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If you’ve accomplished your dream of living in the “big city” and found a home in New York, LA or any desirable city across the US, your living space is probably smaller than you’d like. Apartments in desirable cities across the country tend to be more compact than the average home in the suburbs, which means we’ve all got to be smart and efficient in how we use the square footage we’ve been allotted.
Decorating an apartment in your youth is a tug of war between your taste, how much space you have, what you can afford and how much furniture you want to lug between this apartment and the inevitable next one. A potential solution is renting furniture, a new service targeted at trendy millennials whose aesthetic visions tend to span farther than their bank accounts. Another great life hack is furniture that’s multi-purpose — like ottomans that double as living room storage and mirrors that hook your keys as soon as you walk in the door. Another great interior design hack for anyone, regardless of space? Expandable dining tables.
Expandable dining tables solve a few of the problems above — they’re uniquely flexible when it comes to space, come in a wide range of prices for different budgets and don’t sacrifice design for convenience. Very few other pieces of furniture can literally change size and still serve the same purpose, which is why if you’re a young person decorating your first apartment or a family looking for options when it comes to entertaining — your dining room table should include the option of expanding.
Expandable dining room tables create the option to expand the capacity of your dining area from four to six to sometimes 12 or 14 people depending on the size you get. After your gathering, you can return your home to equilibrium, and your table to a size that suits your family. You won’t scrunch guests in an uncomfortable fashion, and you won’t be sitting six feet from your spouse during your regular weeknight suppers (unless you want to). You can also adjust most of them between a few different sizes with the addition or removal of multiple leaves (more on this below), so you can tailor the size to the exact size of your dinner, lunch or gathering.
How Do Expandable Dining Tables Work?
Expandable dining tables use a “leaf” system, wherein sleets of the wood can be physically removed via four different mechanisms. The four leaf mechanisms are:
- Drop Leaf
- Removable Leaf
- Butterfly Leaf
- Self-Storing Leaf
There are drop leaf tables, where the sides of the surface literally drop off, creating a smaller table and smaller top surface to work with. There are removable leaves, the most common type, where you physically remove the leaf from the table and push the remaining sides together to form a smaller surface. There are butterfly leaf tables where the leaf splits in half, folds upwards and tucks underneath the table, and there are self-storing leaf tables where the leaf tucks itself under the table.
Any of the four options above will work for those looking to maximize their space. We’d recommend drop leaf tables for those with very limited space, and removable leaf tables for those who have extra storage space for the removed components. Another thing to keep in mind is expandable dining tables tend to be more expensive than the average dining room table due to the options they come with. However, the extra cash pays off in versatility, adaptability and ease.
Here are the best expandable dining tables for entertaining in 2022.
1. Transformer Table
This company popped onto the furniture scene with the promise of a six-in-one dining room table that suits all of your needs. They certainly deliver — the table can transform from an 18″ desk to a table large enough to fit 12 people, and it’s made of high-quality wood that comes in a few different finishes. All of their tables are made of 100% hardwood and are coated in a ceramic lacquer that’s heat-resistant.
The table comes with five removable hardwood panels that you can easily clip in and out of the table. The expandable dining table is also easy to pull apart or push together for adjusting the size. They sell the table on its own or as a set with a bench included. the four wood finishes range from light Australian acacia to American mahogany and Canadian dark oak. If you’re interested in an expandable dining area and want options — this is the table we recommend investing in. Their current deal also throws in a free coffee table with your purchase!
FREE COFFEE TABLE WITH PURCHASE!
2. Zipcode Design Drop Leaf Trestle Dining Table
This drop leaf expandable dining table extends and shortens via drop leaves on either end of the weathered oak/ black Adams design. It’s made from manufactured wood with a woodgrain, rustic finish and has a clean-lined rectangular tabletop. It also has a foldable metal base, flared panels and leveler feet that make lengthening easy and give it a solid structure to work and eat from. It’s perfect for a smaller kitchen nook or dining area and has a 4.6-star rating after over 2,000 reviews.
3. Sand & Stable Gray Alec Butterfly Leaf Dining Table
BEST SOLID WOOD
This expandable dining table from Sand & Stable is made using solid and reclaimed wood, for an environmentally-friendly option. It’s got a neutral gray color that’ll complement most decor and has a butterfly leaf that’s easy to add and remove as needed for more seating. The gray wood gives it a nice color variation and it can seat 4-6 people depending on whether you’ve included the extension or not.
4. Gafford Extendable Solid Wood Dining Table
A round table makes a great dining room table. Everyone can see each other and no one will feel left out of the conversation. They’re perfect for breakfast nooks as well if you’ve already got an official dining room and want something closer to the kitchen. This expandable dining table comes from a whole line of pieces with mid-century modern design and an urban, yet relaxed, feel to them. Clean, contemporary lines give this table a versatile look that’ll match a variety of surrounding decor in your home whether you’re more rustic, casual, modern or contemporary. It’s got one removable leaf in the center and has beam molding accents on the sides. It’s also made with solid wood that comes with natural wood grain color variation, so no two of these tables look exactly alike.
5. International Concepts Drop Leaf Extendable Dining Table
If you’re in search of dining tables for small spaces that expand, consider this affordable drop-leaf extendable dining table, which is perfect for smaller apartments and tight spaces. With plenty of five-star reviews, customers love to use this versatile table in their laundry room, breakfast nook, or anywhere else that can’t fit a larger table. Plus, it offers fantastic value with its pricing that costs a fraction of similar dining room tables that expand.
6. Sylvan Extendable Dining Table
Kelly Clarkson’s line of home goods is excellent, and this expandable dining table from her has a solid, rustic feel to it that won’t match everyone’s tastes, but will look great in the right home. It’s got a distressed white finish with a rustic touch, and the turned legs add a French countryside element to the overall look. It’s got a removable leaf in the center and can seat up to eight people when fully extended. It pairs perfectly with 17″ height dining chairs and also has wood grain color variation with wood knots and other natural details.
7. Kruger Extendable Dining Table
If you’re not going traditional, you should go rustic for your expandable dining table’s design. This solid wood dining table from Wayfair looks like it came fresh from the carpenter’s shop with the inverted v design underneath and multi-color beams that complement one another perfectly. The table is the standard 30″ high and has one removable leaf in the center. It measures 78″ total when fully extended, enough to fit around eight people.
8. Orren Ellis Aida Extendable Dining Table
BEST GLASS PICK
All-wood dining room tables that expand can look a little heavy in certain spaces. That’s why we recommend lightening things up with an expandable glass dining table, instead. It adds a contemporary look, as do the matte black pyramid legs. This rectangular table has a self-storing leaf with a self-guided track, making it extremely easy to use. Featuring a flat polished edge on its tempered glass top, it offers pure elegance and long-lasting durability.
9. Lark Manor Extendable Dining Table
BEST OVAL PICK
This is one of the best expandable dining tables to check out if you’re looking to avoid rectangular silhouettes. An expandable round dining table can help soften a space, and this one, which has a distressed finish, even adds a bit of an antique touch. With a removable leaf, it goes from circular to oval-shaped in an instant and is sturdy with a body of solid and manufactured wood. Before expansion, one buyer calls it an “intimate round table.”
10. Joss & Main Halvorsen Extendable Pedestal Dining Table
BEST PEDESTAL STYLE PICK
This trendy expandable round dining table by Joss & Main has a pedestal base rather than normal legs, creating a striking visual in any living space. The four-columned pedestals and the cloudy gray finish give it a clean and modern look. Its surface is thick and slightly textured, providing an attractive contrast. This one sits four to six and comes with an 18-inch leaf. A beautiful and heavyweight table that’ll brighten up any space.
11. Ikea Norden Gataleg Table
BEST BUILT IN STORAGE
This Ikea expandable dining table is one of the most functional and versatile picks on our roundup. Whether you’re looking for a workspace or a dining option with a little extra storage, the Norden table comes in white and birch with the brand’s signature chic Scandinavian aesthetic. It has three drawers that can be used for kitchen essentials, flatware, or napkins. If you’re using it as a workspace, store your stationery and other office essentials.
12. Noble House Stamford Outdoor Acacia Wood Expandable Dining Table
BEST OUTDOOR PICK
A dining table that expands isn’t exclusively for indoor usage — if you like to host BBQs or frequently dine al fresco, consider this acacia wood one by Noble House. With a slatted design, this practical and stylish table will help you form fond backyard memories, from weekend brunches to holiday dinners. Available in teak brown and gray, it has an understated look that’ll fit most styles. When extended, the table should be able to accommodate eight chairs.
13. West Elm Mid-Century Rounded Expandable Dining Table
BEST MID-CENTURY PICK
This handsome acorn table from West Elm has a mid-century silhouette with a timeless look. Its A-frame detail combined with angular legs offers a touch of detail that has heirloom quality. Available in two sizes, this expandable dining table has an expensive look, but even the larger size (which expands up to 80 inches) still costs less than $1,000.00. This item is sustainably sourced, and all the wood in it is kiln-dried for added durability and longevity.