They are as beautiful as they are functional, and a craftsman can build a variety of unique, handcrafted vanities using a mix of designs and fashions that were in style for hundreds of years and are still popular today. Modern handmade bedroom dressers generally combine styles, as you can see in the Queen Anne, Shaker, and Mission styles, to match the theme of the matching bedroom set. Other vanity styles often feature a mix of natural woods to highlight the outer frame of the cabinet design to create a beautiful touch that can go with any style of dining room.
The same dovetail joinery used by artisans to create sturdy handcrafted desks is also used to construct elegant handcrafted dresser tops, sides and drawers. The body of the dresser, or shell, is held together with dovetail joints that add a design element and make it extremely strong. Other vanities employ a frame-and-panel construction noted for mortise-and-tenon joinery that is accented with wooden dowels. The combination of both techniques for any style of handcrafted dresser is what makes the structure durable and the drawers move in and out smoothly.
Among the many styles of handcrafted wooden furniture that are still favored today is the Queen Anne style. The Queen Anne style of handcrafted wood furniture first became popular in America between 1720 and 1760 and can be distinguished from other styles by the signature cyma, or S-curve, seen on the feet of a dresser. or chair, and can also be worked on other parts of a piece of furniture. These S-curves blend well with modern decorating styles by softening the look of heavy furniture with the gentle curves.
Queen Anne style furniture is historically made from walnut, which is definitely an American colonial tradition. Handmade dressers today are made from all kinds of wood, such as walnut, cherry, mahogany, or maple. Like walnut, walnut wood is prized for its soft light yellow highlights and darker grain.
To create a more contemporary look for a chest of drawers, a craftsman will combine different woods. Making hardwood knobs from different woods and materials is an easy way to give any traditional style of furniture a unique look. Darker dovetail details on the top of the dresser or on the panels also add an understated accent of elegance to an otherwise plain dresser. Studio furniture designers enjoy the freedom to play with combinations of knobs, joinery methods and natural woods to suit the personality and style of each and every client.
Another style of handmade vanities that is still popular today is the Shaker style. Originating in the late 1700s, the Shaker style is revered for its clean lines, durable features, and innovative joinery methods. Distinctive features include an arched apron and tapered legs, which look sleek and unimposing.
Originally minimal in embellishments, today’s artisans will play with tradition by adding modern touches, such as mixing types of wood on the panels. By contrasting natural woods, such as maple and walnut, a craftsman can really bring out the beauty of panel doors and drawers. Intentionally practical, these Shaker-style sideboards are perfect for storing dinnerware in the dining room, but the furniture is stylish enough on its own.
The craftsmen at Studio make Shaker-style sideboards look more contemporary by taking different types of natural wood and using contrasting colors to distinguish the cabinet’s subtle features. Darker wood can be used to highlight the knobs, and even glass panels can be used for the doors, which was not done previously.
The studio’s artisans create handcrafted vanities that are very different from mass-produced vanities because artisans have the freedom to design and build vanities that are unique and special to each and every customer. Mass-produced sideboards can’t be that special because they must appeal to a wider variety of tastes. Working directly with an artisan will allow you to create something together that speaks to your specific interests and style.