solid wood vanity table

History Of The Vanity

Since the beginning of civilization, our furniture has been designed with the purpose of meeting not only our practical needs but also to suit fashion and social trends. As our society changes, the furniture that we need to accommodate our habits changes with it. Like many other classic pieces, vanities can be dated back thousands of years, and while styles have changed, these are still utilized today. In fact, vintage vanities are still revered today as the favorite piece of furniture in the room. With intricate designs and eye catching woodwork, these accent pieces are making a comeback in our modern day homes!

What’s in a Name?

The “vanity” was given its name based on its actual purpose: to give people, historically women, a place to improve their appearance. Every historical culture has had some sort of fashion or beauty standard that people have tried to maintain. From the pilgrims focusing on a heightened sense of modesty to Hollywood starlets getting glammed up, individuals have always taken extra care of how they present themselves which is what inspired the earliest versions of what we now call the vanity. 

Where It Started…

Today, in addition to having a cabinet and drawers dedicated to beauty products, many people also carry several products with them throughout the day. The care and storage of beauty products is not new to our visually focused culture. It actually dates back before ancient Egyptian culture. At that time, highly valued oils, eye liners, and different colored forms of makeup were stored safely in specially designed boxes. Fast forward several hundred years, and people began making “getting ready” a social hour that they spent together. 

Seventeenth century high society individuals had a very high standard for their appearance. So much so that eventually one trusted adviser to the king, Madame de Pompadour, became so frustrated with the time it was taking to get ready each day, that she commissioned a design for a piece of furniture at which she could sit and accomplish all of her daily routine. This newly designed table was a work of art with intricate carving work and was topped off with a mirror installed. This vanity or “dressing table” became a staple in every bedroom for centuries to come. 

Through the Years

The vanity can now be found in almost any style, color, or size. Different decades have highlighted specific styles through the years, and the vanity will continue to make its way into homes for years to come. Whether you want an extravagant focal point for a room that makes you feel like a socialite in your drawing room with several side drawers and full size mirror or you want an ornate desktop that fits discreetly in your bedroom, vanities are just as fashionable as they are practical! Recently, beautiful authentically handcrafted wood works of art have become common in everyday homes once again, and we welcome them with open arms and hope they are here to stay! 

Looking for the perfect vanity to complement your bedroom? Visit Amish Oak in Texas, a furniture store in San Antonio and New Braunfels, to see our wide variety of handcrafted, solid wood Amish furniture. We’re always happy to help you find the perfect piece!

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