A little vanity never hurts… Watch a teen flick from the 1980s, and you just might catch a glimpse of a dressing table–or vanity–in the background, packed with knickknacks and collectibles. Mirror80 made a go of it using finds from Goodwill, Savers and a local antique mall. Total cost: roughly $25.
’80s Vanities Had…
The ’80s had great design moments, and small tabletop collectibles were mini-canvases for bold color, geometric patterns and interesting forms. Items likely to appear on vanity tabletops of the 1980s:
- perfume bottles with sweeping curves and geometric flair
- ceramic or crystal decorative swans
- vases featuring ’80s-popular flowers such as irises and lilies
- mirrors, mirrors, mirrors
This vanity taps into the Art Deco revival of the ’80s–many decorative items from the decade took on curvy and angular forms with abit of glitz sprinkled in for good measure.
Create Your Own ’80s Vanity
Now it’s your turn! To relive the past, go for the kitsch factor or bring a little ’80s Deco into your primping time:
- Collect pieces from thrift shops and garage sales. The antique mall is a great place to find multiples of items such as perfume bottles, as some dealers specialize in beauty and grooming items.
- Don’t be too quick to pass over an item that at first glance might seem tacky. Take a second look. If it grabbed you, perhaps something there is worth displaying.
- Any tabletop space can be converted into a “vanity.” If you don’t have a grooming table of your own, a counter or dresser top can pull double duty.
- To let pieces speak for themselves, pick a few strong items rather than packing a dressing tabletop with clutter.
- If the space feels saturated with color but there’s still room for other items, adding glass pieces–such as the Gloria Vanderbilt swan pictured to the right–puts the focus on form, breaking up intensity of hue with its neutrality.
- For the pastel-averse, there are plenty of shiny finds that aren’t candy-colored. Black and cream can tone down pastels or make one soft hue like peach take center stage.
Have fun arranging your finds. This is your space–dress it up!
Love it! I really like the crystalswan! Im always on the hunt for a mirrorpiedestal or mirrorcube. The one's I have found in thriftstore's haven't been in good shape. Thanks for the inspiration!
I am also on the lookout for mirrored pedestals and cubes : – ) You're right–the good ones aren't easy to find! There's a used furniture store here that had a mirrored cube for sale a couple of years ago (before I was looking for one of my own)! If only I'd snapped it up then!