Dark Academia Decor, Yes Please!

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!

Photo courtesy of HGTV.
Photo courtesy of Fonthill Castle.

Key Elements of Dark Academia Decor

Academic Items

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.

Photo courtesy of Rujstock Esty store.

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.

Photo courtesy of Fulhaus.

Low Lighting

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.)

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Photo courtesy of Liliboas, Getty Images.

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!!

Photo courtesy of Finch Co.

Skulls and taxidermy wouldn’t go amiss.

Photo courtesy of Homes & Gardens.

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.

In Closing

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.

Happy hunting,



  1. I don’t “decorate” my home. I just have stuff. Nothing planned, I just add to the shelves and tables as I buy things in thrift stores! I play artwork Tetris to make more room on the walls. I have some old books! One is Dante’s Inferno, illustrated by Dore. Maybe I am doing the “dark academia” after all! I have a little figure of Charles Darwin. My eyesight isn’t up for the dark interiors anymore. I can’t read well, especially since they did away with real 100 watt bulbs.
    My daughter would probably say I live under a rock too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The style is definitely a thing for me 🙂 I have a Victorian bookshelf filled with old (many leather) books and the like. Plus of course, tons of paintings and various items of interest. Rug too, and i love old velvet or damask fabrics – I’m just having some velvet / damask cushions made, lol.
    I love the old world, academia, book-worm, manor mood! and of course old silver pieces 🙂
    PS nice twist-barley candlestick!

    Liked by 1 person

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