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10 dressing table ideas for Insta-ready moments

The girls who get it, get it. Having a dressing table is a time and hassle saver when it comes to getting ready in the morning and storing a million and one different beauty products (because they all do slightly different things). It can be a struggle styling a dressing table to get that Insta-perfect look though, so check out these 10 ideas for some inspiration.

A modern style glass dressing table with an large ornate sun shaped mirror hung on the wall and a rattan accent chair with a beige linen cushion  

1. Where should a dressing table be placed in a bedroom?

The best place for a dressing table is ideally in front of a window so you get optimal natural lighting when prepping and preening for the day. If that’s not an option, make use of an awkward corner or empty wall by turning it into a dedicated beauty space.

A luxurious mirrored rectangular dressing table with a small circular wall mirror with a large golden flower shaped frame and a faux fur stool with a happy pug lying on it  

2. How to choose a seat for your dressing table

The seating you choose will help balance out the width of the table and the size of your mirror, so it’s important to think stylistically as well as in terms of comfort. An accent chair or dining chair will give you more back support, but are bulkier and can be harder to navigate in smaller spaces. Upholstered accent stools or storage ottomans are great for tucking away when not in use and being comfortable enough to sit on for the amount of time it takes to get yourself ready. To amp up the glamour factor, go for velvet, faux fur or leather seating and black or gold metal accents. Choose a complementary colour to the dressing table for an understated and visually flowing look, or use a contrasting colour for maximum impact and wow factor. 

A timber and rattan dressing table with a wood framed arch mirror hanging on the wall, a small wase of flowers and personal items on top with a rough hewn timber stool  

3. Finding the right mirror

This is the space where you want to have a bit of vanity. Whether you pick a dressing table that has a mirror included or you go for an alternative table option with a separate mirror, making sure it’s the right shape and size to meet your needs is crucial. In general, your dressing table mirror should be between half and two thirds of the length of the tabletop and should sit high enough for you to see your face and hair completely. Clean lines and solid shapes, whether that be rectangular, round or arched, work well in contemporary and minimalist spaces, whereas themed rooms, like Victorian, boho or Hamptons, will benefit from a decorative mirror with an interesting shape and detailing on the frame. 

A bclassic bedroom with a art deco style shite and black dressing table with drawers and decorative boxes on top with no mirror and a large blue and beige abstract painting on the wall  

4. What makes a good dressing table?

It goes without saying that storage is an important feature of a dressing table. If you’re a skincare expert, it’s serums and creams galore. The makeup gurus will need ample space for palettes and bottles. Hair aficionados know how bulky devices and brushes can get. Keeping your items stored efficiently will give you a more calming experience and streamline your routine. Look for dressing tables with drawers to start and employ drawer dividers to categorise your bits and pieces. Bigger items can be tucked away into boxes and baskets underneath or next to your dressing table so they’re still within arm’s reach. 

A boxy black dressing table with Hollywood-style lightbulbs around the built-in mirror  

5. How to light your dressing table

If placing your dressing table near a natural light source isn’t an option, or you need to be able to make full use of it when the sun goes down, you’ll need the right lighting to have you looking your best. Some dressing tables may have Hollywood lighting around the mirror included, but if that’s not your style, try to recreate this lighting technique as closely as possible. You can use linear wall sconces, picture lightsbathroom lighting, LED strip lights or a mixture of table and floor lamps to achieve this.

A vintage style cream dressing table with ornate legs and a wood and upholstered stool  

6. What do you put on top of a dressing table?

Less is more here. Keeping the top of your dressing table clear and free of clutter not only looks more sophisticated but gives you ample surface area to spread out your products when you’re using them. If you’re using lamps for lighting, place one at either end of the table for optimal lighting and symmetry, or have one to one side and a gorgeous vase or tasteful statue or ornament at the other end. You may even want to incorporate a small stack of your favourite books to add height and create a vignette. There’s definitely room to include pieces that bring out your personality, but curate them carefully and keep them to a minimum.

A close up of a square terrazo tray with perfume lipstick and two nail polish bottles on it next to a ceramic vase and eyeshadow palette on a wooden dressing table  

7. Making your organisation work for your style

You can easily keep your tabletop neat and organised while still adding stylish flair. Use decorative bowls and trays to display your go-to items, like favourite lipsticks or your daily jewellery. If you’re a fan of switching up your look, opt for a beautiful jewellery box so your precious pieces don’t get tangled up and you can easily see everything. Small boxes are also useful for any regularly used items that you may want to keep out of sight, like lip balm or hair clips. Jars and toothbrush holders are a great option for containing makeup brushes so that they maintain their shape. 

A 1920s style silver dressing table with a black and white artwork of a woman in a leopard print dress leaning against the wall, a jar of makeup brushes and vase of flowers on the table and a faux fur toppede stool with a silver tray filled with perfume bottles on it  

8. Curate your collections

A collection of similar items can create a sense of luxury, so show off your beautiful perfume bottles or crystal facial tools. Style them in groups of three to five (remember, less is more) and try to pick items that have commonalities like colours, shapes or materials. Choose these based on the style of your space, so your tablescape doesn’t become jarring, and play with height to add visual flow to the room. 

A bright minimalist medroom with a white desk and white leather desk chair with a small round mirror, an adjustable lamp attached to the wall and a shelf above the desk  

9. Extend your styling upwards

Dressing tables are meant to be sat at, so depending on how tall your mirror is, they can leave a fair bit of empty wall space above them. Incorporating a piece or multiple pieces of wall art to the side or above your mirror can stop the space from feeling a little short and stumpy. You can also add wall shelving above your mirror which gives you the added bonus of extra storage and can be beautifully styled with faux plants or flowers and your favourite items. You can also add visual interest with wallpaper to really make your dressing area pop.

A bedroom with a tall wooden chest of drawers with a large pot holding dried leaves and various personal items like jewellery perfume and a hairbrush on top with a round wooden framed mirror hanging on the wall  

10. Don’t be afraid of using multifunctional pieces

You’re not limited to dressing tables to make a dressing table area. Use a desk and make it a multipurpose space with a mirror that you can easily put away between uses. If you don’t spend that much time in front of the mirror, just add it to the top of your chest of drawers, utilising the top drawers for makeup, skincare and haircare storage and the rest for clothing. A console table can also work well if you don’t need as much storage space, and a sideboard is ideal if you need much more. You can even convert a bar cart into a roving dressing table so you can take it wherever the lighting is best and pack it away neatly when you're done!
Bridgette Sulicich 26 May, 2022

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