Apparently I am one of the last people to have heard of the dark academia aesthetic. (My youngest daughter thinks I live under a rock!) For the uninitiated, this style celebrates learning, art, curiosity, mystery with a dash of romanticism. It’s cozy, favoring dark rich colors, sumptuous textiles and interesting old bits in every corner and stacked around. It’s a style that exudes old money, but one doesn’t need to be well-heeled to achieve it…just creative!
Key Elements of Dark Academia Decor
This style celebrates the world of learning and it could be for you if you love and collect books. In fact books are a must. Old and leather bound are all the better. Be sure to add in a mix of lovely old globes, maps, periodic charts, science beakers, marble busts of scholars, old dictionaries, typewriters, fountain pens.
Moody Color Palette
No spring colors here. Lots of fabulous deep, rich, moody fall/winter colors. Colors that hug you. My favorites.
Cozy, Soft Furnishings and Rich Textiles
Think worn leather club chairs, plump sink-into sofas, pillows, soft throws. And underfoot lush Persian rugs. This green velvet couch and kilim footstool look super comfy and decadent. I would be happy to stay a while in this room.
While one needs a good reading lamp of course, masses of overhead lights are out. Fluorescent lighting is verboten. Soft lighting including candle light is preferred. (We are big fans of candlelight in our house.)
These candlesticks would be perfect for a dark academia look. I am tempted by them!
Maximalism with Vintage/Antique Items
Those with a curious academic mind are bound to collect things. Unique things. Old things. Weird things. Maybe even spooky things! Curating a cabinet of curiosities is perfect for this style of decor. This one is fabulous!!
Skulls and taxidermy wouldn’t go amiss.
Which of course got me thinking…what items do I have in my Etsy store that would suit dark academia? I thought the antique stoneware chemists’s pot and the scientific lab glass flasks were definites, along with the old barley twist candleholder. I thew in the old paisley shawl for a bit of luxe comfort.
This style isn’t for everyone. A few of you reading this may be shaking your head at this dark, quirky look. But I’ll admit I really like it. It’s interesting. It says: Grab a book, wrap yourself with a cozy throw and settle in for the night.
Would love to hear your thoughts.