If you’re here reading this after exploring our last Aesthetic Trends topic, Light Academia, we welcome you to its alter-ego, its twin sister with a bad attitude, Dark Academia.
How is Dark Academia defined?
Dark Academia is described as the original ‘academic aesthetic’ revolving around classic literature, self-discovery, and scholarly passions. It is one of several iterations of the Academia aesthetic, each having a unique focal subject.
As in its name, and contrary to its younger version, Light Academia, this has a color palette consisting of darker tones like forest green, dark brown, black, beige, burnt orange, cream, gold and burgundy.
This aesthetic stems from the visuals of 19th century European cultures, American prep dress code styles and Gothicism. But besides the appeal of learning and literature, the dark side of it consists of mystery, drama, danger and criminality.
Despite its name coming to fruition in the 2010s, dark academia has always existed as a nameless form, often a style taken on by higher upper class society. The first counts of this aesthetic were noted in the ideals and lifestyles of Romantic-era nobles like Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and Edmund Burke.
When someone describes their aesthetic as dark academic, the best way to imagine it as a lifestyle and appeal towards prestigious campuses, museums, galleries and old libraries. Art forms often include marble sculptures, etchings, and Renaissance, Baroque Neoclassical and Romantic art movements.
Some recognizable pop culture that fits into this aesthetic includes books and TV shows like “Peaky Blinders,” “Sherlock Holmes,” and “Series of Unfortunate Events,” and artists like Mozart, Mumford & Sons and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Does this sound like your kind of aesthetic? Need to decorate or redefine your interior choices to fit the Dark Academia world? Thomaston Place is the best place to look for such things! (And for its alter ego, Light Academia).
If you’re looking for some fine art to fit this aesthetic, maybe in your living room or study, you could find 19th century toned portraits, like this oil painting that is attributed to Zedekiah Belknap that sold for $325 in our Vintage Accents auction, January Jubilee.
But if you need something to brighten the room this will hang in, you could find yourself a Tiffany lamp, like this one that was sold for $85,000 in our Autumn Majestic auction last year!
If you need a dark table for this lamp, and to go along with the growing style, you could find a table like this mahogany Regency dining table that sold for $950 in our 2021 Interiors & Exteriors auction.
And finally, if you’re looking for a rug or carpet to pull together the entire room, don’t forget one with a nice pile, like this Kashan silk rug that sold for $950 in our Winter Enchantment auction.