All You Need To Know About Drop Leaf Tables

If your home has limited space, a drop leaf table can be an elegant yet efficient solution to your dining or working needs.

Do you face a space crunch at your home and need versatile furniture that can expand and collapse as and when needed? Furniture that can fit well into compact spaces? If yes, then you simply must know about a drop leaf table. 

It is a table where the center is fixed, and the sides have hinges that help you fold the table as per your convenience. The sides that can be folded or dropped down are known as a leaf of the table. The dropping sides look like falling leaves, which is where it gets the name drop-leaf from.

You can use a drop-leaf table as a dining table, a work desk table, a breakfast table, a nightstand, or just a shelf. The folding feature makes it perfect for small spaces in the kitchen, office, or any room in the house that needs a side table that you can fold easily. 

What Is A Drop Leaf Table
Attribution: Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

History Of Drop Leaf Tables

Interesting fact: the Greeks and Romans were the first to invent a table for dining purposes. But the need to fit in smaller spaces in Elizabethan England acted as the mother of invention for folding tables. 

In the 1600s, people started using folding tables for small dining spaces, rooms, and apartments. In the 16th century, this table design was called a leaf design table due to the hinge that could be folded and used per the room’s space. 

One could use it with folded as well as opened leaves. When there were fewer people around, the leaves could be closed. It was popular in English culture, but today, it is famous all over the world. 

What Is A Drop Leaf Table
Attribution: Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Earlier drop leaf tables were made using marble, iron, metal, and brass. A few tables had beautifully crafted legs with carvings and expensive stonework. Traditionally, these tables were made of wood of different types like oak, teak, cedarwood. Today’s drop leaf table is made using brass and glass with people’s changing tastes and preferences.

You might also like to read: Where To Buy A Card Table

Types of Drop Leaf Table

Drop Leaf Kitchen Island

With the new kitchen designs, you need to change your furniture too. It will make your kitchen look modern and stylish. Thus, you can easily go for a drop leaf kitchen island. This type of table can be both with and without wheels. 

Tables with wheels are portable, compact, and can be used as per your requirement. You can even shift the table from one corner of the kitchen to the other. Well, these Drop- leaf kitchen island tables have drawers to help you store many kitchen tools and utensils as per your need. 

It has a flat top with four legs that can be made both with and without wheels. It has a look of a table that people use on the island to prepare food. Thus, it is called a drop leaf kitchen island.

Wall Mounted Drop leaf table

All those with space constraints can use a wall-mounted drop-leaf table. You can use it as a shelf as well as a table. Due to its wall-mounted design, it helps you to save an ample amount of space. 

The table does not use the ground surface. Thus, one can use the ground space for keeping different things as per requirement and as per the space below the shelf. 

Wall Mounted Drop Leaf
Attribution: Piotrus, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The table is easy to assemble and fold. A wall-mounted drop leaf table can also be called a floating table or a shelf table. These shelf-style tables help you use the table for workspace, for decorating the house, etc. 

Drop leaf console table

These tables look like shelf tables with a single slab and four legs. Earlier console tables had a single slab supported by brackets, but today with the drop leaf design, you can use it as more than just a shelf. 

These types of tables rest against the walls, and the front is open. They are used to enhance the office or home look by placing a masterpiece on the table shelf. Drop leaf console table gives you the freedom to use the table as a dining table, shelf, or even as a kitchen table to keep necessary items in the kitchen. 

What Is A Drop Leaf Table: Console Table
Attribution: National Gallery of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can use the drop leaf console table as a living room, breakfast table, and work desk. It is highly versatile and helps you use the table as you like it and the room’s space. 

Antique Drop-Leaf Pedestal Tables

A pedestal table is supported by a single column in the center with vertical legs. Earlier the pedestal table was used only as a candle stand. But today, with the changing demands of people and changing utility of a table, pedestal tables can be used as a dining table, work desk in the office, breakfast table, and side table near the bed. 

What Is A Drop Leaf Table: Pedestal Table

An antique drop-leaf table is like a gateleg table. It has two hinges that you can fold according to the requirement of the user. Moreover, the legs of an antique drop leaf table are beautifully crafted and can be the center of attraction for any room like a study room, library, living room and are perfect as a dining table. 

The design of the table, like its hand-made hinges, beautiful craftsmanship, saw marks, and square nails, will help you understand whether the table is an antique pedestal table or not.

Drop leaf game table

A drop-leaf game table is made for playing indoor games like chess and ludo. Some tables have a chess design which is black and white boxes made to give you the feel of playing chess. You need not use the chessboard on such tables. 

A few designs have drawers to keep your chess white and black pieces safe. Even while playing ludo, if you use ludo coins and dice, you can keep them safe in the drawers made on the drop leaf game table. 

What Is A Drop Leaf Table: Gaming
Attribution : Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Some game tables are round, rectangular as well as square-shaped. You can use it for playing when you open the leaves and use it for decoration purposes in your homes. 

Butterfly Drop leaf table

This is a type of drop leaf table that has two braces that are wing-shaped. It is light in weight as compared to a gateleg table. You can make use of this table either in your breakfast area or your dining space. 

What Is A Drop Leaf Table: Butterfly Leaf
Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The reason is that it can only accommodate two to four chairs and you can even use it as an accent table if not in use. These butterfly tables also have splayed legs which give an impression of movement made by butterfly wings. 

The top of the table can be either square oval and can also contain a drawer sometimes. The legs of this table are often connected with a ringed box-shaped stretcher and rest on casters. 

You might also like to read: Best Folding Game Table

Why Should You Buy a Drop Leaf Table?

Though there are ample reasons to purchase a drop leaf table, here are some important ones to consider:

Easily Expandable

Since the leaves are attached permanently to the drop-leaf table, you can expand it easily. This feature comes into use when you want to use it as a dining table. 

Since you do not have to pull those extra tables to meet your requirements, you get more time for your activities, such as cooking, meeting your friends, and greeting the guests. 

Also, when the party’s over, you need to devote only five seconds to wrap up the table.

What Is A Drop Leaf Table
Attribution: Jane023 (talk) 17:31, 25 January 2011 (UTC), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Major space savers

When you are residing in cramped spaces, your floor space is precious. However, you get maximum flexibility when you use these drop-leaf tables as breakfast or dinner tables. 

You can keep the leaves of your table dropped and fold them only when it is required. Also, you can fold one leaf at a time while keeping other leaves flushed against a wall. 

Thus, if you live in a space-constraint house, it becomes luxurious with space when you use this drop leaf table.

Can Be Placed Anywhere

The best thing about the drop leaf table is that you can find a spot for it anywhere in your house. Thus, you get built-in functionality in an investment that you wouldn’t regret. Thus, you can update your breakfast table as your bedside table anytime you need. 

An Oval Drop Leaf Table
Attribution: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Also, in some drop tables, the leaves are joined to the long end, making it feasible to use it as a console, as a dining room table, or behind a sofa.

Available in Diverse Sizes and Styles

Despite their traditional texture, these drop-leaf tables can complement any modern-day setting. One table matches every home decor from any Modern Danish setting to the conventional Pembroke drop leaf table. Also, these tables are available in diverse styles and sizes so that you can place them anywhere. 

How do you measure a drop leaf table?

Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to measure a drop leaf table:

  • Make sure to raise the drop leaves and also remove any additional extension leaves if there are any.
  • Now, measure the entire length as well as the width of the flat part of the table.
  • The next step is to measure the main top and drop leaves’ length on an individual basis.
  • Measure the leaves’ width as well.
  • Also, form a pattern of any particular sections that you find are not perfect rectangles or squares.

You might also like to read: What Are Dovetail Drawers

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you stabilize a drop leaf table?

If a wooden brace is missing or loose for holding the leaf, you need to cut the wooden piece to replace it. Further, screw it but not so strong so that the brace can rotate easily. Also, if the hinges get too loose, you can lightly tighten them to fit in.

What holds up the leaves on a drop-leaf table?

In a drop leaf table, the hinged leaves get supported by brackets, arms, and articulated legs. In some of the tables, two legs of the table are employed as support for the leaves. 

How to Install Drop Leaf Table Hinges | Woodworking

What is a drop leaf kitchen table?

A drop-leaf table has a fixed part in the center and a hinged leaf section on both sides of the table. The average purpose of the drop leaf table is to save your space when you have a space crunch at home.

How does a drop-leaf table work?

The drop leaf table works by having three parts of the tabletop. Though the center part of the table remains solid, either side of the table hangs down a hinge like a leaf.

What is the point of a drop-leaf table?

The main point of a drop-down table is to save precious space and compliment any home decor. Perfect examples of a drop-leaf table are coffee tables, side tables, and nightstands.

How much is a drop-leaf table worth?

Due to the multi-functionality of a drop-leaf table, these tables are in great demand. Their average range lies between $300 and $900.

Can you use a drop-leaf table as a desk?

Yes, you can easily convert these drop-leaf tables into desks with ease. Thus, these tables are very useful when there are space problems.

If You are Struggling For Space, Drop Leaf Tables Are Your Best Friends!

Compact dining is a good option for people who are on the lookout for small-room furniture choices. This is where the drop leaf table comes in handy. These tables are versatile, elegant, and perfect for the multi-functional needs of today’s modern life. 

Despite their antiquity, these tables have been gaining popularity with people who live in smaller spaces. But with the pandemic, with work-from-home becoming the norm for almost everyone, these drop leaf tables have really come into the limelight. 

These tables can be used anywhere: be it as a kitchen island, for dining, as a workstation, and even as a wall-mounted option that gives you even more space. So, get one for yourself and make the most of your space at home.

Happy furniture!