Dark Academia | An Uprising Moody Trend - Revival Design Collective
While the nascent dark academia design trend encompasses everything from art, classic literature, and fashion - we favor the dark and moody interiors of the trend. The question is: How can we achieve this design trend while not moving directly into a library or attending an Ivy League university? Let's break it down!
dark and moody design; dark academia; design trends;
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Dark Academia | An Uprising Moody Trend

dark academia
A Bit of History

Think effortlessly cool; smart but sullen; a secret society, meeting in rooms with dark mahogany walls, lit by candles and a roaring stone fireplace. Extravagance. Mystery. Grandeur.

The origins of Dark Academia are rumored to be inspired by the 1992 novel The Secret History by Donna Tartt. A group of students at an elite university comes together in intellectual discussion. Soon, unexpected secrets begin to flow. Although this trend originated sometime around 2015 (during the Tumblr era), it has re-emerged on the popular platforms of TikTok and Instagram as something completely different.

While the nascent Dark Academia trend encompasses everything from art (especially with themes of Christian mythology or anatomical studies), classic literature, and fashion – we favor the dark and moody interiors of the trend. The question is: How can we achieve this design trend while not moving directly into a library or attending an Ivy League university?

dark academia living room design
dark academia library vibes
A Touch of Dark

The key to achieving this trend is going DARK – and going all-in on it. Dark green walls, deep wine velvets, and rich chocolate woods.

Make sure to fill your spaces with pieces that have a history. Antiques that have been aged through generations and books that have told the same stories for decades will add layers of depth to your room’s story.

Maximalism is also crucial for Dark Academia. A chandelier, globes, candlesticks, ornate frames and mirrors, Grecian busts, and books – lots and lots of books. Incorporate books onto mantles, coffee tables, consoles – wherever there is space. Heavy, room darkening curtains hung above the top of windows create visual interest and the illusion of higher ceilings for a feeling of elegance and grandeur.

Worried about it being too dark? Simply adding touches of gold will brighten the space, and plants will contrast beautifully against the dark backdrop.

dark academia man cave vibes
dark academia office space

“Dark academia is a style that is really hot right now. We are currently designing a restaurant + bar that we are pulling inspiration from this trend. This aesthetic is perfect for a restaurant! It creates such a sexy, intimate vibe. With dark colors + rich, luxurious textures, a worn antiquity is designed with a hint of luxury. A style that draws people in to relax with a cocktail in hand + gourmet dish. Dark academia is one of my favorite styles for creating a high-impact design.”

Lauren Knapke, Environmental Designer – Revival Design Collective

Ready to go dark?