top of page

Vanity vs. Dressing Table - The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Option for Your Room and How to Style It.

antique solid wood dressing table

The concept of a dressing table has been around for centuries, evolving over time to meet the changing needs and preferences of different cultures and eras. However, the modern dressing table, as we know it today, has its origins in the late 17th century during the Renaissance period in Europe.

During this time, there was a growing interest in self-care, fashion, and beauty, particularly among the aristocracy and upper classes. As a result, furniture makers began designing specialized tables with mirrors and compartments specifically for dressing and beauty purposes.

The early dressing tables were often elaborate and ornately decorated, reflecting the opulence and extravagance of the era. They were typically made of luxurious materials such as wood, marble, or even precious metals, adorned with intricate carvings, gilding, and decorative motifs.

Throughout the subsequent centuries, dressing tables continued to evolve in design and functionality, adapting to changes in fashion, lifestyle, and cultural trends. They became more streamlined and functional during the Victorian era, with a focus on practicality and storage solutions.

Today, dressing tables are available in a wide range of styles, from traditional and vintage-inspired designs to modern and minimalist interpretations, catering to diverse tastes and preferences. Despite the evolution of styles and materials, the fundamental purpose of the dressing table remains the same: to provide a dedicated space for hairstyling, makeup application, and personal care routines.


A vanity table and a dressing table are often used interchangeably, but they can have subtle differences based on design and function.


Vanity vs. Dressing Tables


A vanity table is a piece of furniture designed specifically for personal grooming, makeup application, and hairstyling. It includes:


  • A Mirror: Often a central feature, sometimes with lights around it.

  • Drawers or Compartments: For storing makeup, brushes, and other grooming accessories.

  • Seating: Usually paired with a stool or chair for comfortable use.

  • Surface Area: Enough space to hold beauty products and tools.


Difference Between a Dressing Table and a Vanity Table

white modern vanity table with Hollywood mirror
Vanity Table

While both pieces serve similar purposes, there are a few distinctions:


Design Focus

  • Vanity Table: Primarily focused on hairstyling and makeup application. It features a mirror (sometimes with built-in lighting) and storage for cosmetics and beauty tools.

  • Dressing Table: Can be more versatile and might not always include a mirror. It’s used for general personal care and can serve as a surface for accessories, perfumes, and other personal items.


Mirror Presence

  • Vanity Table: Usually has a built-in mirror, which can be a defining feature.

  • Dressing Table: May or may not have a mirror. If it does, the mirror might be detachable or optional.

Storage Options

  • Vanity Table: Often designed with specific compartments for makeup and beauty products.

  • Dressing Table: Might have broader storage options for clothing accessories, jewellery, and general personal items.



  • Vanity Table: Specifically designed for tasks like applying makeup, hairstyling, and other beauty routines.

  • Dressing Table: Can be used for a wider range of activities, including dressing, storing personal items, and even as a small desk.


Both vanity tables and dressing tables are essential for self-care, but vanity tables are more specialized for makeup and beauty routines, featuring a mirror and specific storage for beauty products. Dressing tables offer more versatility, with broader storage options and a design that may or may not include a mirror.

If you are in doubt between vanity and dressing tables, choosing between the two depends on your specific needs and the primary functions you want the table to serve.



How to Dress your Dressing Room?

traditional beige paneled dressing room with large mirrors, vintage chandelier, large ottoman and faux fur throw

Creating a stylish and functional dressing room involves thoughtful planning and attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you dress your dressing room:

  • Choose a Theme: Start by selecting a theme or style for your dressing room. Whether it's modern, vintage, glamorous, or minimalist, having a cohesive theme will guide your decor choices and create a harmonious look.

  • Invest in Quality Furniture: Select high-quality, functional furniture pieces that complement your theme. Key items include a sturdy dressing table, comfortable stool or chair, spacious wardrobe, and storage solutions like shelves, drawers, and racks.

  • Optimal Lighting: Good lighting is essential in a dressing room. Use a combination of natural light, overhead lighting, and task lighting. Consider installing a chandelier or stylish pendant light for overall illumination, and use LED strip lights or vanity lights around the mirror for focused lighting.

  • Mirrors: Incorporate mirrors to enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of the room. A large, full-length mirror is essential, while smaller decorative mirrors can add a touch of glamour and help reflect light.

  • Organise Your Space: Keep your dressing room organised with plenty of storage solutions. Use drawer dividers, jewellery organisers, shoe racks, and baskets to keep everything in its place. A tidy space not only looks better but also makes it easier to find what you need.

dressing room with vanity table, drawers, shoe rack and make up organisers

  • Add Personal Touches: Make the space your own by adding personal touches such as framed photos, artwork, or decorative items that reflect your personality. This will make the dressing room feel more inviting and uniquely yours.

  • Comfort and Functionality: Ensure the space is comfortable and functional. Include a soft rug, cosy seating, and perhaps a small table for additional convenience. Make sure there's enough room to move around freely and access all areas easily.

modern white dressinh room with pink chair, seating bench and faux fur throw

  • Greenery and Decor: Plants make anything better. Add some greenery with indoor plants to bring life and freshness to the room. Decorate with stylish accessories like decorative trays, candles, and chic storage boxes.

scandi style white dressing room with plants

  • Accent Pieces: Consider accent pieces like a stylish ottoman or a statement chandelier to add visual interest and elevate the overall look of the room.

  • Scent and Sound: Create a pleasant ambiance with scented candles, essential oil diffusers, or a small sound system to play your favourite music while you get ready.

By following these tips, you can transform your dressing room into a beautiful, organised, and functional space that you'll love using every day. Knowing how to dress your dressing table will help you keep your beauty routine easy, exciting and fun.

How to Dress your Vanity/Dressing Table? Must-Have Accessories for Your Table Setup


Dressing your dressing table is all about combining functionality with style to create a beautiful and organised space. Here are some steps to help you achieve a well-dressed dressing table:

  • Start with a Clean Slate: Clear everything off your dressing table and give it a good clean. This will help you see the space you have to work with and start fresh.

  • Choose a Theme or Style: Decide on a theme or style that complements your room's decor. This could be modern, vintage, minimalist, glamorous, or boho.

  • Add a Mirror: A mirror is essential for a dressing table. Choose one that suits your style, whether it’s an ornate vintage mirror or a sleek, modern one. Wall-mounted or tabletop, ensure it’s positioned well for your beauty needs.

  • Lighting: Good lighting is crucial. Consider adding a stylish lamp or a lighted vanity mirror. Soft, warm lighting works well for makeup application and creates a cosy ambiance.

  • Organise with Trays and Containers: Use decorative trays, boxes, or bowls to organise smaller items like jewellery, makeup, and accessories. This keeps everything tidy and easily accessible.

jewellery organiser boxes on a dressing table

  • Add Personal Touches: Include personal items that make you happy. This could be framed photos, a small potted plant, or a favourite piece of art. These touches make the space uniquely yours.

  • Incorporate Functional Accessories: Consider adding a jewellery stand or holder, brush holders, and a few stylish storage boxes for extra items. These should complement the overall decor while keeping your essentials organized.

vanity table with make up, jewellery stand and brush holders,

  • Perfume Display: Display your perfume bottles on a pretty tray. This not only organizes them but also adds a touch of luxury to your dressing table.

perfume bottles displayed on a pretty tray

  • Use a Statement Piece: A statement piece like an elegant vase, a unique sculpture, or a stylish clock can add character to your dressing table without overwhelming the space.

  • Keep it Minimal: Avoid overcrowding your dressing table. Keep only what you need and use daily on top, and store the rest away. This keeps the area looking clean and uncluttered.

uncluttered antique style dressing room

  • Add a Comfortable Seat: Ensure you have a comfortable stool or chair that complements your table and provides a cosy spot for you to sit while you get ready.

  • Layer with Textures and Colours: Add a soft, decorative cushion to your chair, a small rug under the table, or a colourful throw to introduce texture and colour, making the space more inviting.


By following these steps, you can dress your dressing table to be both practical and visually appealing, creating a beautiful spot where you can enjoy your self-care routine.

Whether you choose a vanity or a dressing table, both serve as essential pieces of furniture that facilitate your self-care routine and looks great in your room. Understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision based on your personal needs and room decor.

Once you've selected the perfect piece, dressing your dressing room and dressing table with thoughtful organisation and stylish decor can transform them into beautiful and functional areas. From selecting a theme and incorporating good lighting to adding personal touches and keeping everything organised, these tips will help you create a space that is practical and beautiful.

By investing in the right furniture you can enjoy a peaceful and stylish environment that makes your daily routines more enjoyable. Now, it is much easier to create a dressing room that that reflects your personality and enhances your everyday life.

Visit our shop and find excellent options for solid mango wood dressing tables and dressing table stools/seating benches.