When I was a young girl, my best friend Donna lived down the road from my grandparents’ house. I often stopped to play with Donna and her brother Eldon before finishing my walk from school. If the weather was cold or rainy, we went upstairs to her bedroom, a room at the top of the stairs, where she had the most wonderful girly thing a girl could ever want: a vanity. It was a real wood vanity, with drawers on both sides, and a large mirror in the center, where she could brush her hair and put on makeup when she got older. I fell in love with it and with the idea of having a vanity.
When I added on my master bedroom her six years ago, I made sure the room was big enough for this life-long desire of mine. A real vanity like Donna had is no longer available, but I decided I would not let that stop me. I went looking for what I wanted at an unfinished wood furniture store. Here are the things I wanted, and got, for my dream makeup and pampering station. If you want this, too, you can have it, but plan for it according to your needs and habits.
- 1. Plenty of storage. I bought a double pedestal desk, with seven drawers in it. I have three shallow drawers, two in each pedestal, and one in the center. A drawer about eight inches deep is below each of those in the pedestal. Finally, I have a deep drawer at the base of each pedestal, giving me seven drawers to stock all of my beauty supplies inside of that desk.
- The top right drawer has all of my cosmetics in it.
- The next drawer down holds manicure and pedicure supplies, except for nail polishes, which rest on an old-fashioned, mirrored tray on the desk top.
- The bottom drawer holds a paraffin wax kit and a hot wax hair removal kit.
- I have assorted towels, cotton balls, makeup remover, and more.
- The left side of the desk holds hair tools and supplies, jewelry cleaners, and my collection of vintage ladies’ handkerchiefs.
- 2. Classic appeal. The desk is of solid pine, like my two large dressers bought at the same place, and finished and stained to match them, including matching knobs. It is a traditional country look, but in a modern, light finish, a sort of blond wood finish.
- 3. A wonderful mirror. Before I ever had the room for the desk, I had bought an oval mirror, in a wood frame that tilts to the exact angle I want. The wood frame has wood leaf and scrolls applied as embellishments, giving it a decidedly feminine look. The frame rests on a base, a single piece of wood that connects to two small drawer boxes, one on each side of the mirror. They hold small beauty supplies: lip balms on one side, tweezers and pedicure clippers on the other side. Atop each drawer I have rested small sweet music boxes.
- 4. A comfortable chair with a back, not a bench. I have a small wooden desk chair with a curved back and a cushion on it for comfort. The furniture store finished it to match my other furniture, and it completes the classic bright look I wanted.
- 5. Good lighting. I have a pair of lovely lamps, “boudoir” lamps, one on each side of the oval mirror. They provide plenty of good light; the shades are glass globes, which allow for daylight quality light, any time of day.
I do my makeup and hair at this vanity every day and have since I bought it six years ago. It reminds me of a gentler age, where ladies took their time to get ready to go out, and pampered themselves, instead of rushing to do others’ bidding. A former friend denounced me as an elitist for wanting this vanity. “Why can’t you put your makeup on in front of the bathroom mirror, just like every other woman in America?” She was incensed because she thought I was “putting on airs,” and thought I was better than others. I just had a dream, and I fulfilled it. Sometimes, a little girl’s dream can come true. It’s never too late to make yours come true, I have found.