The first time I ever had a vanity in my room was my first apartment in college. Luck was on my side because I drew the big straw (literally) and got to pick the biggest room with a BUILT-IN vanity. I tried to find a picture of it but I wasn’t as good at taking photos (or backing up my computer) back in 2007. Actually, I’m still bad at backing up my laptop… Anyway, the feeling of adult womanhood washed over me like a delicate spritz of an expensive perfume the moment it was officially mine. I pictured how elegant and grown I would feel sitting on a vintage stool in front of my vanity mirror while probably wearing something like a long silk robe. Can you tell I was a theatre major with this scene I created??? Not sure if it was the movies, the musicals, or the older women in my life that created this huge imprint but regardless of the influence, it was real and I am still under it. However, I’m not alone… Gen Z wants in too.
When Julie refreshed 17-year-old Grace’s bedroom (above), one of Grace’s main requests was that there was a vanity. Since Julie likes to make her clients happy she did her one better by making it a vanity/desk since ya know, dumb homework. Then as I was pursuing the internet this past week, I noticed that Urban Outfitters was STOCKED with tons of vanity options. My conclusion, given these two strong pieces of intel, Gen Z wants in on vanities. Like me, as a 19-year-old yearning to be grown, they are likely feeling the same. But instead of its primary purpose to be a place to become “perfect” looking (ie giving Marvelous Mrs. Maisel vibes), now it’s more about self-care. This is the way it should be, right?
If you were anything like us gals at EHD, you went kinda deep into the skincare life during quarantine. Actually, creating a solid routine was one of my proudest achievements since washing my face daily was only a 50/50 probability pre-covid. Look, some of us are late bloomers. But I seriously fell in love with the gentle, slow care I did for my face. And it’s something I don’t want to lose just because life is getting busy again and I have a tendency to put myself last. I really think sitting down (after you wash your face) is crucial for ease, enjoyment, and ultimately, consistency… at least for me (a certified sitting lover).
You may remember seeing that I had a built-in vanity in my last apartment. It was a HUGE perk and is probably what made me say “I’ll take it!” three minutes are stepping inside. I thought, “FINALLY, after 10 years sans vanity, I’m back baby!” Well, that was until I moved. There are about 1000 things I love about my new apartment but having a built-in vanity isn’t one of them. And obviously, that’s totally ok… we’ll it’s mainly ok since I can probably fit a free-standing one in my bathroom. Let me show you…
This is the current state of my bathroom. It’s ummm, fine for now. Actually, that’s Emily’s “paint can riser” desk from waaaay back in April of 2020. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go here for a good laugh. Anyway, I was going to use it for a potential sponsored thing that ended up shifting its focus but I still had the table and Em didn’t want it back. Since I had a lack of sink counter space for when I wanted to do my skincare routine or put on makeup, I thought I’d see if it fit between my sink and toilet. As you can see it did. While definitely not the right scale, it’s been SO nice to have to set things on. But boy do I want a vanity where I can sit down. I promise I stand and walk too!
I honestly wasn’t even looking for one yet but then I came across this AWESOME vintage set for under $400! It’s in northern California but my dad lives up there:) I quickly started to craft my “Hey dad, best guy in the world. Could you maybe, possibly pick up this vanity set for me???” Luckily for him, size-wise it wasn’t going to work given that the mirror would’ve covered the air conditioner vent. It’s the only ac unit in the whole apartment. I actually need it. So despite the heartbreak, I got the urge to see what’s on the market in case something jumped out at me and/or in case any of you could use a self-care vanity of your own. Here’s what I found…
Let’s start with a good ole wooden vanity. Wood will always bring in texture and warmth to a space. And especially in a bathroom filled with tile that could be really nice, right? But also remember vanities can absolutely go in bedrooms if your bathroom doesn’t have “vanity square footage”.
1. Wood and Metal Vanity | 2. Composed Vanity II by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio | 3. Marte Vanity | 4. William Vanity | 5. Linnea Vanity | 6. 21st Century American Walnut Veneer Vanity Desk with Mirror | 7. Loren Vanity Set | 8. Mcmaster Solid Wood Desk | 9. Caroline Rattan Vanity
If me loving #1 isn’t enough to convince it’s great, it’s also one of Jeremiah Brent’s picks of the Studio 3B collection. Juuuust saying. Now if you have a bigger budget #2 is well, perfect (?). I love how simple yet interesting and functional but beautiful it is. It also comes in a natural wood so you have options. Oof, I wish it could work for me. But truly I really like all of these…which is why I picked them:)
If you really want to go modern to either contrast your bathroom’s (or bedroom’s) style or keep the modern look going strong then here are some great options.
1. Chloé Vanity Desk Design By Emmanuel Gallina | 2. Blaire Classic Vanity Desk Set | 3. Grubbs Vanity with Mirror | 4. Williams Bedroom Vanity with Mirror | 5. Wall Mounted Heavy Duty Folding Dressing Table | 6. Mid-Century Vanity Desk Set | 7. Sonnet Storage Vanity Desk | 8. Mangino Vanity Set with Stool and Mirror | 9. Charlette Vanity
Of course #1 (the most expensive) is really speaking to me but for under $300, I love number #9. But if storage is what you need (and after “the great skincare product testing of 2020” a lot of us do) #5, #6, and #7 look like they can hold a lot.
But it’s always a good (and sustainable) idea to check out if there are any vintage options that might be perfect. Plus these vanities have seen a lot and deserve a second life to be there for a new generation of people wanting to take a little extra time for themselves…while sitting.
1. Antique Art Deco Veneered Vanity With Mirror | 2. Vintage Woman’s Vanity with Mirrored Panels | 3. Mid Century Vanity by Meredew Furniture Teak | 4. Midcentury Modern Birch Wood Veneer on Black Legs Vintage Dressing Table | 5. Danish Teak Vanity Desk | 6. Danish Art Deco Vanity Desk with Tri-Folding Mirror | 7. Vanity Desk Dressing Table | 8. Mid-Century Scandinavian Teak Vanity | 9. Mid Century Modern Danish Teak Vanity Table
I’m personally most drawn to #2 and #9 but I feel like #1 has Caitlin’s name written alllll over it. You’ll get what I mean if you read this post. But honestly, check out your local thrift and consignment shops. I always see vanities so you might just find your perfect match.
Not all of us can have a vanity. If only. Space can be a real jerk in this department. All you want to do is sit down and put on your eye cream like the luxurious person you are! But if you grab a tabletop mirror, any table or desk can become a temporary vanity.
1. Tabletop Vanity Mirror | 2. Modo Vanity Mirror | 3. Antique Shaving Stand | 4. Wooden Swivel Mirror | 5. Coraline Vanity Mirror | 6. Metal Vanity Flip Mirror with Tray Black | 7. Pond Table Mirror | 8. Vintage Mirror | 9. Harper Tabletop Vanity Mirror
Is it any surprise that I LOVE #1?? It’s so good. Please, someone, buy it and tell me how good it is in person. Modern elegance. But on the other hand, I am totally charmed by #3. What a cutie. But #2, #5, and #6 are great since they have little trays things like jewelry.
So what do y’all think? Do you have similar feelings toward having a vanity table? Do you have one and love it? Are you not down and prefer to stand up while doing all your routines? If you are a parent to a Gen Zer, do they have or want one? Fun Fact: Emily is planning to get one for her closet in the farmhouse. I can’t wait to see what she chooses!
Love you, mean it.
Opening Image Credits: Design by Jess Bunge (me!) | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Makeover Takeover: Jess’ Long Awaited (Small Space) Living Room Reveal