Monday, August 19, 2013

The Vanity Fair

During the week I see clients and work part-time at an antique/consignment store. I love reselling the vintage pieces and accessories brought in for consignment and re-purposing the items I bring home myself. Recently I have noticed a frequent request. Mothers are asking if we have any vanities for their daughters. The few we had in the store sold within a one month period. What is going on here? Seems there's a resurgence in the popularity of the bedroom vanity aka the dressing table! 

Makeup lady at a contemporary vanity

I had one when I was first married a hundred years ago, but they were out of favor soon afterward with the carefree, un-made up makeup of the late 60's and early 70's. They languished around the bedroom, neglected before they were sold, put in the attic or just thrown away. Today you will sometimes see them in antique and secondhand stores labeled "Ladies Desks". One way to sell them I guess!

Multi-layered girly vanity 

The above example is probably what most of us think of when we are thinking dressing table or vanity. It seems narcissistic and old worldly but vanities were actually at the height of popularity in the 1920's, think Hollywood glam actresses. 

Bohemian designed vanity 

I think one of the the reasons for the re-popularity is that modern ladies use a lot of make up products and shared space in the bathroom is at a premium. The mall has several specialty shops that on weekends are filled with  girly-girls and party-goers getting their face done. The theatrics and drama of the modern make-up artist is something to behold! 

Hollywood Regency style dressing table

To have the choices in beauty products available today would have been unheard-of back in the day for me, but surprisingly was there for my Mother and my Nana before her. Figures! 

Beautiful re-purposing of a vintage vanity and office chair

Another reason for their re-popularity has to do with the return interest in mid-century modern interior design a la Grace Kelly, Doris Day and Gidget! 
Vanities are basically 2 types, bedroom furniture and bathroom built-in. The above examples were furniture, let's see a lovely built-in feature….

Well planned built-in vanity

Beautifully planned ahead and executed design in a bathroom, a luxury I would love to put in my home. The side lamps are important for full facial lighting. I went to several blogs and sites to find the ideal tips for adding a vanity and found a concise list here
for lighting, comfort and storage. Here are a few more vanity designs:

Overhead lighting is key in this bathroom vanity area

Space saving wall mounted vanity area, a little dark though

A vanity area can be made out of spaces other than furniture as seen in the example above. One client's daughter used a wall hung laptop desk for hers. Here is a wonderful example of a space carved out of a bedroom corner: 

Add a table to make a vanity

 Love the simplicity of the table/vanity. The extension mirror makes it practical as well as functional. Overhead lighting is important in this soothingly dark bedroom.

Feminine fantasy room  

Under the window is especially practical, the lighting reflects onto the face and it can be used as a desk for other times of the day.

OTT bedroom fantasy
Wow, what a vanity in this fantasy room of opulence and luxury. I'd never leave!

Have fun designing your perfect vanity/dressing table. Don't forget to keep it neat and clear off the clutter between uses. Wallow in your femininity! 
Leave your pix and comments below, love to see them!
(All pictures reprinted from Pinterest.)

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