My Dressing Table...deconstructed

'Woman reading at a Dressing Table
by Henri Matisse, 1919

I want to send a big heartfelt thanks to the many kind comments on my last post.
I really and truly and sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Speaking of heart...
I have had a fascinations with dressing tables...ever since I received
my first at the age of ten in 1967. My mother and father chose well
as the notion of having a dressing table has stayed with me ever since.

Christmas 1967 and my first dressing table.

I have to be dressing tables have not been very glamorous
over the years and  I wouldn't say I am the frilly, ruffly type.
I love looking at them but I have something else in mind.


I am fasincated by dressing tables.
They can say so much about a person. 


My dressing tables have come in all shapes and sizes over the years.
some built in..most free standing. Space has often been at a premium so I have 
made do with what I could. I have been looking for just the right table
but it has eluded me. I know what I want but finding it has been difficult.


I consider a few things when placing my dressing table. Good lighting is essential.
I look for natural light near or in front of a window...with a view. This is often
where I start my day. Make-up, hair styling, jewellery..the lighting has to be just right.


I  also like to find a spot that is dressing table sits in the master bedroom, 
a room where I know I can go if I need time to myself. The kids know that if
Mom is in there with the door closed, she needs 'time out'. I like my 'time outs'.


As many of you know, we are expats, travelling nomads of sorts
ready to embark on another adventure. I travelled to Vietnam in 
April to have a look at our next home. I breathed a sigh of a relief
as I passed through the master bedroom. For in it sits a window,
with good light and a view of a garden. :)

With that in mind....
Mr. H and I were doing a bit of antiquing yesterday. He wanted
to see my favourite haunts and I was only to happy to oblige.
When I spotted this dressing table in the corner of the room
I could hear him thinking out loud... 'oh dear'.

 Have you ever come across furniture that was calling your name?
This thought quickly came to mind as I glanced upon this dressing table.
It spoke to me loud and clear. 

Dressing table speaking to me...

Weathered, worn and matter. Behind every cloud there is a silver lining.
When the dealer told me the price, I did not even bargain. I was too excited.
My expectations were much higher. I paid for it as quickly as I could 
and left with an extra skip in my step.

It has draws and secret hiding places. I love secret hiding places.
Best of all, under the skirting I found this label
from Peter Jones of Sloane Square.
Purchased September 7, 1964 by Mrs. R Shaw.
Three years before my first dressing table. 
It was a sign!

I have a plan.
When we move to Vietnam, I am going to take my time 
and find just the right fabric and accents.
 If it were in better shape, I would leave it as is.
Just my style.

Speaking of style, some of you may remember my travelling chaise?
Mr. H spotted this umbrella yesterday and now I am thinking....

I really need to stop procrastinating and get back to work!

Before I go, a few of my haunts...

77 Bridge Road
East Molesey, KT8 9HH

29 Bridge Road
East Molesey, KT3 9ER

41-43 Parsons Green Lane
London SW6 4HH


  1. Another delightful post, Jeanne. My grandmother had a dressing table which enchanted me as a child. I have never had one. Now you have me pondering...But what a fabulous find you made! I am so delighted for you. I can't wait to see what vibrant silks you might choose in Vietnam ☺. J x

  2. Oh my goodness! I LOVE it! And I do believe it will be really perfect for your new home. What color is the laquer would you say? What fun you are going to have customizing her with wonderful Vietnamese fabrics!!

    My dressing table is currently out of commission as its chair (the only one I have of the right height seemed to have lost its bottom--oops! So I am extra happy for you, plus--the inside! The demi-lune shelf on the inner door just waiting for perfume!

    It is good to be girly, isn't it?

    1. Yes...I will admit Heather, a bit of girly is good for the soul. :)

  3. Great, great find Jeanne... and I have to say I just love it as it is... xv

    1. Agree Vicki...I don't think anyone has touched it since 1964. The front is ok...but the back is in tatters. I will wait till I settle to see how much I can restore. I will keep the same those! :)

  4. What a great post! My dressing table is in the 'sad' state and needs a definite overhaul. However, I can't imagine life without it. My base! Lovely thank you!

    Cynthia, The Daily

  5. what a great find!Definitely no room for a dressing table in my room, but someday!

  6. What a beautiful was there to make your next transition happier. I agree on lighting, I always add windows to any dressing table area in houses I design, otherwise we might get too heavy-handed with the make-up. It is so lovely to sit while doing those vanity things like make-up and hair. So much more civilized and organized than standing at a bathroom sink. XO

  7. Wonderful find Jeanne, and with the label still on! I'm feeling so excited for you about to set off to such an exotic destination, what fun it will be to settle in and recreate your new home

  8. Jeanne,

    What a wonderful post! I love the photo of you with your first dressing table! So many happy memories! The dressing table is fabulous. I cannot wait to see what fabric you pick to go in your new space.

    Your chaise looks great and the are on to something!

    How is the packing? Is Mr. H being helpful? Have you "found" some wonderful treasures while packing?

    Enjoy your time with Mr. H and your remaining time in England!

    Thank you for taking us along on your adventures.

    Oh, how are the girls doing on their trip? Having fun?

    Take care, hugs Elizabeth

    1. Hi Elizabeth...packing is coming along..finding lots to distract me. :) Mr. H has been hard at work, a blessing in disguise that he came home when he did. Treasures galore...I just have to stop myself from looking at them all. As for the girls...they are sailing around the greek islands as I type...I imagine they are having a great time. Remember those days?? :)

  9. Hi Jeanne,
    A delightful post.
    I just know the dressing table is going to be wonderful once you have given it a little TLC!
    I always felt so grown up sitting at my Mums dressing table. These days, always in a hurry, I dont sit down for long at mine.
    Hope you have a lovely day,

  10. Thank you Jeanne for a lovely post... it also got me thinking to my first dressing-table... I was 9 years old and it was also of the kidney shape variety. I often imagine having another with beautifully smocked silk - richly gathered as the skirt, and a beautiful intricate silver standing mirror on the top! You have inspired me to look for one (I have used my bathroom vanity for the past years)... and perhaps the smocked silk will still be a possibility! Love, Jenny xoxo

  11. How delightful. I have never had a real dressing table - not one you can sit at, at least. I think the one you found is just right for you.

  12. Hello Jeanne

    I don't imagine it is common for young girls to ask for a dressing table at such a tender age.

    you purchase is absolutely beautiful and also functional.

    Enjoy your week


  13. I can just see it with some fabulous textile you find in it's skirt...don't you need to find the perfect chair as well?

  14. This was certainly fate...a great purchase to go with you on your latest venture. Can hardly wait to see its new home and life!! Happy Wednesday ~

  15. I could almost feel your excitement when you glimpsed the label. What a happy post. I love hearing about serendipitous moments!
    Leslie @ Gwen Moss blog

  16. Jeanne, I absolutely LOVE your dressing table! Can you just imagine who owned it, and what kind of life it had? I can't wait to see what you're going to do with it. Good for you!

  17. Jeanne I love that photo of you and your first dressing table and I LOVE your latest acquisition. I hope somewhere down the line you post it's make over.


    How do you get the reply facility on your comments, I have been trying to figure it out for a while now but am not having much luck!

  18. Yes! I do believe certain items call for us to travel to where they are and buy can't all be coincidence ;) I remember my great-grandmother's but I don't know where it ended up...this dressing table is wonderful, Jeanne.

  19. Hello Jeanne,

    I hope you at having a great weekend! Hopefully the packing and moving is not getting to overwhelming.

    Take care, elizabeth

  20. I really like home made furniture, but I do not have the equipment or time to make it. I found this company that make it easy to create bespoke furniture. And they provide good services.
    Oak Dressers


Post a Comment

Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you...

Popular Posts