Zooey Deschanel's living room is 'rich with depth, drama, and intriguing mystery' – all because of this trend

The space taps into a design trend that isn't showing any signs of wavering – and designers laud the moody look

Zooey deschanel wearing black
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For someone so anti-trend, Zooey Deschanel masters the dark academia look. This moody and unique look has been trending since early 2023, and an increased emphasis on designing based on personal style will carry it far into 2024. 

Zooey's living space pulls off this deep-toned, textural pattern in her living room using a deep green sofa, a textural carpet, and a cozy black and white throw pillow. Under her sharp guidance, the 2024 design trend becomes a timeless look. 

The dark academia look is an absolute design phenomenon defined by various characteristics. Interior designer and founder of Lore Designs, Karen Loc, states: 'The dark academic design trend flaunts dark color palettes accentuated with antique period furniture to create a moody and somber space reminiscent of a Victorian or Gothic era library of the past.'

karen loc of lore design inc.
Karen Loc

Karen Loc is the interior designer and founder of Lore Design Inc. where she shows nervous renovators that designing a home can be fun and painless. She brings a fresh perspective to classic design that is tailored for modern living. Karen is located in New York City and has worked for world renowned designers and brands like Adam Tihany, Rafael Vinoly, and Morgan Stanley.

'Vintage-inspired accessories contribute to the overall look, along with rich natural materials, such as leather, wood, and stone,' adds interior designer Soledad Alzaga. Think eclectic bookshelf wealth combined with a deep and tonal color palette and a multitude of textures.

Soledad Alzaga
Soledad Alzaga

San Francisco-based Interior designer Soledad Alzaga has worked on design projects in San Francisco, Sonoma, Atherton, New York, Martha's Vineyard, Los Angeles, Mexico, and Argentina. Her firm has been named one of the top 15 Best Interior Design Companies in San Francisco.

The dark wood wall paneling is key to how Zooey Deschanel masters the look. Karen states: 'Dark wood is a signature element of this trend, and Zoey fearlessly uses it across her floor, walls, and ceiling. This creates a room rich with depth, drama, and intriguing mystery. The wood paneling draws your eye up toward the prominent coffered ceiling design. With its interplay of shadows and light, the ceiling appears taller and grander, making it a breathtaking experience.'

Dark Academia style in a living room

(Image credit: Downpipe by Farrow & Ball)

The textural vintage-style furniture also contributes to her cozy living room look. Karen says: 'The forest green sofa brings a soothing and contemplative element to Zoey’s home that adds a colorful accent to the dark color scheme, but without dominating it.'

'The wall art in antique frames and layering of a dark rug on the floor and a deep green velvet sofa create a stunning dark academia effect,' adds Soledad. She continues, 'The tactile elements play a crucial role in creating a sensory experience within the aesthetic.'

Shop the Dark Academia Edit

The dark academia look isn't easy to master, but with carefully curating unique furniture and deep shades, it can be achieved in any space. Zooey Deschanel's living room is living-proof. 

Sophie Edwards
News Editor

Sophie is a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens, where she works on the Celebrity Style team. She is fascinated by the intersection of design and popular culture and is particularly excited when researching trends or interior history. Sophie is an avid pop culture fan. As an H&G editor, she has interviewed the likes of Martha Stewart, Hilary Duff, and the casts of Queer Eye and Selling Sunset. Before joining Future Publishing, Sophie worked as the Head of Content and Communications at Fig Linens and Home, a boutique luxury linens and furniture brand. She has also written features on exciting developments in the design world for Westport Magazine. Sophie has an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology and a BA in Creative Writing and Sociology from Sarah Lawrence College.