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How to Achieve the Dark Academia Aesthetic in Any Room

How to Achieve the Dark Academia Aesthetic in Any Room

Dark academia decor celebrates the scholarly world of the past — a time when professors in tweed jackets taught Latin and classes were held in stone buildings adorned with gargoyles. Read on to learn about dark academia design and how to infuse it into your living space.

What Is Dark Academia Design?

Dark academia is an aesthetic inspired by the intellectual world of Ivy League colleges and traditional English boarding schools. Imagine dim rooms with stained-glass windows, hallways lined with Greek statues, and shelves of leather-bound books. Mix in an element of brooding mystery, and you’ve nailed the mood of dark academia interior design.

Romantic and scholarly, a dark academia theme appeals to those who want to celebrate knowledge and the ability to find answers (and a few magic spells) in a book. It’s a setting that someone from Harry Potter or Dead Poets Society would feel right at home in.

This gloomy aesthetic gained traction on Instagram and TikTok in recent years and is now gracing contemporary interiors.

Choosing a Dark Academia Color Palette

This prep-school-meets-Gothic-design style is rooted in color schemes that lean toward rich, earthy hues. Dress your walls with dark academia paint colors such as black, burnt umber, or charcoal gray and create a serious, pensive feel.

Complement this neutral base with rich shades of beige, burgundy, hunter green, and dark purple for warmth and elegance. Classic dark academia patterns such as houndstooth, plaid, and argyle recall the fashion of the time and can be incorporated with upholstery and cushions. Gold and brass accent pieces complete the cinematic look.

To open up a space, incorporate a dark academia aesthetic wallpaper on a feature wall. Thin vertical stripes or small checks are an understated backdrop to ornate wood furniture. You can also make a dramatic statement with bold patterns such as dark green foliage or pale roses on a black background. Some dark academia wallpaper patterns play up the Gothic feel of a room — look for motifs of skulls, candles, owls, and quills.

Dark Academia Room Ideas

Do you picture yourself sitting in an oversized armchair next to a fireplace with marble busts on the mantel? Or maybe you’re inspired to write in a journal at a mahogany desk in your den.

Every room in your home is an opportunity to embrace the dark academia aesthetic trend. Here are some tips on adding a dark academia room or two to your home.

Opt for Romance With Dark Academia Bedroom Furniture

Escape the stresses of the modern world in a dark academia aesthetic bedroom. Confident pieces made of dark, solid wood create a safe, cozy haven you can relax in. Choose an elaborate wood bed with a carved headboard and footboard to add to the feeling of prestige.

Complement the lustrous, chestnut finish of a dark academia bed with thick, plush bedding. A comforter in a dark green velvet or black satin botanical print invites you to cocoon in luxury. Bring out the romantic side of this aesthetic with a pile of cushions strewn on the bed. Nestle into the pillows as you turn the pages of a physical book — the e-reader can wait for your morning commute.

Decorating Ideas for a Dark Academia Living Room

When looking for a dark academia couch to anchor your living room, consider a black leather sofa with button tufting for a dignified look. Invite your guests to settle into upholstered armchairs with high backs, and serve drinks from an antique bar cart with decanters and glasses for a highbrow feel.

Decorate your living room with accessories that reflect artistic pursuits: faux marble statues, paintings in vintage frames, an antique gramophone, and a stand with sheet music. An ornate woven Persian rug helps define and elevate the space.

Create a Dark Academia Office

Tall shelves of leather-bound books reflect a love of knowledge and are an essential part of dark academia office decor. If space permits, opt for wall-to-ceiling bookshelves and add a rolling ladder that you can climb to reach a volume of poetry.

Choose an oversized desk with decorative detailing as the room’s focal point, giving you a place to ponder deeply — and maybe stumble upon a discovery. Complete the cerebral feel with dark academia desk decor such as a vintage globe, calligraphy pens, apothecary jars, and wax seals.

Add Drama to a Dark Academia Kitchen

Prepare dinner in your kitchen surrounded by dramatic cabinets painted in forest green or midnight blue to achieve the dark academia aesthetic. Extend the hue with matching backsplash tiles for shine. A botanical wallpaper on the opposite wall can add dimension.

Soften the look of a dark academia kitchen with natural textures, such as wooden countertops, glass bottles, and a woven fruit basket filled with bright red apples. Vintage wall sconces evoke the feel of candles or torches.

Ideas for a Dark Academia Bathroom

A dark academia bathroom can be a respite from our fast-paced digital world. Soak in a hot bath in a claw-foot tub and watch the flicker of candlelight on a gold antique-framed mirror. Reach for a thick towel from an old-fashioned wooden towel ladder when you’re refreshed and ready to face the world again.

Draw on the dark academia color palette for the bathroom walls or vanity, and imbue texture and freshness with a silk ivy plant trailing down a wall. Dried flowers in glass frames or a plant in a bell jar add beauty while lending a science-inspired element to the decor.

Dark Academia Dining Room Ideas

Pull up a chair at mealtime to a solid wood dining room set that defines your eating area. A glossy finish provides the formal elegance of dark academia home decor, but you can add depth with fabric upholstery on seat cushions and floor-length velvet curtains gracing the windows. Set the table with black-hued flatware and dinnerware sets, and add a tray of decanters and glasses to the sideboard for extra sophistication.

A dark academia dining room calls for purposeful lighting to achieve an air of mystery. Set the tone with a candelabra chandelier over the table or a black Gothic-inspired fixture for a bolder statement. Use a dimmer switch to bring down the level of light, and use candles or lanterns to enhance the ambience.

Emphasize the historic feel of a dark academia house interior by hanging a stained-glass window panel or large wall clock with Roman numerals on the wall.