The vanity table as we know it today dates back to 17th-century Europe, I recently learned thanks to an awesome exhibition at the Met (Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table). While there's sometimes a fine line between desk and dressing table, they're best appreciated when not used to multitask, but as a place of indulgence, even if your grooming routine takes all of five minutes. Hollywood's Golden Age beauties didn't rush brushing their hair, moisturizing, or applying perfume. For me, sitting at a vanity seems to evoke that time, but will bring alive whatever your ideal glamour era may be. Sit back and time travel through a roundup of gorgeous vanities, vintage to present-day.
Katherine Cotter is an NYC-based home and garden consultant.