5 Tips For Incorporating Dark Academia Decor Into Your Home

The dark academia theme has been making the rounds across Pinterest boards and social media searches, intriguing homeowners and designers alike. This aesthetic might not be completely new to the scene, but it is certainly making an entrance this year. People are rushing to grab ornaments and decorations to fit into the dark academia scheme, relying on vintage books and moody color palettes to serve as a backdrop to their favorite rooms.

While student-inspired trends have never really gone out of style, they tend to crop up in a new way every couple of years. Light, sporty collegiate gear made a play for a while, embracing stripes and logos or crests along with college colors in the form of throws and pillows. Now, a darker theme has appeared on the scene, channeling the nostalgia of academics while leaning into the more gothic ideals from previous eras. The clothes are 1930s and '40s inspired, and according to The New York Times, social media users incorporate 19th and 20th-century inspiration like English private schools and New England-based Ivy Leagues. Suppose you're looking to embrace the dark academia theme. In that case, the following tips and pointers will ensure you nail it seamlessly, turning your rooms into the haunting collegiate dwellings the aesthetic is built around.

1. Pick your patterns

When it comes to academia, there are certain prints and patterns that always stand out. Dark academia themes are no different, but they have more specific parameters that you should stick to in order to nail this aesthetic. According to Wayfair, houndstooth and tweed both easily fit into this interior design, thanks in large part to the earthy and muted colors they exude. This aesthetic thrives off of warm, cozy, collegiate colors that remind you of moody fall days and chilly evenings spent by the fire.

While tweed and houndstooth prints and patterns are ideal for throw pillows, you can also get a little eccentric and source blankets and fabrics that display "tapestry" depictions like something you would find in Medieval times. Look for rich color schemes with forest greens, navy blues, and bright reds that contrast with one another, drawing in the eye. Geometric patterns in muted colors also work with the other elements in this atmosphere. Remember not to overdo it with these additions, instead opting for one or two throughout a room to bring in a pop of color and design.

2. Make it moody

At the heart of things, dark academia is about moody, dark aesthetics. One of the easiest ways to incorporate this style is by adding deeper colors and hues to your walls. When choosing a paint palette, think about fall and autumn vibes starting from the ground up. Rich, nature-inspired browns, burnt oranges, olive greens, emeralds, deep reds, and gold are all good options for accent walls and overall décor. You can also lean into inky blues that are reminiscent of midnight skies and black rooms that could be hiding intriguing secrets. Don't forget to play around with mercurial purples, especially in smaller areas like bathrooms or guest rooms.

Freedom is one of the best parts about going with a dark academia theme. With so many intense colors to choose from, you have a large palette to work with, and most of the options complement one another. Aura Modern Home notes that mixing some prominent shades together in a space can be bold and winning, giving your home depth and dimension.

3. Billions of books

With the word academia in the theme, it goes without saying that using books in your décor is imperative. One of your inspirations should be Ivy League libraries and tucked-away bookstores on bustling streets, the smell of old paper and pages acting as a tonic to the soul. While that might sound overdramatic, this aesthetic is all about literature, learning, and the written word, according to The Mood Palette, so make sure to have displays of books visible around your home.

Head to used bookstores and seek out leather-bound or older volumes that can be used mainly for decoration and ornamental purposes. Placing these on coffee tables and shelves, or even stacking them haphazardly near furniture, will instantly bring the dark academia ambiance to life, and it will likely be one of the less expensive spends when you're shopping. Stores like Barnes & Noble also sell classics in hardcover binding, and they only cost between $15 and $30, meaning you can stock up even on a budget.

4. Wowed by wood

When you picture an old collegiate dorm room nestled in the New England setting, you might envision dark mahogany and bronze or gold materials living together in harmony. That would be the right idea and one you'll want to channel when revamping your home in the dark academia vein. If you don't already own big wood furnishings, keep an eye out for vintage pieces at thrift stores and flea markets. Place antique lamps and clocks on top of your surfaces to fill each room with the charm and memorabilia that represents this aesthetic.

You don't have to invest in new furnishings if it isn't in the budget, or you can grab simple pieces from IKEA and Target in black or dark brown. While the vintage vibe is the surest way to create the dark academia ambiance, it isn't the only way. Holly Habeck recommends sourcing dark wooden hanging shelves that can display your ornaments without taking up too much space on the floor. The wood and black metal will mix in with your designs, pulling them through and giving you more surfaces for treasures like globes, candles, and bronze figurines. Furniture with embellishments is also an excellent way to incorporate this theme, so keep an eye out for decorative pieces that feature them.

5. All about art

Another definitive aspect of dark academia design is wall art. Displaying as much as possible, and seeking out pieces that are unusual and even a little wild, is key. You want to find prints and paintings that provide a quirky, haunting air and leave people wondering what the thought behind them was. Macabre or morbid skeletons, strange and exotic animal depictions in moody hues, florals, and Romantic-era representations are all good options when picking out wall hangings.

Vintage botanical sketches, maps, and old letters or sepia-saturated photos can also be used in your displays. Wayfair recommends searching for antique-looking documents or drawings to frame, blending the old and new together within your dwelling. Dark academia isn't just about following the steps people have taken to describe and explain the theme — it is about individuality and your relationship with the designs. Explore the vintage ideals behind it, but delve into the collegiate vibes and the romantic personifications it exudes to really find the best mixture for your home. This way, it will become more than just an aesthetic. It will become a lifestyle that you can indulge in whenever.