If you’re the kind of person with a dedicated morning routine from moisturiser to setting spray, then you’re probably familiar with the ever-useful dressing table or, perhaps more commonly, the vanity.
Considering this piece of furniture has been so important throughout history, it’s a shame that it is most often related to ‘vanity’. The average home dressing table is anything but vain. They are a key feature in morning routines, playtime dress-ups, professional photoshoots, outrageous productions, and even just a night out on the town.
What’s the difference between a vanity table and a dressing table?
While the two terms are used interchangeably, there is one big difference between a vanity table and a dressing table. Vanity tables have at least one mirror, while a dressing table is typically larger and has more storage space. There are other differences, such as vanities often being installed in bathrooms and dressing tables having more multifunctional uses as pieces of furniture, but for the most part, you can find similar pieces listed as either dressing tables or vanities.
How do I choose the right dressing table?
Whether you’re a beauty influencer or an ordinary person with an office job, everyone likes to take one last look in the mirror before leaving for the day. The size and function of your perfect dressing table will depend on the level of care you need. Do you like to sit and take your time, or do you prefer to grab and go? Are you more focused on makeup, or are you a jewellery fan? If you’re lacking space, you might want a piece that can transform from a vanity to a desk in the blink of an eye.
Find the spot in your bedroom or bathroom with the best lighting. To create the right look every time, you need a space that has a lot of free space and bright light. Natural light is best, but store-bought lighting is fine. You can buy a vanity inclusive of lighting, or install additional lighting in your home to highlight the space.
Once you’ve found the perfect space, measure it twice. You can find dressing tables in all shapes and sizes, but don’t forget to account for opening doors and drawers and pulling out seats. Make sure you can comfortably walk around the dressing table without tripping or bumping corners. If you’re worried about space constraints, look for a dressing table that has vertical storage or hidden storage (the Artiss Iris set might just be the perfect match).
Do you prefer open or closed shelves? Open shelving has the benefit of putting all your favourite items on display, but it can create visual clutter and extra cleaning. Closed shelving and drawers hide the clutter, but it can make it harder to keep track of all your trinkets.
If your makeup is out of sight, it’s less likely to be misplaced by small, sticky fingers! Have you ever felt the pain of coming home and seeing your favourite (expensive!) makeup pallet all over the couch, the curtains, the dog, and your toddler? Closed drawers, hidden storage and high shelves are all useful when it comes to keeping your prize possessions out of harm’s way… you may even consider buying a dressing table with a lock.
Don’t like what the world of dressing tables has to offer? Or maybe you’re looking for a more budget-friendly solution? Not to worry, we have you covered there too! Already have a chest of drawers, desk or side table that you like? Turn it into a vanity instantly with the Artiss Tri-fold Mirror. The mirrored effect will make your room look larger than life, and you can turn any surface into a stylish make-up bench. Add seating for your makeshift vanity with the gold-accented storage ottoman, and you have a quick and easy, personally tailored vanity on a budget.
Materials of dressing tables
The material you choose for your dressing table will mainly depend on your style and your budget. It may also be affected by placement, namely if you’re installing your vanity in the bathroom, where you should go for a material that will wear well in humid conditions.
There’s a reason that wood never goes out of style! The most popular material used in furniture, solid wood makes for a long-lasting, sturdy, durable choice that stands the test of time. It matches a wide range of styles, from classic French provincial to modern minimalism. You can find plenty of secondhand pieces on a budget, or pay upfront for a solid wood piece that will last a lifetime.
Pros of solid wood
Durable and long-lasting
Multiple options to choose from
Cons of solid wood
Heavier than other materials
May be hard to move
May look chunky
Want the look of solid wood without the price tag? Engineered woods such as plywood, particle board or fibreboard are an affordable alternative that gives you most of the benefits of wood with added features like water and stain resistance. These pieces usually have smooth finishes in a variety of colours and styles, from glossy white to natural wood grain. This material also suits a wide variety of styles, since a change in veneer can turn a piece from mid-century modern to gothic-lite.
Pros of engineered wood
Strong and sturdy
Easy to maintain
Cons of engineered wood
Can look cheap
Not as long-lasting as solid wood
While metal isn’t typically used for an entire vanity, it is often used as a frame and mixed with other materials such as wood or glass. This mixed materials look is perfect for industrial and contemporary styles, and the strength of a metal frame makes it the ideal heavy-duty dressing table.
Pros of metal
Hard working and heavy duty
Rust-resistant varieties are perfect for the bathroom
Smooth finish for easy cleaning
Cons of metal
May scratch floors
Can feel cold or sanitised
Possibly the most elegant choice on the list, a glass dressing table will add sparkle to any space. Tempered glass is strong and tends to be shatterproof, plus, it’s incredibly easy to clean (though fingerprints can make it just as easy to dirty!). You can even purchase an all-over mirrored vanity so you can see yourself from every angle.
Pros of glass
Easy to clean
Makes a room look bigger
Cons of glass
Can scratch easily
The perfect mirror image
As the focal point for most dressing tables and vanities, choosing the right mirror is an absolute must.
If you’re a stickler for details and like your makeup just so, you should consider a mirror that is smaller and easy to move so you can get the exact right angle. Something like the Embellir Hollywood Makeup Mirror is a great solution, with built-in intelligent brightness and a 5x magnifying mirror. If you’re more concerned about your whole look and need a mirror to test your outfit, you may prefer a full-length mirror or a tilting mirror. You could even cut out the mirror from your dressing table altogether and instead pair it with a full-length mirror, or hang a mirror above it on the wall.
Should you get an LED-lighted mirror or keep it simple? Well, that depends on your budget and personal preferences. These mirrors are a little pricier but they can come in handy if the lighting in your chosen room is far from perfect. They also make beautiful statement pieces. If you do choose lights, then make sure they offer accurate colour reflection, especially if you are a makeup artist.
Lighting the way with makeup tables
We’ve already explored how lighting is crucial when choosing where to place your dressing table, but why is that? Well, depending on the lighting, your makeup can look completely different. What looks blue in your room can turn purple once you’re outside, while other colours can get washed out completely.
Natural light is the best light for all beauty applications, which is why we recommend setting your dressing table near a window. However, if natural light is not available, no worries! You can use white light LEDs as the next best thing. Just make sure that they have a high Colour Rendering Index (CRI). The CRI is a measure of a light’s ability to accurately reflect colours compared to daylight. You’ll want a light with a CRI of 90 or higher for accurate makeup application, and/or only use cool or white settings.
Place your lighting so you get even coverage around the face. You may need to use multiple lights, or even make use of an additional ring light.
Choosing the right seating
Beauty takes time, which is time you’ll need to take a seat. Many dressing tables and vanity sets come with their own chairs, but you may have to find your own.
Choose a chair that matches your dressing table. It doesn’t have to be perfect: simply matching the material, colour or style period can be enough. Choose comfort first, which may mean getting an existing chair upholstered. You’ll also benefit from getting a chair that is small enough to push under the table and out of the way. You can pair your dressing table with a comfortable ottoman, armchair or dining chair - it all depends on your preferences.
Buy a dressing table online with Artiss
Artiss has a wide range of dressing tables in all shapes and sizes for you to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a high gloss and glam mirror vanity, a classic French provincial style or a practical storage king, we have the right dressing table for you.
Not sure what will suit your room? You can use our practical 3D AR technology to project your favourite pieces right into your home. Get the showroom experience without leaving your home, and feel 100% secure in your purchase.
That’s not the only thing to feel secure about! You’ll find ordering with Artiss is pleasant and hassle-free thanks to our friendly Australia-based customer service representatives and prompt delivery times from our trusted courier partners.
So, what are you waiting for? Get on with the show! Shop our dressing table collection at Artiss.