Thrift the Look Challenge- Dark Academia

Hey everyone!  I’m popping back in (after a creative hiatus) for another Thrift the Look challenge. As you likely all know by now, I have a deep affection for the thrift store- some would say it’s a problem.

And by some, I mean my husband. 

Do I let that stop me?  


And when there is a challenge that has to do with thrifting, I’m rising to that challenge every single time. 

This time the challenge was Dark Academia. 

What’s Dark Academia you ask?  It’s an aesthetic or style that’s got a scholarly feel but with a gothic/Victorian tone. Make sense? Kinda make sense?  Think Hogwarts, but throw in a tad more Voldemort and a little less Harry. That’s it in my mind at least. 

Then I had to cruise for inspiration cause, yeah, like my description, I was a little at loose ends. 

Nothing really spoke to me until I stumbled onto House of Bizarium on Instagram (here’s the link to their profile)

I mean look at this thing! (The goofball side of me is hoping you’re singing the corn song now)

Dark, gothic, rich and gorgeous!  The rooms, the rooms! Not Voldemort!  And now here’s my inspiration-

The assignment: lots of candles, glass, texture and shine 

Let’s see how I did….

Let me break down my thought process on it- so what grabbed my attention in the inspiration pic besides the candle glow, was the bust. Now I luck out at thrift pretty often but this lady is not a thrifty find- but she’s surrounded by them. 

The cloches also are a big eye catcher, and I used glass cheese domes I’ve thrifted to get that look- I don’t have sheet music, but I have pumpkins- and that adds a little bit of Laura to the look 😆

Next- to get that shine I grabbed some thrifted silver. The inspo has a lot to glass, and honestly that’s something I actually don’t have!  So I used the silver instead and I think it works. 

Pine cones add that texture, as well as the faux purple eucalyptus.

It can’t be academia without books, and that’s a collection I do have. 

The inspiration also has a figure, Greek or Roman, I think- so I popped up my wooden artist figure as a stand in.  Than the candles. Alllll the candles!!  Brass candle sticks and taper candles are something I have been thrifting for years, and I probably could have added even more- but you know, fire and all that, so I held back. 

And, of course, the old soldier stands in for the nude.  And that’s fine by me! 

Don’t mind the reflection- in the glass. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, and if that’s put a blanket over the window on your door, that’s what you do. 

My look isn’t a copy, of course, but I used the feeling and some of the elements of my inspiration to craft a look all my own. And I must say, I am pretty happy with the result. 

As always, these challenges are super fun for me. They make me flex my creative muscle, and lately those have been a tad weak. Dark Academia is totally not an aesthetic that I have or that even really works in my home- so this was really a challenge. 

Make sure to pop over and see what my friends have come up with too, this is always my favourite part- all of our different takes on it. 


Tania Pelletier said…
WOW!! This is stunning!! Great job!

Lora Bloomquist said…
Gorgeous and beautiful with all the twinkling candles and shimmering surfaces. Love how you subbed out for the nude;) Much more family friendly:) :)
Heather said…
You did amazingly well and I absolutely LOVE all the candles in your shot! This challenge has been so interesting - everyone really put beautiful and exciting spaces together.
Sarah @ Sadie Seasongoods said…
SO GOOD, Laura!! Yours is very cozy and curiously inviting, which I just love.