Types of Academia Aesthetics – Which One Are You?

27. October 2022

Types of Academia Aesthetics – Which One Are You?

Are you seeking an escape from the monotony of college or university life? Or simply want to romanticize European libraries, museums, and art galleries? If you love profound academic and creative activities and the sophistication of the old European lifestyle, we invite you to explore the expanse of academia aesthetics! Whether or not you’re a scholar at heart, your eyes may want an elegant pedagogic environment that motivates you to study!

The question is, which type of academia aesthetic do you fall under? The same way there are numerous disciplines ranging from physics and calculus to music and social sciences, there are also lots of varying motifs under academia. Nevertheless, we’ll help you find your true academia identity so you can have some ingenious room inspiration! Read on to discover what exactly academia is and the most popular types of aesthetics that fall under it!

→ Shop Light Academia and Dark Academia Room Decor

What is Academia?

The Latin term “academia” generally refers to a broad-ranging sphere comprised of students, educators, universities, colleges, and everything around and in between them. Essentially, these elements all come together to foster the idea of learning and theoretical endeavors. While academia has been earning praise for its idealistic emphasis on academics, it has garnered more attention even from non-academic individuals for its elegant visuals alone. Over time, it served as an umbrella term for various types of academia-inspired aesthetics.

In general, any academia aesthetic is characterized by vintage features, especially neoclassical architecture seen among old European universities, museums, art galleries, libraries, etc. Moreover, these motifs tend to focus on liberal arts instead of scientific fields as proven by interests in history, philosophy, sociology, literature, creative arts, and the like. Additionally, with its reliance on education, a few quintessential elements that you wouldn’t miss in any academia motif are books, pens, notes, and study desks. If you are especially fond of mentally stimulating hobbies and believe that “knowledge is power,” the general academia aesthetic may have already won your heart.

Now, if you want to narrow down your own version of this theme, we gathered the five most popular types of academia aesthetics. See for yourself which one best reflects your intellectual soul!

Light Academia

When it comes to the generally positive, inspiring, and gratifying aspects of university life, light academia surely takes home the crown. In essence, it emphasizes the sense of joy that one develops for intellectual pursuits, such as writing poetry and researching. You’d definitely love its optimistic take on academics if you’re a fan of neutral and subdued hues like beige, brown, caramel, off-white, and porcelain. While it does give a light and easy atmosphere, many desire it for its neutrality with a balanced euphoric note. It gives an impression that collegiate life may not be so stressful at all, at least when compared with reality.

As the most popular version of the academia aesthetics, this delicate motif is responsible for many Pinterest mood boards we see today comprised of porcelain tea cups, reading glasses, sepia notes, cream-colored cable knit sweaters, and of course, books! The light academia aesthetic also shares a lot of its visual notes with the ethereal aesthetic, some of which are gilded mirrors, marble statues, and classical furniture. The warmth of the golden hour is also the most prominent in this concept. Additionally, cozy, modest, and domestic setups tend to accompany light academia interiors.

If you feel like you are compatible with this peaceful aesthetic, you can discover more visual details about it through our post on light academia room ideas.

Dark Academia

Want some thrilling sense of mystery as you discover some hidden knowledge? Then dark academia can provide that for you! As the main counterpart of light academia, dark academia ensures that your educational endeavors are marked by horror and enigma. Those who romanticize the concepts of death, cults, criminality, violence, and despair are typically fond of the vibe that dark academia emanates. From the name itself, royal dark colors like dark brown, burgundy, deep green, and black are essential.

This motif is especially popular among Potterheads for its imitable display of Hogwarts, so you can mix in some magic, wizardry, incantations, and other creepy yet interesting elements with it. You can also dive deeper into its gothic and witchcore note with some striking novelties like daggers, skulls, bones, and bats. However, if you love its fundamentally elegant affinity with the shadows, rely on Renaissance artworks, bust figurines, dark hardcover books, and deep-colored tapestries. Take inspiration from private boarding schools and grand mansions you’d think vampires would live in!

You might be loving the mystery of dark academia now, so feel free to browse our dark academia room ideas for more intriguing inspiration!

Romantic Academia

If you want a greater emphasis on love, nostalgia, and euphoria, then romantic academia might be for you. Similar to light academia, this motif is also on the positive side of the spectrum and focuses on the joys of art and literature. However, what marks their significant differences is the latter’s more intense tones on romance and pleasure, surpassing light academia’s visual neutrality. Here, you can observe femininity, beauty, and love, perhaps with a Romeo and Juliet vibe. Expect hues like blush pink, beige, gold, light blue, and deep ruby when you enter a romantic academia-inspired abode.

Given its vintage and feminine qualities, romantic academia is highly comparable to the coquette aesthetic. However, creative hobbies such as writing love letters, reading poems, sketching, and sewing may set it apart from the latter. With that said, you’ll find fancy European tea cups, chandeliers, lace doilies, and old books as recognizable elements of romantic academia. Cottagecore is also at play in this aesthetic through gardens, bouquets, dried flowers, roses, generous greenery, and nature, in general. Moreover, don’t miss out on paintings from the Romantic period as they serve as a foundation of the concept itself.

As a tip, explore the daintiness of romantic academia by combining euphoric femininity and the intellectual elegance of creative and academic ventures.

Chaotic Academia

A little less on darkness but more on realistic disorganization, chaotic academia is perhaps the closest to many students’ jumbled experiences in their lives in university. This aesthetic tones down the mysterious elegance of dark academia and replaces it with visual disorganization that manifests confusing realities. While it may be a form of beauty on itself as an aesthetic, chaotic academia bares the lawless diversity of knowledge as authentically as possible, with little to no concern for intentionally making it visually attractive. Its chaos hints messy routines and negative feelings that may come with studying, such as anxiety and obsession.

Although this motif does not strictly follow a distinct palette, you’d mostly encounter deep everyday colors like woody brown, tan, beige, dark blue, burgundy, and sepia. Chaos is usually displayed by ragged fabrics, messy handwriting, torn sepia notes and book pages, and a stack of open books. Dusty records and tapes, unsorted files and folders, and cluttered desks with virtually no space are also common in chaotic academia. You would also find banned literature, comprehensive annotations, and cups of coffee and tea to exhibit relentless studying.

As the most casual and realest type of academia aesthetics, chaotic academia surely leaves an impression for its bold and unique take. Maximize this by simply using your mundane study items as effortless decorative elements.

Art Academia

By now, you might think that academia aesthetics are just all about taxing academic disciplines. However, don’t get fooled by its name alone! There’s still art academia to emphasize the creative visual works that complement university studies. Dedicated practices of sketching, sculpting, painting, calligraphy, and photography are the defining points of the art academia aesthetic. Of course, this is still inspired by the artistic elements of old European periods such as Renaissance, Romantic, Baroque, Neoclassical, and the like.

An art academia palette is fluid so it may fall under any of the earlier academia aesthetics. With its focus on art and creativity, decorations such as portrait sketches on walls, Greek and Roman bust figurines, easels and paints, gilded and etched paintings, and organized journals are quintessential. Along with those, writing and sketching tools as well as vintage cameras are expected in an art academia room. Nonetheless, don’t forget that books are still a core element as this is still academia. After all, even art academics will make use of references for their craft!

If you’re a highly creative person, you might want to emulate the beauty of art academia. Simply focus on European-inspired artistic works while maintaining the academic elegance of books and university life.


Have you finally found out which of these academia aesthetics best reflect you? We hope that we have broadened your knowledge of academia’s variations and inspired you to create an elegant academia-inspired quarters! For an extensive selection of academia room trinkets, check out our light academia and dark academia room decors!

If you feel like the general academia theme might not be your match, feel free to view other aesthetics such as anime, trippy, pastel, and nautical! For a last minute October 31st celebration, hop on to our pastel Halloween room ideas!

Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

Aesthetic Home Decor

Your benefits
Shopping with us

Live Email Tracking Notifications

Quality inspection before shipping

Support responds within 24hrs 

Aesthetic Shop