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Dark Academia Office Design – Top 4 Questions Answered!

Terra SandersTerra Sanders
October 15th, 2023
~ 3 minute read
dark academia office

Chances are, if you follow interior design and décor trends, then you’ve seen a lot more dark, deep or moody offices and home office spaces. Whether or not you prefer a bright and sunny office or the jeweled tones of the dark academia office, the dark academia trend, overall, is here to stay.

dark academia office

What is a Dark Academia Office?

Dark academia takes its name, and inspiration, from traditional libraries and university halls. Imagine, the library with larger-than-life ceilings, chandeliers illuminating thick wooden and ornate rows of tables, tall bookshelves surrounding the space filled with old, well-worn books of different colors, seating areas that use chesterfield couches in deep rich and almost earthy leather and velvet colors, with oil portraits hanging around and the only natural light coming from giant arched windows. Does it sound romantic and cozy? That’s the point.

dark academia office

A dark academia office replicates those traditional university library elements, but on a smaller scale, using moody colors like deep greens and golds, subdued and almost sepia-like lighting, paired with oil paintings, bookshelves and a traditional office desk and decor.



dark academia office

What Colors Are Used in Dark Academia?

The dark academia color pallet utilizes deep, moody and rich versions of tones that you might find in nature. The goal of moody colors is to put you in a cozy state. Studying quietly at a table lined with lamps or comfortably flipping through a book is a library’s way of keeping things peaceful. These colors being more subdued and not so flashy is what helps patrons to focus at their task.

dark academia office

Greens like forest green or sage are popular paint and furniture colors. Purples such as eggplant and plum tones can also adorn walls or be used in different décor items. Yellow comes through by way of gold, such as in ornately gold picture frames and office sofas.

What you might see the most of though, in a moody office will be the browns. That’s because of the traditional office furniture used to furnish the dark academia office or home office.

dark academia office

What is Dark Academia Office Furniture?

The dark academia office aesthetic and moody office design wouldn’t be complete without traditional office furniture. Details in dark academia harken back to the gothic, Georgian and Victorian periods of architecture and for that reason office furniture pieces tend to be more detailed and decorative than average.

dark academia office

A traditional office desk will feature deep wood tones, like cherry, a darker walnut and mahogany. They also tend to be larger and more imposing than a contemporary office desk. This defined the dark academia aesthetic overall as a decorative, cozy, rich castle or manor.

Along with moldings, hardware is important on a traditional office desk, hutch or lateral filing cabinet because things like drawer pulls add another opportunity for a gold or decorative detail. But furniture details aren’t the only way to decorate for a dark academia office.

dark academia office

What is Dark Academia Office Décor?

Above, we’ve talked about a few elements that play into the dark academia home office and office look, but there is so much that can be added.

Books is probably the first thing you see, or think of, in a dark academia office but you may not have categorized it as décor. Decorating with books has also been a trend for the past few years in interior design, but because of dark academia it carries seamlessly over to the office. Having an office bookshelf (or a few) is an opportunity to get that library, study room feel, add more warm colors, and even decorative trinkets to the shelves.

dark academia office

Wall art is another defining factor in a dark academia office. Oil portraits in decorative gold frames, simple sketches and even architectural drawings of older buildings help to fill out the walls.

Other elements like tradition desk lamps, office plants, and sculptural objects like vases and busts bring in the old-world style and charm.

Dark academia office décor isn’t defined by bright, shiny or personalized objects but really by a heavily curated, antique/curiosity shop aesthetic.

dark academia office

Conclusion

While dark academia might seem to be a trend, being that it is rooted in the traditional architecture and academic spaces of the past, chances are that it’s here to stay. Just as much as autumn has risen in popularity as an aesthetic in recent years, the moody office and interior design style presents a much-needed maximalist office alternative to bright, minimal and even modern office spaces.

dark academia office


Terra Sanders
About The Author

Terra Sanders, the newest addition to the Madison Liquidators team, uses her background in digital marketing, content strategy and SEO to craft thoughtful and engaging articles. She writes in a way that appeals to customers through interesting information that can help them on their office furniture buying journey.

Terra Sanders

Terra Sanders, the newest addition to the Madison Liquidators team, uses her background in digital marketing, content strategy and SEO to craft thoughtful and engaging articles. She writes in a way that appeals to customers through interesting information that can help them on their office furniture buying journey.