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How do I make my room dark academia aesthetic?

The dark academia aesthetic has become increasingly popular in recent years. Characterized by an emphasis on learning and intellectual pursuits, it features dark, moody colors paired with vintage, antique, or academic inspired decor. Making over your room in this style creates an atmosphere that feels refined, serious, and scholarly. Achieving the look requires careful attention to details like lighting, color scheme, furniture, and decorative accents. With some strategic shopping and decorating, you can easily transform your room into a dark academia sanctuary.

Determine Your Color Scheme

The foundation of the dark academia aesthetic is the color palette. Stick to dark, rich tones like black, brown, navy, olive green, gray, and white. For an extra moody vibe, incorporate deep reds and purples. Use neutral walls or wallpaper as your base and add interest with colored rugs, pillows, blankets, and artwork. Dark academia interiors tend to have a lot of built-in wood elements, like bookshelves, cabinets, and desks. The natural wood tones complement the color scheme perfectly.

Select Proper Lighting

Proper lighting is key for setting the dark academia mood. Overhead lighting is typically too harsh and clinical for this style. Instead, opt for lamps to create a softer ambiance. Place matching table lamps on bedside tables and on desks. Floor lamps in corners provide overall ambient lighting. For serious studying, use clip-on desk lamps or tabletop study lamps. Candles also supplement moody lighting, so keep candlesticks and candelabras on hand. Dimmer switches allow you to control the lighting levels as needed.

Choose the Right Furniture

Quality furniture establishes the refined aesthetic of dark academia. Look for pieces in classic styles and rich materials like wood, leather, velvet, and tweed. Some key furniture pieces to incorporate:

  • Wooden desk – Opt for an antique-inspired secretary desk or apothecary desk. Materials like oak or mahogany suit the aesthetic.
  • Bookshelves – Bookshelves are a must to display your book collection. Built-in shelving looks especially sleek and custom.
  • Daybed – A daybed with a trundle underneath can double as a sofa. Select one with classic wood framing and an upholstered seat.
  • Leather armchair – Find a stately, tufted leather armchair to create a reading nook.
  • Chest of drawers – Vintage-style drawer chests add charm while offering practical storage.

Incorporate Antique and Vintage Decor

When furnishing your space, keep an eye out for antique and vintage pieces. Visiting flea markets, antique stores, used book shops, and estate sales can uncover great vintage decor finds to elevate your room. Some types of antique or vintage items to look for include:

  • Typewriter – A vintage typewriter makes a great decorative accent atop a desk.
  • Globe – An old globe is an elegant study decor piece.
  • Quill and ink – Display a glass inkwell with a feather quill pen for an old-fashioned scholarly vibe.
  • Books – Leather-bound classic novels or antique textbooks fit perfectly.
  • Taxidermy – Framed insects or other exotic taxidermy inject an eccentric scholarly touch.

Accessorize with Plants

Plants are a simple way to add life and sophistication to your dark academia space. Greenery paired with moody hues creates an intriguing contrast. Opt for plants with dark green foliage like ferns, ivy, palm, and fiddle leaf fig trees. Place them in aged terracotta or ceramic pots for additional old-world appeal. Position plants in corners, on desks, or mounted on the wall in a display case.

Add Other Decor Touches

A few other decor additions can polish off the aesthetic:

  • Rug – An ornate vintage rug over wood floors anchors the space.
  • Throws and pillows – Toss dark-hued blankets on chairs. Scatter velvet and leather pillows on sofas or daybeds.
  • Curtains – Hang heavy drapes in rich colors and interesting textures like velvet or brocade.
  • Artwork – Frame botanical prints, antique maps, or reproductions of classic paintings.
  • Books – Stack old hardcovers or leather-bound books on shelves, side tables, and desks.

Pick Wall Decor

Wall decor selections contribute greatly to the overall vibe of your space. Some dark academia wall decor ideas include:

  • Framed diplomas, certificates, or accolades
  • Vintage maps or anatomical charts
  • Dried flower arrangements in shadowboxes
  • Mounted insects or taxidermy
  • Gallery wall with framed art and photographs

Add Personal Touches

Though many aspects of the dark academia aesthetic follow a specific formula, add your own personal touches as well. Display favorite books, trinkets from travels, collections, or meaningful photos. Perhaps you have musical talents – if so, place your instrument on display. Adding custom personality makes the space feel uniquely yours.

Sample Dark Academia Study Room

To help visualize how these elements come together, here is an example of a dark academia inspired study room:

Item Description
Wall Color Deep navy blue walls create a moody backdrop
Lighting Antique library-style green glass banker’s lamp provides soft overhead lighting
Desk Rich mahogany secretary desk positioned below window; stacked with books and antique typewriter
Chair Tufted brown leather desk chair
Rug Intricate vintage Persian rug in deep red, olive, and navy tones
Shelving Full wall of built-in oak shelving holds books and decorative objects
Prints Framed antique botanical prints mounted above desk
Globe Vintage globe on side table
Plant Large monstera plant in the corner in a ceramic pot


Creating a dark academia vibe in your bedroom or study space allows you to craft an atmosphere perfect for reading, focusing, and being inspired. The key is sourcing high-quality vintage and antique furniture and decor to nail the polished yet edgy look. Pay close attention to details like lighting and wall color to establish the right moody feel. Add greenery for an intriguing pop of life and don’t forget to incorporate personal mementos. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to designing your ideal scholarly sanctuary.