Typically, bathrooms with dressing tables are big bathrooms with custom made cabinetry. Most pre-made bathroom vanities, even larger ones, are made of solid continuous cabinets without the interruption needed to be able to sit and apply makeup comfortably. That said, there are a few workarounds if you’d like to have a permanent dressing table, but aren’t anxious to have a complete set of custom cabinetry built for the privilege.
Table Style Bathroom Vanities
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The simplest way to merge the functionality of a bathroom vanity and dressing table, especially in a small bathroom, is to opt for a table style bathroom vanity. Something like this Clarissa vanity is very basic, nixing the cabinet storage in favor of wide open leg room – a must if you want to be able to pull up a chair. This particular vanity is part of a larger collection and comes in several widths, making it a good choice for a smaller space. Although you’ll have to find some way to make up for the lack of cabinet, it’s incredibly simple to pull up a chair and use the vanity as a dressing table without any further construction.
Very Wide Vanity
Wider bathroom vanities work even better. This Lyle vanity has the same open base that makes the vanity easy to sit in front of, but offsets the sink leaves a stretch of open counter space to one side, meaning there’s a little more room to spread out hair care products, makeup, and toiletries. This vanity also has more storage in the form of a small cabinet that can be rolled out and used as seating in a pinch. Of course, this set up wouldn’t work particularly well with the mirror shown – you’d likely want a large, frameless mirror for maximum usability.
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More Traditional Cabinet Style
Though they tend to be few and far between, there are modular pre-made cabinets designed for a larger bathroom that include dressing tables. Though these are only a step or two away from custom cabinetry, because each piece is manufactured individually (only to be assembled to your specifications once it gets to your bathroom), large modular vanities can be much less expensive than the “real thing.” Sagehill Design’s extensive Cottage Retreat collection is a good example, with several configurations that allow for a bridge or makeup station between the various parts.
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Wall Mounted Vanities?
Wall mounted bathroom vanities can also be used to create a makeshift dressing table, but doing so requires some care. Because these bathroom vanities can easily be mounted at any height, it’s not terribly difficult to mount one at a height that’s both comfortable for standing and sitting. That said, this will only work with vanities that are relatively short, or that have very thin counters that extend from the main body of the vanity. Otherwise, either your knees will be bumping the bottom of the vanity, or your arms won’t comfortably rest on top while sitting.
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Build A Bridge
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For thicker wall mounted vanities, look for modular designs with pieces made to bridge two or more vanities together. Again, you’ll likely need a non-standard mirror for this to work well, but a simple bridge is a relatively inexpensive addition that can give you just enough space to sit between two larger vanities. Essentially, this creates a wide double vanity with a dressing table in the middle, without the expense of having the cabinetry custom made.
Extended Counter Tops
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As I mentioned before, wall mounted vanities with counters that extend out to one side are ideal for use as dressing tables. Something like this bronze vanity from Robern offers not only a full sized vanity for storage but, with an extended counter top, a rather roomy dressing table. And again, because wall mounted vanities can be installed at any height, they’re easily matched to your height preferences without a whole wall-length cabinet built to match.
Which of these options appeals most to you? Are you trying to add a dressing table to a smaller bathroom, or are you just looking to get a sleeker, more modern style than most custom cabinetry offers?
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