Ask any woman what furniture she needs in her bedroom, besides a bed and a closet, and she’ll say ‘A dressing table’. Men, usually, don’t understand this. Their priorities are things like built-in entertainment centres, and charging points for their smartphones on the bedside table. But for women, it’s the dressing table every time.
Mirrored surfaces everywhere give a sense of real glamour
A chap can rush out of the house to work with just a quick glance in the mirror – hipsters with beards don’t even need to shave! But most women will spend at least a few minutes checking hair and makeup, maybe applying some perfume, and clipping on a necklace or brooch. A dressing table is a functional requirement!
It can also set the tone for the whole room. A dressing table can be girlie, elegant, minimalist, fun; it can be vintage or modern, discreet or exuberant.
Minimalism doesn’t mean you can’t have Hollywood lighting!
But it’s not just a design decision; it’s a very personal decision. The owner is going to be up close and personal with this bit of furniture every morning – it’s a private space, not at all like, say, the dining table, which might be dressed to impress. You can probably look at a dressing table and tell just what the owners would be like – a silver and grey classical combination for an elegant female executive, or a sweet pink one for a artist who loves painting flowers?
There are several options when it comes to dressing tables. The traditional vanity with drawers on both sides and an attached mirror is still a great choice, whether for a shabby chic or more classically styled interior. A more modern approach is to use an elegant table with a complementary wall-hung mirror above. That’s a particularly good solution for apartments with limited space. A small niche can be particularly suitable for this style, as long as good lighting is installed.
By far the most common finish for dressing tables is white paint (or limewash), followed by wood, but mirrored finishes are also popular for a more glamorous effect. However, a brightly coloured dressing table can form a pleasing accent in a predominantly white bedroom, and while gold may not always be popular for the dressing table itself, gilded frames for mirrors continue to provide a touch of classical luxury for many interiors.
Vintage accessories and tiny hearts complement a romantic vintage dressing table
It’s not just the dressing table itself that contributes to the style of the room, but the way it’s decorated. While some women prefer to use theirs only for makeup, a dressing table can also be used as a display base to give further character to the room. A small collection of glamorous perfume bottles gives a feeling of intimate luxury, while in some rooms, the dressing table is the place where an old teddy bear can make himself at home.
In a small apartment, on the other hand – particularly in studio flats – the dressing table sometimes doubles as a desk. Clean modern designs are the best for doing double duty; a long wooden console table, for instance, with a wood-framed mirror above, doesn’t look out of place when being used as a work surface, and easily converts to a dressing table when needed.
A dressing table also needs the right chair or stool to accompany it. Soft outlines and padded seats are generally preferred, though a Hollywood style vanity might work well with a clear plastic or chrome and black leather chair. Matching the height and width of the dressing table is as important as matching the style, both aesthetically and for ease of use.
For a designer bedroom, the right dressing table can be a make-or-break investment. Yet there’s a tendency to spend all the effort, and most of the budget, on the bed. Give the dressing table its moment of glory, and you’ll find the room has a richer, warmer feel.