Dark Academia Spaces We Love

Whether you live the lifestyle (or simply admire it), we’re romanticizing the dark academia aesthetic by sharing some of our favorite dark academia-inspired spaces. This trend draws inspiration from the scholarly and studied – think classic ivy-league halls with expressions ranging from extravagant and romantic to eclectic and bookish…and even downright gothic if that suits your sensibilities. Let your imagination run wild with these dark academia-inspired spaces and colors.

Home library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a faux fireplace.
Photo Courtesy of @deeplysouthernhome 
Featured Colors: Mineral Deposit SW 7652, Cyberspace SW 7076 

It’s Not a Phase, It’s a Lifestyle

Dark Academia is an aesthetic that’s all about mood. It’s about conjuring an atmosphere of mystery and a bit of fantasy, so what better way to set the scene than stirring up some gothic-inspired, old library vibes? Grounded in the weight of a dark hue like Cyberspace, the theme comes together through attainable elements that evoke these classic scholarly environments – brass candleholders on book-lined shelves, an old globe, cozy mood lighting, and a wood-burning fireplace all check the box and complete the aesthetic.

Vignette of a vintage cabinet with books and a bust.
Photo Courtesy of @seedsofhome 
Featured Color: Muddled Basil SW 7745 

It’s in the Details

To bring this look to life, it’s the details in your dark academia room that help tell the whole, dark story. The warmth of weathered wood tones contrasts and softens Muddled Basil’s earthy backdrop, as a collection of vintage accessories adds intrigue and imbues the space with personality. Details that embrace the aesthetic’s playful sense of grandeur and romance, like a classic ivory bust and aged, worn books, acknowledge its roots in old, scholarly collegiate charm.

Exterior of a historic home with arched entryway.
Photo Courtesy of @doublehunghistoric 
Designed by Studio Costello
Photography Captured by @jillianknightphotography 
Featured Colors: Urbane Bronze SW 7048 (Exterior); Pediment SW 7634 (Exterior Trim); Emerging Taupe SW 6045 (Window Trim) 

Take the Trend Outside 

Make a bold and dramatic statement in the spirit of the trend with a rich exterior hue like Urbane Bronze. While details such as wrought-iron railings and arched entryways may not be totally within reach, you don’t actually need to own a historic hotel or library to express your inner dark academician. The weight and richness of the color alone can carry and complete the look. 

Intrigued but intimidated by Dark Academia style? Lean into it just a little by trying these darker shades at home with free color chips delivered right to your door, and share your stylings with us by using #SWColorLove on social media or uploading them to our photo gallery


  1. Just used Urbane Bronze to accent a front door that has a glass insert. Combined it with Night Owl for the door panels. Love the Dark Academia look.

  2. I didn’t know what it was called, but have painted picked out for that look in my study.

  3. I combined roycroft bottle green on the outside of our front door with colonial stone revival on the inside. It looks good together.. I used Emerald Urethane for the outside.

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