100 years of Dressing Tables

Dressing tables can be traced back to as early as the 17th century, but they didn’t much resemble a modern dressing table.  Cabinet makers had started getting creative, crafting elaborate tables with folding tops, basin drawers, drawers for razors and combs, a separate compartment for toothbrushes and a place for powder boxes. Dressing tables have since developed and now characteristically have a large mirror and sometimes a matching stool. In the last 100 years the design of the dressing table has developed, following the trends of the era’s.

1910 Dressing Table

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Kidney shaped dressing tables and tables came about in the 1800’s. At this time it also became popular to veneer furniture with expensive woods, the finest being burr walnut.

1920’s Dressing Table

Credit: 'Cirencester' dressing table, designed in 1925 and made by F. Shilton in 1927 (walnut wood with yew and ebony banding), Russell, Sir Gordon (1892-1980) / Private Collection / Photo © The Fine Art Society, London, UK / The Bridgeman Art Library

Credit: ‘Cirencester’ dressing table, designed in 1925 and made by F. Shilton in 1927 (walnut wood with yew and ebony banding), Russell, Sir Gordon (1892-1980) / Private Collection / Photo © The Fine Art Society, London, UK / The Bridgeman Art Library

This 1920’s dressing table has an unusual tall swing mirror design and demonstrates furniture makers expanding creativity with dressing table design.

1930’s Dressing Table

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 Art deco began to flourish in the 1930’s and this can be seen in the dressing tables of this period and beyond. Art Deco style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation. The above dressing table displays exotic veneering in maccasar with checkered banding and maple wood friezes.

1940’s Dressing Table

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During the 1940’s the bold art deco designs continued. This 1940’s dressing table has a beautiful large circular mirror.

1950’s Dressing Table

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This Alfred Cox 1950’s dressing table was crafted from satin walnut, another fashionable wood for dressing tables. It was at this time that G- plan furniture became very popular and dressing tables in this style were very sought after.

1960’s Dressing Table

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The G plan and Art Deco shapes developed to create interesting new designs.

1970’s Dressing Table

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This stunning 1970’s dressing table shows creativity and ingenuity.

1980’s Dressing Table

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Pine furniture boomed in the 1980’s and with it so did pine dressing tables. People were looking for quick and easy ways to make affordable furniture, so at this time unfortunately style was sacrificed.

1990’s Dressing Tables

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In the 1990’s designers created dressing tables in different colours. Simple and sleek designs were popular.

MODERN DAY DRESSING TABLES

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Today dressing tables are harking back to the Victorian style and influenced by French country furniture. Carved detail, cabriole legs and trinket drawers add a historical touch to modern vintage style dressing tables.

Designers are experimenting with colour creating quirky silver dressing tables and girly pink dressing tables.

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