Style profile: Dark academia

This time around, I’m stepping a little out of my comfort zone for a style profile—and figured I’d introduce you to one that both does incredibly well given a lot of the themes in Endwalker, and works well with some of the new furnishings we got in 6.1.

So let’s get right into it, and get ready to meet dark academia.

What is dark academia?

Dark academia is a style that draws heavily on the sort of history and nostalgia one might find in a professor’s office at Oxford or a certain magical school’s library. It’s an incredibly classic style that loves to focus on moody tones, meaningful clutter, and intellectual pursuits in literature and art.

What are the core elements of dark academia?

Academia: Unsurprisingly, this style focuses heavily on the aesthetic of higher education, and takes a lot of influence from old libraries and studies. It loves to highlight its designer’s taste through layers of knick-knacks and collections that represent focuses of study.

Classical elements: Since this style hearkens to the likes of the Hogwarts library, it incorporates a lot of darker wood into its architecture and furnishings—and often, these pieces will feature intricate millwork. Antique furniture is your friend!

Moody vibes: This style loves comfortable darkness, and often incorporates deep, rich colours and historically popular textures that match the luxury of its wood tones. Think velvets, leather, and wool—and colour them dark browns, burgundies, and even black tones.

How to use dark academia in FFXIV

Consider your surface textures.

This is an incredibly detailed style, so it’s important to consider how the textures of your walls and ceiling will help you create that sense of detail. Think about both material and structures; you’ll want to look into how you can incorporate wood accents, depth, and rich colours.

For example, paneled walls are a popular aesthetic for this style. My personal favourite technique for these walls is to combine Hingan cupboards with wood slats—but the backs of the new trick bookshelf partition would be a great choice as well.

Plan for lots of accents.

Dark academia is all about representing what’s important to you in terms of intellectual pursuits, so you’ll want to incorporate lots of detail! Books, of course, are a natural choice—but it’d be worth looking into options like maps, globes, and even statuettes too.

It is worth noting that clutter takes up a lot of slots in FFXIV, so plan accordingly!

Choose your colours wisely—and don't let them get too heavy.

Dark academia loves a rich colour palette, and celebrates deep wood tones as well. 

That said, dark colours can quickly get overbearing in smaller spaces, so if you find that’s happening with your build, look for ways to incorporate some natural light!

These are actual dyes from FFXIV, too. From left to right, they’re snow white, soot black, charcoal grey, orchard brown, kobold brown, and Dalamud red.

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