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Dressing Table Design-Case-Study & Selection or Buying Guide | CAD FM
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CAD FM focused on the dressing table as the subject of this case study because the designers seldom consider the comfort of a consumer when it comes to the dressing tables after sale. The previous surveys and case studies have shown that a dressing table can be found in almost every home, and therefore, it is important to consider the comfort level of a user whilst designing or manufacturing these tables. The comfort of a potential customer should also be given precedence irrespective of its type, i.e. French dressing table, vintage dressing table or simply a flat pack dressing table.  

This case study was conducted using a mirrorless dressing table, but the argument is completely true for the ones with a mirror. The study is also valid for any dressing table size. Whilst changing the size of the dressing table, the footrest size should be adjusted accordingly. A free pdf can be downloaded from our free library downloads.

Download the case study pdf here.

Flat pack furniture, ready-to-assemble furniture, knock-down furniture, or kit furniture are all synonymous and represent a class of furniture that requires customer assembly. The furniture exhibits numerous advantages compared to its counterparts: lower cost, storage, transportation and manufacturing.

The furniture includes dressing tables tailored to facilitate beautiful people getting ready for special occasions. These tables are required to meet two rudimentary features: i) ease of assembly and ii) reasonable comfort level.

Unfortunately, all of the knock-down dressing tables available on the market fail to achieve these two basic features. Most often, the end user needs a pro-joiner to help install/assemble these dressing tables, which increases the customers’ frustration, time to use and cost.

Moreover, the tables fail to achieve the comfort level during use, in views expressed by several buyers of famous brands — discounting the two fundamental purposes of flat-pack.   

Goals: The goals of this project were: i) to ease the assembly procedure, and ii) to improve the comfort level for long-time use. The proposed assembly methodology can be used across all other kit furniture to facilitate assembly instructions. This was facilitated by Computer Aided Design and Product Design principles.

Two problems were addressed in this research:

  1. Although the flat pack furniture, including the dressing tables, come with assembly instructions, it is often challenging to put them together due to vagueness in instructions or lack of technical knowledge about the different types of nuts and bolts or other fasteners.  

  2. Besides assembly issue, customer surveys and complaints highlighted that there was a substantial comfort problem as well. The users were experiencing fatigue whilst sitting longer than 15 minutes.

I installed it myself following YouTube instructions because the ones (assembly instructions) in the box are not big help

– Carolina

Everything seemed to go smoothly until we got home and started to assemble

– Laurie of Durand

Dr Farrukh Makhdum divided the problem into two sets: i) pre-assembly, and ii) post assembly. The pre-assembly problem constituted all those engineering issues customers faced prior to use, whereas, the post-assembly problem addressed the comfort level.

The pre-assembly issue was solved by adding to the assembly process by providing a detailed animation video.  Produced by CAD FM, all steps were clearly presented in this easy to follow video.

Moreover, the assembly instruction drawings were improved by simplifying and presenting the part names instead of using the component numbers, unlike famous designer furniture/dressing table cases.

An additional footrest was introduced in the improved dressing table design with the aim of improving the comfort level, solving the post-assembly concerns.

A survey was conducted with the help of 15 female participants ages 18 to 60 years old. Ten out of fifteen participants (first data set) were presented with the standard a designer dressing table and were asked to assemble those tables.

Later, the same data set was presented the CAD FM dressing table design with the improved assembly instruction drawings. The remaining five participants were given the flat pack CAD FM dressing table without instruction drawings, but with the assembly animation video.

The comfort level was also investigated, whereby all fifteen ladies were given a chance to use the CAD FM dressing table for over 2 hours continuously.

Eight out of those ten (the first focus group) failed to assemble the designer dressing table due to the ambiguity of the designer instructions.

When the same dataset were given the CAD FM designed table, along with modern assembly instruction drawings, everyone assembled the tables in less than 50 minutes, with the minimum record time of 35 min without the video.

The remaining five ladies built the CAD FM dressing table furniture in less than 30 minutes, with the minimum record time of 20 min – whilst using the assembly animation video.

The above study proved that the CAD FM proposed procedure is intuitive and fast, requiring very short assembly time with 100% success rate.

Lastly, all fifteen ladies were given time to use dressing table for two hours. The ladies enjoyed using these tables and benefitted from the footrest. The additional footrest improved the user experience and improved the pleasure of using such furniture.

I have never seen such a video that helps step by step furniture assembly. The instruction-drawings were easy but the video makes it like a piece of cake. I loved using the table and never got tired –  CAD FM great design and brilliant video

– Jenna Johns (age 58) – Survey participant

I always wanted a video assembly like this since I first saw my parents struggling to assemble my first dressing table when I was 5. I never even imagined the ease of assembly and use like this. I love this footrest as well. CAD FM you’re great

– Emma Blake (age 19) – Survey participant

Product Design, Furniture Design, Engineering Design, 3D CAD Modelling, 2D Drawings, Assembly Design, Design for Assembly, Assembly Instructions, Assembly Instruction Videos, Case Study and Survey.

Disclaimer:  The material and information contained in this case study is for general information purpose only. You should not rely on this case study as a basis for any business, legal, or any other decision.

The reviews/views expressed here are the customers’ own and do not reflect the views of CAD FM or any person related to CAD FM. They are individual experiences, reflecting real life experience of those that have used the products or services.

CAD FM does not claim that they are typical results that consumers will generally achieve. All information in this case study is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeline, or of the results from the use of this case study, or without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and fitness for a particular purpose.

Dressing Table Buying Guide – 2020

There is no doubt that a dressing table makes a statement in your bedroom and it can ultimately transform the beauty of your existing room. It allows you to get ready for an evening out, store your favorite ornaments or munchies.

However, before you make a decision to buy a dressing table, CAD FM recommends  careful consideration of the dressing table buying guide so that you won’t regret your selection once the dressing table arrives at your home.


The first thing to consider whilst buying a dressing table is clarity about your space. Ask yourself these questions: Do you have enough space in your room where you want to place your dressing table? Do you need a large table or a small one?

Does it match the other furniture and your room style? What type do you fancy? Does the dressing table type you fancy go with your room theme?


The second consideration about your dressing table is to be clear how you’re going to use it. For example, do you want to use it for getting ready, saving your ornaments and gadgets in the drawers, or both? Make sure that you choose a dressing table that fulfils your needs. Make a list of your requirements before going on a web-hunt or market roaming.

Storage Requirements

With regards to storage, ask yourself these questions:

What are your storage requirements for this new dressing table? Do you just want a table surface?  How much storage do you need? What do you want to store? Do you need a dressing table with drawers or a simple cabinet? How many drawers would suffice?

Do you need locks or will simple latches work? Do you need a separate or built-in jewellery-box?


Questions to ask:

Do you want the dressing table with or without a mirror? Is there a special design for the mirror assembly that you prefer? Does the mirror you like match your room theme? Do you like the mirror that fits on the dressing table or you require the stand-alone one? Do you need an adjustable mirror?

Lighting and Chargers

Do you need the dressing table with or without light? Do you need one that comes with an external light or one internally called the buil? Do you want warm light or cool daylight? Does your dressing table need to have mobile charging ports?

Make sure that the light switch is in close proximity, and all the charging ports are accessible during the make-up session.

Comfort and Mobility

Make sure that you feel comfy whilst engaging in your makeup session. A well-designed dressing table should cater to the users’ comfort.  The dressing table should be moveable and portable to easily change the position.

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