrologer, composer, mom, and Witch, it has been my goal to transform every room in my home into something more whimsical, inspiring, and magical for myself and my family. 

Our home has undergone many changes since we moved here in 2015, most of which I orchestrated, but introducing kids into our lives meant we had to adjust to a more practical approach to decorating. We focused on the usability of space. 

An empty room with sunlit windows
Our bonus room the day we moved in, the walls were a mauve-brown color that I immediately painted white!

Our house is divided into two “wings,” with a great room and kitchen that unites them in the center. When I moved into this house with my then-fiance (now husband), we used our bonus room on the Eastern side as my office space, and later it became a meditative, witchy sanctuary. 

A woman standing in front of lights and camera
Early days of this room being used as a film studio

This room was both a film studio and an altar space. I created hours of content in this room, and it held everything except my acoustic instruments, which I’m lucky enough to say had a room of their own. This lasted until my husband and I decided to start having kids. 

A woman performing a ritual
In my "peak witch" era in this room filming a spell for my coven's social media

My office/altar moved to the front of the house, and now my gear and instruments cohabitate in the same space (which has proven far more convenient). 

My husband moved his computer and desk into the bonus room, and I dedicated a section to my sewing and crafts. We created enough space for our future kids to hang out, play, and read, but it still held remnants of my old office, which felt very “YouTube Creator Days circa 2016.” 

This room needed a makeover!

The Inspiration

My intention is to homeschool my boys, so I knew this space needed to eventually be conducive to teaching and studying. I also wanted to use the art and decor I had previously purchased for an off-site office I held for a few years in Tacoma that my husband and I decided to let go of in 2023. 

What decoration theme could work for my eclectic style and a future room for study, recreation, and crafting?

A girl standing next to a pile of books
Dressed as a Hogwarts Student for my sister's elaborate 15th Harry Potter Birthday party in 2009
Enter: Ravenclaw Common Room Aesthetic

Like many of my generation, I was raised a Harry Potter Kid. I wasn’t just any Harry Potter kid; I was the High School resident “Death Eater” obsessed with Helena Bonham Carter’s performance as Bellatrix Lestrange and enough teenage angst to conjure a Horcrux. For many years, I heavily identified as a Slytherin: ambitious, shrewd, and self-preserving. In my adulthood, I have discovered that I much closer identify with the traits of a Ravenclaw: overachieving, creative, and basically a massive introverted nerd. 

a woman holding a wand and a book
Finally embracing the Ravenclaw witch I am

The Bronze and Blue House colors of Ravenclaw have always deeply appealed to me. I envisioned the vibe of the private Ravenclaw Common Room filled with celestial symbols, eccentric oddities, occult references, and an overall feeling of whimsy

images of blue Harry Potter inspired decor

So now, to gain some inspiration! To Pinterest! 

When one types #RavenclawAesthetic into a search bar, a great many beautiful things appear in the results, but very few of them actually give instructions on how to recreate a boarding school dormitory common room from a fantasy novel series. 

I quickly realized that I would have to design this entire thing myself.

First, I decided on a color scheme. A few years back, I worked as a social media manager and fell in love with branding and design, so creating color palettes has proven helpful for me in narrowing down a vision for decorating. I decided on Bronze, Silver, Blue, and Black as a color theme. 

I also had to contend with furniture. We had a futon couch (which can be used as a guest bed), two desks, two small side tables, a TV console table, a dresser, and a half-size bookshelf. Most of this furniture was already black, but I did paint the bookshelf to match the room. 

A wall painted blue with a white dresser and gold mirror
We painted the room half dark blue to allow for maximum light but give the room more depth

The usability of the furniture determined the layout of the room. While I enjoy the flow of having the room divided into sections, the proximity of the couch/guest bed to the TV meant the furniture had to hug the walls. We tried to divide the sections of the walls into different “zones.” 

My husband’s desk sits between the large windows, and I dubbed that wall: “his wall.” 

My desk sits in the NE corner (where I was used to working previously), and this corner has the most feminine art and feeling, including some of my photos and inspirations within arm's reach.

The boys dominate the rest of the room. The toys are presented in the Montessori style on the TV console. The bookshelves are filled with their books, toy trains, and balls. The dresser is shared between us and holds some school and craft supplies, my sewing supplies, filming gear, and their easily accessible puzzles in the bottom drawer.  

A boy watching a movie about a witch in a messy room
This is usually what you will find in here: my boys playing in a mess of toys watching classic movies

Longevity and multi-function.

One of my main concerns about the room is allowing space for guests to sleep over (because we no longer have a designated guest room in the house) and the ability to scale the room up as my boys get older so we can homeschool in there. 

Eventually, we plan on retiring the old bookcases and replacing them with desks for the boys to work on. While they are still young, we plan on using the small table and children’s chairs in the center of the room to work on assignments together. The boys have a corner for reading, they can listen to music or watch a documentary on the TV, and the room offers the most light in the house. 

For now, the ability to pull out the guest bed when needed and use the space to play, read together, and do some rough-and-tumble satisfies our needs as a family.

a lavishly decorated office space
My previous office at Crescent Moon Gifts in Tacoma, WA

The *~*whimsy*~*.

To decorate, I used much of the art I already had from my previous office space, and I picked up some odds and ends to add more of the “alchemical magician” feeling to the decor. Conveniently, it was September of last year, so the Halloween decor sales were in full swing.

Decorations and a shelf laid on a carpet floor
Laying out potential wall designs on my floor

I love creating gallery wall spaces, and I have a process I follow:

  1. I determine what large pieces I will use and where I would like them to be as a “centerpiece” for the wall or section of the room.

  2. I look up inspiration for different galleries. I prefer ones that use various shapes, dimensions, textures and flow to give some interest to the eye.

  3. I purchase or find what is necessary and map out the design on my computer or right on the floor in front of the wall.

  4. I hang the large pieces first, then work my way out so I know I have enough room.

Decorations and a shelf laid on a carpet floor
More experimenting...

Sometimes, everything makes it into the gallery, but often, items are omitted, moved, or changed out for others. The key for me is to be flexible and allow the process to happen freely, using the large centerpieces as a grounding for the design.

Also, if you like this style of design, it’s important to remember that pictures are only one small part of what you can hang. Floating shelves are my favorite and allow for so much more variety. Picking round frames or finding bits and bobs that can hang out from the wall changes the overall texture of the space. 

Remember to incorporate the colors from the scheme and pull different shades to pop against the wall to attract the eye. Don’t be afraid to be bold! 

A dimly lit office with candles
"Night Mode" in my NE Corner

Lighting is another big one for me. I believe you can transform a space with lighting alone, and I’m a massive fan of using colored lights for ambiance and creating the vibes. Small lamps, candles, votives, and lanterns are all ways to change up the space, and they can act as both decor and utility.

One of my favorite things to create in a room is a “night mode.” When the mood hits, and you want to be transported into a magical state, there’s nothing like being surrounded by lush darkness and twinkling candles. 

A dimly lit gallery wall with candles
"Night Mode" along the sword gallery

And always be sure to add some “natural” elements. I am a self-professed plant lover AND murderer, so I love having greenery, but I buy fake so I don’t have to water it and watch it wither and die in my magical space. It kills the vibe! 

Making the “Magic” Happen.

I allowed myself a month to make this transformation happen, but it took about a week to make the complete switch. I was also a mother to a 19-month-old and a 2-month-old (at the time,) so we had to work around sleep schedules, tantrums, and feedings. 

Baby boys snuggled together on a floor
The boys bonding in the playroom - these were the sweetest moments when they were babies!

Most of the work actually happened during the day while both kids were awake. (I'd like to give a big thanks to “Miss Rachel” for allowing me to hang shelves on the wall.) We did the painting at night, and the room was off-limits for a couple of days to let it air out. 

Most of this was possible because we already owned the furniture we used, and my husband and I tag-teamed moving furniture and decor while the other tended to the kids, but I still managed a fair amount of the creative work on my own. 

If you are in a similar situation and are thinking, “My kids would never,” I want to assure you that it was absolute chaos.

A family relaxing on a couch
My husband and I exhausted with the kids while moving furniture around

It would look like hanging an item, deciding that it wasn’t quite right, pulling the toddler off the baby, comforting the crying toddler, then comforting the now screaming baby, feeding the baby, getting the toddler a snack, going to the bathroom, finding a toy for the toddler, comforting the crying baby, coming back to decorating and forgetting where I left off, hang the same item, adjust, repeat…

Some crazy part of me decided that if it was going to get done, it just had to happen, and the kids would adjust. We spent the time together, and as much as I could allow my toddler to “help” with the process, I did. I even bought him his own little tool kit so he could hammer on the walls and practice using a plastic screwdriver. It never went very smoothly, but there were definitely moments of enjoyment.

The Reveal.

Now, we have a room that I positively adore. This room gets so much activity and allows for creativity, play, relaxation, and truly special bonding moments with the kids. This has even become my favorite place to invite friends to enjoy coffee together or a late-night dessert while we enjoy the candlelight and talk about all things life and witchcraft. 

My husband has a space to be on his computer while still being close to the kids, and I have read countless books with the boys snuggled up on the couch. This room is why we survived the long, cold winter and spring in the Pacific Northwest, and I love how it functions for us as a family.

A woman throwing devil horns recording some dope tracks
I still record music in here at night while the kids are asleep! I love this space so much!

I intend to apply the same “treatment” to other rooms in our home (aka decorating like the crazy witch I am), and I’d love to know if there are people out there who would be interested in that process as well. I get a lot of questions about how I decorate from friends and family, so I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

I hope you are enjoying the start of this New Moon in Cancer cycle, and I wish you the best as you manifest a life of divine purpose and whimsy! For you are worthy, and you are free to be your most creative self!

Blessed be.


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