Small Dressing Table Ideas

My flat is currently in the middle of a huge overhaul in terms of decor and layout. (ETA: I’ve since moved to a new house and you can see my new dressing table set up here). It’s a one bedroom flat on two floors (and technically a maisonette rather than a flat, as it has its own outside entrance, which is on the first floor of my block). Upstairs contains only the bedroom, and downstairs a lounge, bathroom, small hallway and kitchen. The flat was originally a mezzanine/gallery style. The bedroom had only a half height wall around it and you could look over into the lounge below. This gives incredible height to the that room.

When Sean moved in with me a year ago, being the handy person he is, he transformed the flat by building the mezzanine wall right up to the ceiling, effectively closing in the bedroom and separating it off from the rest of the flat. He put a door on, so now you walk up the stairs into the bedroom and can go in and close the door behind you.

The reasons we did this were for privacy mainly. When I lived there alone and had friends round or to stay over, they would sleep on the sofabed in the lounge. I would be upstairs, and it was fun as we could still talk to each other. With Sean now living with me, it’s not very practical to be pretty much all sharing the same space when people come over. The other reason was for soundproofing. When the TV was on in the lounge, you were listening to it in the bedroom whether you liked it or not.

We did some other quick changes to enable Sean to have room to move his things in (amazing how much ‘stuff’ I had and had managed to fill up the entire flat with). One of these was moving my dressing table into a small alcove in the bedroom, putting up a little mirror and shoving a set of drawers underneath it. Sean put up some lights for me and a little shelf, and we left it at that. The plan was to move house soon anyway so it was a temporary solution, and it’s really not all that bad. however, we’re not likely to move for at least a couple of years, so are looking at ways to make the space we are in more comfortable and to our liking. This is how my dressing table looks at the moment (excuse the mess):

dressing Tables

I have an IKEA Malm dressing table (it was a light wood colour which I painted white), and some small Malm drawers underneath (also painted white). I also have a cheap stool, a mirror with a glass shelf attached. There’s a birdcage jewellery holder attached to the wall and some little shelves to the side. All my makeup is in the big dressing table drawer, and my spare (backup) toiletries are in the little drawers. My hairdryer plugs into the extension which is screwed on to the inside of the dressing table leg. When not in use I hide it away in a drawer.

It’s fairly functional with the only main issues being lack of space (I am a naturally messy person and things get pretty clogged up on the dresser top very quickly!) and the artificial lights. Now we are renovating downstairs quite a lot, we have decided to eventually turn our attention to the bedroom. Now this has me very, very excited. I have spent most of today looking at Pinterest for small dressing table ideas and makeup storage tips. Here are some of my favourite inspirational images:

The first step (if I keep my Malm dressing table) is to get a glass top for it. I am not sure why I threw mine out, as I did have one once. The white top gets so dirty from toiletries and makeup being spilled, so looking back this was a mistake. I’ll also need to get some proper drawer dividers for my makeup. Mine are currently in Tupperware-style tubs which slide around when I open it up.

Another option is to replace it altogether for something newer with more inbuilt storage. The Malm drawers sitting under mine at the moment just don’t do it for me in terms of aesthetics. I also love the idea of these traditional Hollywood-style dressing table spotlights. They just look so glamorous.

I do love the idea of propping a large mirror up against the wall though, giving a nice vintage look.

The Muji acrylic drawers and dividers are all over the place in almost every dressing table snap I see. While it may not be original, I’m veering towards getting some of these because they just look so nice!

I would also love somewhere that showcases my nail polish.

We are yet to decide on the colour scheme for the bedroom. Every bit of furniture at the moment is white, including the bed, and the walls are good ol’ Magnolia. I like it but I’m not averse to changing it up a bit.

I also need to figure out how to store my jewellery. Watch this space for developments in this tiny part of my flat!

You can find me, and all these images with their relevant credits, on my Pinterest board here. I love checking out other boards so leave me your Pinterest link below 🙂


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  1. July 18, 2015 / 11:02 pm

    I'd love a dressing table but I don't have space. I have some plastic draws that have 10 shallow draws with all my makeup in 🙂

    Corinne x

    • July 21, 2015 / 8:24 pm

      It sounds like quite a bit of storage with 10 drawers of makeup! I wish I had more space too. I think Pinterest has made me realise how small my room is!

  2. Fiona jk42
    November 12, 2016 / 1:56 pm

    I really like the idea of framing the shelves that contain different nail polishes. I’m always rummaging around to find one that’s hidden behind others, so having them all in rows would be an improvement, and they look pretty. I have some of those acrylic makeup holders and they are very useful. The only thing is to make sure you get the right configuration. It’s a good idea to lay all your makeup out and group by similar items, to decide whether you want lots of shallow horizontal drawers (good for eyeshadows and blush) or lots of individual cubbies for lipsticks or tall holders for mascara and eyeliners.

    • July 13, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      That is such a brilliant idea – thank you for the tip!

  3. Stevie
    May 31, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    I’d like a small dressing table for a tight space.

    • July 13, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      If you can fit one in they make quite a difference to getting ready especially early in the morning.

  4. Anneka Avery
    August 22, 2017 / 8:53 am

    Brilliant post and I like your ideas I’m thinking about a wall nail polish display stand! Any tips on where I can get one from?

    • November 7, 2017 / 3:38 pm

      Sorry for the delay – eBay have some brilliant ones and I ended up getting one from there 🙂

  5. Ashleigh Allan
    October 2, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Lots of great ideas

  6. Adrienne McGroder
    November 4, 2017 / 10:49 am

    These are brilliant ideas. Our bedroom needs a makeover and I will be using some of these ideas. So glad I found your blog! xx

    • November 7, 2017 / 3:39 pm

      Thank you, and so glad you visited 🙂 I’m happy to hear this helped with some ideas!

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