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Vanities have been popular pieces of furniture for over 100 years. Originally designed as a place for women to sit and brush out their hair at night and reposition their hair each morning, as well as to conduct other primping tasks, the vanity has an appropriate name. Typically, a vanity was a small table or dresser with an attached mirror. A vanity bench, or seat, was a separate but accompanying piece of furniture for sitting. With the advent of indoor plumbing, vanities moved out of the bedrooms and dressing rooms and became a fixture within bathrooms.
Today, vanities as separate pieces of furniture have seen somewhat of a revival, especially amongst furniture groupings for young girls. In modern bathrooms, vanity cabinets serve as a cabinet for storage and a resting place for vanity tops, which include molded sinks. This eliminates the need for a vanity bench, as a person merely stands in front of vanity for washing and primping. In larger bathrooms, a more elaborate vanity may be incorporated and provide the space for a vanity bench to be pulled up to a sitting area.
A vanity bench can be a bench with or without a back or may be simply a small chair or stool. As stand-alone pieces of furniture, vanities and the accompanying vanity bench are typically designed to match as a set. However, a vanity bench can be purchases separately to slide underneath of a vanity in a bathroom where space permits. In particularly large homes, a separate dressing area may be afforded to the homeowner where a vanity bench may serve other purposes, such as sitting down to put on stockings and shoes.
Available in a wide variety of designs, a vanity bench is typically padded and may be accented with brass or other decorative metal finish. Wood vanity benches are also available and may or may not be upholstered, though padded upholstery does provide additional comfort.
As accent pieces of furniture, a vanity and vanity bench add a touch of classic, feminine elegance to a bedroom. They are popular accent pieces for little girls’ rooms and create a place where they can sit and play dress up. In older teen girls’ rooms, they provide a place to sit and apply makeup and style hair away from the bathroom, which may be a commodity space in a home with more than one teenager.
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