A drop leaf kitchen table is the best choice for a small kitchen. It has a fixed section in the center and a hinged section (leaf) on either side that can be folded down (dropped). When you pop the leaves up it functions as a perfect dining table and when they are folded, it turns into a compact console table that can be tucked against the wall.
What is the purpose of a drop leaf table? Are drop leaf tables good? Are they sturdy? How to choose such a table for your kitchen? Read our guide and advice about types of construction, material, design, etc.
Drop Leaf Kitchen Table Advantages and Disadvantages
There is no doubt that a drop leaf kitchen table is a convenient and space saving solution. This is one of its major advantages compared to standard dining tables. It allows you to effectively save space – and this is very important, especially when it comes to small rooms. Such a table can be very useful for families with children, where you need a lot of free space.
Drop leaf tables are multi-functional, practical, ergonomic, comfortable and stylish furniture pieces. They can be used as a dining table, an additional countertop or even a worktop.
Adaptability – when folded, it is quite compact, but the working area of the tabletop can be changed if necessary. Even small families should have such a table, because guests can always come.
They expand easily. One of the undoubted advantages of drop leaf tables is that they can be extended/folded in a matter of seconds. Anyone can cope with this, including a child. Therefore, it is very easy and pleasant to use such tables.
Convenience is another plus. A drop leaf table allows you to make the most of the available space and can be easily removed, even to another room, when not needed.
Last but not least, the variety of styles and sizes is considerable. The designs vary from traditional to tables with sleek, modern lines and the market offers options that will suit virtually any taste and space.
The cost of such tables, as a rule, is relatively low, and due to this, they are an affordable piece of furniture. In addition, due to the low cost, you can choose a suitable model, focusing on all important criteria, and not just on the price.
The drawback of drop leaf tables is that most often they are made of either wood or MDF. You will hardly find trendy or glass models or designs with decorative inserts.
How to Choose a Drop Leaf Kitchen Table?
When you choose a drop leaf kitchen table you need to keep a number of criteria in mind:
Table size depends on two factors – the available space and the number of people to be accommodated in everyday life and in special situations. When you measure the space, you need to keep in mind not only the size of table (and chairs) but the fact that you need passages to the stove, refrigerator and sink. You also need to remember that each place at the table needs 22 to 24 inches /55-60 cm of table space. This is necessary not only for comfort, but also to avoid awkward situations, since all hand movements will be constrained.
Most often drop leaf tables are square or rectangular. Rectangular are the most common models due to their spaciousness and convenience. They are suitable for both large and small kitchens. However, if you opt for a round or oval table, you will have a little more space to move around because of the cut off corners.
Drop leaf tables can be freestanding or wall mounted. Wall mounted versions are suitable for tiny kitchens as they do not take up any floor space.
A decisive indicator of quality will be the use of reliable hinges because for a folding structure, these elements will be most important.
The base of any table – usually legs, a pedestal, or a trestle – has an effect on how many people sit at a table. In addition, the material of the base is important. Usually, legs are made of wood or metal like stainless steel, brass, painted metals, etc.
Drop leaf kitchen tables are usually made of wood, wood veneer, plastic and laminates.
Solid wood is a classic material. It is durable, good looking and easy to repair. However, this is the most expensive material.
Wood veneer is the affordable alternative to solid wood. It is practical and easy to maintain. Manufacturers offer veneer varieties that mimic the grain of almost any solid wood species.
Man-made materials like plastic or laminate are a cheap option. They are practical, easy to maintain, long lasting but if you are looking for a quality material, this is not your choice.
Style and color
After the material and shape are selected, it remains to decide on style and color. In a small kitchen, it is very important that the table does not clutter up the space and that is why dark tones are not advisable. It is better to choose light shades, but, of course, taking into account the color of other kitchen furniture. The style of the table should be in harmony with the overall design concept in the kitchen – rustic, traditional, modern, so make sure you select a model that blends with the decor.