The Victorians often displayed their wealth with very intricately designed furniture. The highly detailed carvings marked the opulence of the era. Some of the most intimate pieces were not openly displayed but saved for use in the bedroom. The women were especially keen on preening themselves in front of the dressing tables or vanities.
Since the powdering and make-up application took hours, these ladies relaxed on a matching dressing table stool. These Victorian ladies went through an arduous process to get just the right look for their highly regarded parties. Fashion in furniture was as important as what was worn.
For the most part, the bedroom furniture was only seen by the immediate family and the maids. But the Victorian ladies were very keen on the fact that servants had a tendency to gossip. Any signs that the family didn't have funds would have spread fast and wide. Thus in their dignified and regal manner, they demanded the best and latest furniture for their bedrooms. The show of wealth was important here as it was in other rooms.
The main reason centered around the fact that most days were spent in their bedrooms, sleeping or sitting on their dressing table stool, getting ready for the next big soiree. The soirees were important social events that marked their importance in society.
Picking out their bedroom furniture was a shopping experience that would have upstaged any of today's shopping sprees. Every single detailed was considered. First, there was the consideration of the color of the the wood. The Victorian ladies drifted toward the deeper and darker wood tones. Then the type of detail work that would best fit in with the current style of the day. Much of the design was influenced by the ruling class.
The amount of detail was as important as the type detail. The more intricately detailed a piece was the more it screamed opulence and money. Of utmost importance that was all pieces of a set matched. The dressing tables had to match the dressing table stool and they had to match the other pieces in the room.
One of the most important furniture pieces that the Victorian ladies required was the dressing table. This crucial piece of furniture was considered a practical and necessary item. One mark of high society was the number of invitations received to the parties and balls that were held.
But it wasn't just the number, it was who was doing the inviting that marked the highest circle of society. To obtain these heights, the Victorian ladies were almost forced to keep up with the latest fashions. Many of which were influenced by the royal crowd. In order to get ready for these balls, the ladies would spend a considerable amount of time perched on the dressing table stool and staring into the mirror.
Their maids would style, powder, and curl their hair until the Victorian ladies declared it perfect. Thus, the vanities stored the tools necessary for perfection.
The piece of furniture held very many items designed to keep the ladies on top of the fashion world. Today, some of the many tools these ladies used would be considered medieval torture devices. While others are the predecessors to more modern devices.
The hair brush is one of the few items that has remained relatively unchanged in nature. Curling irons were once heated in fire stoves. Hair powder was considered a must have necessity item. Powdered hair was the rage in fashion. Going out without powdered hair was considered akin to going outside naked.
The Victorian ladies were extremely critical of their appearance. They would spend hours squatting on their dressing table stool dictating to their maids about how they wanted their hair and makeup done. Thus, the furniture was as much of a fashion statement as it was a practical piece.