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Beautiful living room in the dark academia style

Dark Academia Home Aesthetic: How to Achieve

Are you drawn to old bookstores? Or clubby rooms with dark furniture and cozy nooks? Do you love the feel of an old New England prep school? If so, the Dark Academia home aesthetic might be for you! Let’s dive into what this style is all about and some elements to help you achieve the look.

What is the Dark Academia Home Aesthetic?

The “Dark Academia” aesthetic is a subculture that draws inspiration from classic literature, Greek philosophy, and a general passion for knowledge and learning. The aesthetic often involves a moody, dark color palette, featuring hues like deep greens, browns, and blacks. It romanticizes the idea of academia, often envisioning it through a lens of 19th-century boarding schools, vintage libraries, and old universities.

BEautiful room from Architectural Digest that embdies the Dark Academia aesthetic

Source: Architectural Digest

Dark Academia Design Elements

The Dark Academia aesthetic in interior design embodies a sense of intellectualism, nostalgia, and a love for the arts and humanities. Spaces elicit a sense of solitude and introspection. The style often invites quiet study, reading, or contemplation.

Here are some key elements often found in dark academic-inspired spaces:

Color Palette

Dark and moody color schemes: Think deep greens, blacks, browns, and grays, often accented with gold or brass details.

Sherwin Williams has even put out a Dark Academia color palette for folks looking to achieve the look.

Sherwin Williams dark acemia color palette

Source: Sherwin Williams Facebook Page


Antique or vintage furniture: Leather armchairs, wooden bookshelves, and classic desks are staples.


Rich fabrics: Velvet cushions, wool throws, and heavy drapes often make an appearance.


Old books

Classic literature, philosophy books, and antique tomes are usually displayed.


Oil paintings, vintage prints, or sketches usually adorn the walls.

Globes and maps

Reflect a sense of worldly curiosity.

Antique or vintage trinkets

Think hourglasses, typewriters, and old cameras.


Warm, low lighting: Table lamps with warm bulbs, chandeliers, and candlelight create an inviting atmosphere.

Walls and Floors

Dark wood or stone floors. Aged or distressed materials add to the vintage feel.

Paneled or wallpapered walls

Wallpaper with dark, intricate patterns or wood paneling can add depth to the room.

Three examples of Spoonflower Wallpeper with dark academia aesthetic

Source: Spoonflower Fabrics & Wallpaper


Though not as common, some people incorporate dark, leafy plants like snake plants or even dried flowers for a touch of nature.

Window Film & the Dark Academia Aesthetic

If you are interested in bringing some or all of the Dark Academia aesthetic to your home or just a room – Concord Window Film can help you achieve your goals.

ComforTech™ Ceramic Window Film

Mood Setting

The Dark Academia aesthetic often involves darker and moodier settings. Our solar control ceramic window film can help in reducing glare and softening the incoming light, making the room feel more subdued and intimate – especially our darker shades like ComforTech™ 05 and ComforTech™ 15.

UV Protection

Preserving the rich, dark fabrics and antique furniture that are integral to the aesthetic can be made easier with your UV protective films.

Matte White Privacy Film

Subtlety and Mystery

The matte finish of our Matte White Privacy film can give windows a frosted, timeless look that adds an air of mystery, aligning well with the aesthetic’s ambiance.


Dark Academia spaces are often personal sanctuaries for study and reflection; the privacy film ensures that such spaces remain undisturbed.


Dark Academia and its design aesthetic can be the springboard for a cozy, warm, and contemplative space. If this style speaks to you, consider bringing elements of it to your home. And consider the role window film can play in helping you achieve the look!

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