Tips & trends

Coiffeuse mon amour

The French call it "coiffeuse" or "bonheur du jour"; also known as the "vanity", the dressing table (a piece of furniture which originated in the 18th century) is now coming back into fashion, and this is a trend spreading not only inside the home, but also in the hospitality sector.

It already happened in the 1950s, when the elegant vanity of Gio Ponti furnished the rooms of the Royal Continental Hotel in Naples. And it is so lately: the search for furnishings which convey an intimate mood is strongly influencing the interior decoration of contemporary hotels, from the most modern to the increasingly sought after “vintage style” hotels. Luxurious and functional at the same time, the dressing table undoubtedly remains a much loved piece among interior designers, and this comes from its capacity to evoke the welcoming atmosphere of a home, even in spaces where one stays briefly.

On the one side, the attention for the vintage models of the dressing table is rekindled, since so many masters of design dealt with this type of furniture internationally and in Italy — Gio Ponti, Ico Parisi and Paolo Buffa —, just to name a few. On the other side, as a result of the vintage boom, numerous design brands are now launching new models of vanities, from the most essential to the retro-inspired pieces. In auctions, some Art déco dressing tables, signed by important French designers such as Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, can even reach 200,000 euros. In 2018, the coiffeuse that furnished the suite of Coco Chanel at the Ritz Hotel in Paris was sold for 182,000 euros in a dedicated sale at parisian auction house Artcurial.

In the contemporary home, what fascinates about the vanity is the idea of owning a piece of furniture that, while being perfect for displaying objects, perfumes or beauty products, also represents a moment to dedicate to oneself, to take care of one's body and appearance. If, on top of it, it is a vintage dressing table, then it will also be a unique piece. No longer confined to the female sphere (think of how many products nowadays are dedicated to the man who takes care of his own well-being and look), the perfect location for the vanity is usually the bedroom. But it is very common to find one in the closet area, as well as in the bathroom, which is becoming a room to all effects, an area to personalize with distinctive furniture; a bit like some charming English bathrooms of the Edwardian era, welcoming and cared for, just like all the other rooms in the home.