The dressing room has been a mainstay of luxurious homes for centuries and it’s still a much-loved, much-appreciated appendage of the home for the modern-day woman. After all, a dressing room gives you a morning pit stop where you can prep for the day ahead; somewhere to play dress up and transform yourself before those unforgettable evenings; and a retreat to perform your favourite beauty rituals before bedtime. But the best thing about this girls-only area is that it’s your space and no one else’s. It’s one of the rare nooks of the home that can be enjoyed solely by you, giving you free rein to display your personal style.
Despite whether you lean towards traditional or modern interior design, elegance, serenity and style are the feelings that every type of dressing room should call to mind. By placing yourself in sophisticated surroundings, you’ll pre-empt a feel-good mood, inspired fashion choices and achieve a beautiful home.
What does it take to create the perfect dressing space? Just five key elements: a quality dressing table, a comfortable seat, good lighting, a mirror and those all important accessories. These are the building blocks of a beautiful dressing space and, if you can find quality pieces with a timeless allure, will guarantee you a perfect set-up for years to come.
Image Credit: Taylor Howes
1. The Dressing Table
Whilst all the vital ingredients of a dressing area have to work together, the table is, without doubt, the most paramount piece. Sleek and glossy furniture designs are a fail-safe option for creating an impact while curved silhouettes are perfect for instilling a feminine feel. Light-hued woods also succeed in achieving a ladylike look but more masculine darker woods can bring depth and contrast to pretty room schemes. Whatever style of table you opt for, always check for quality. Look for designs with exquisite hardware, beautiful linings and ample storage to ensure the piece promises a long lifespan.
Light-hued woods also succeed in achieving a ladylike look but more masculine darker woods can bring depth and contrast to pretty room schemes.
Image Credit: April Russell
2. The Seating Solution
The minutes dedicated to make-up application and hair styling can soon turn into hours so it’s vital to find a seating solution that not only looks incredible but also offers a comfortable base. Stools are popular choice for dressing areas as they can be tucked away neatly. Designs that are short in stature and feature a padded seat with soft upholstery make the most comfortable additions. If you’re looking for a little more support, chairs with backrests are a better solution. Embrace delicate silhouettes with no arms or sloping sides that can be slid underneath the table when not in use. Button tufted designs work beautifully as do French Regency-inspired styles with cabriole legs and patterned upholstery.
Embrace delicate silhouettes with no arms or sloping sides that can be slid underneath the table when not in use.
Image Credit: Helen Green Design
3. THE MIRROR
A dressing room isn’t complete without a standout mirror. Remember size and position are everything – bigger is better as this makes getting ready an easy and enjoyable process. Oversized wall mirrors look best hung above the dressing table while full-length mirrors make a beautiful backdrop and allow you to double check that you look your best from top to toe. For close-up product application, it’s also useful to include a magnifying cosmetics mirror on your tabletop display. This shot from a Helen Green Design project opts for a streamlined golden design to tie in with the picture frames and match the clean-lined table, but ornate silhouettes are also a wonderful way to flatter a dressing area. Don’t forget to leave fixing your mirror until you have your table and seat in place to ensure it’s at the perfect height for you.
Image Credit: Laura Hammett
4. The Lighting
Great lighting is an integral part of a successful dressing space. Honest but flattering illumination is the ideal. Before even considering which type of lighting to go for, make sure you take advantage of the natural light in your space by placing your dressing table near a window or French doors, if possible. Avoid harsh light from above and below as this causes shadows that can affect make-up application. Wall sconces will cast desirable, evenly spread light – an effect which can also be achieved by placing table lamps at either end of your vanity unit.
Image Credit: Katharine Pooley
5. The Finishing Touches
An exquisite selection of accessories is the best way to give your dressing table an upgrade. Jewellery boxes, ring catchers, cosmetics jars and perfume bottles make charming and functional additions, enabling you to have all your trinkets and products to hand. Candles, photo frames and a stunning vase filled with your favourite flowers add a personal touch. Don’t forget it’s not just the choice of accessories that’s important but how you present them. Use objects of varying heights and textures to create an aesthetically satisfying display and look to gorgeous trays to keep smaller accents in a tidy arrangement.
Header image courtesy of Sophie Paterson Interiors