If you’ve accomplished your dream of living in the “big city” and found 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? Expanding 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 the 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 all together in an uncomfy 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’s 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. I’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 it comes with. However, the extra cash pays off in versatility, adaptability and ease. Here are the best expandable dining tables for entertaining in 2021.
1. Transformer Table
This company popped onto the furniture scene relatively recently with the promise of a 6-in-1 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 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 a light Australian Acacia to an American mahogany and a Canadian dark oak. If you’re interested in an expandable dining area and want options — this is the table I recommend investing in. Their current deal also throws in a free coffee table with your purchase!
2. Rebecca Extendable Dining Table
This expandable dining table has a solid, simple design that’ll look elegant in most spaces. It’s medium-sized, and allows you to expand the capacity from four to six people via a butterfly leaf in the middle. The table is 30″ tall which suits most dining room chairs and the dark wood won’t display stains or wear and tear easily. You can also purchase this table as part of a full set with chairs for a few extra hundred bucks. That being said, I love the idea of pairing this table with some unique vintage chairs or a bench or two to make seating easy.
Rebecca Extendable Dining Table
3. Brockway Extendable Trestle Dining Table
BEST FOR LARGE GROUPS
Now THIS is a freaking dining room table if I’ve ever seen one. It’s large enough to seat 10 people when fully extended and has soft, romantic finishes to it that establish an inviting atmosphere. It’s rectangular and made of sturdy Asian hardwoods with a burly brown finish that brings an edge to the smooth curves, and a polished tone to the space. It’s got curvy legs with L-shaped feet and comes with a removable leaf in the center that’s easy to add and remove.
Brockway Extendable Trestle Dining Table
4. Katarina Extendable Rubberwood Dining Table
BEST SOLID WOOD
This solid wood dining table from Wayfair has a distressed finish and enough room to seat eight people when fully extended. It’s got a removable leaf that provides the expandability and has a beautifully neutral design that can be paired with a wide range of chairs and center pieces. It’s got a solid rubber wood frame and a gray oak finish with natural color variations that make it unique, and come from the natural wood it’s made of.
Katarina Extendable Rubberwood Dining Table
5. 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 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.
Gafford Extendable Solid Wood Dining Table
6. Signature Design by Ashley Hammis Dining Room Table
This is the perfect dining room table for a young person furnishing a small apartment because it’s small, adjustable and budget-friendly. It has a contemporary design and a round shape which is great for group gatherings. It’s 36″ wide and deep and 30″ tall, so it fits most dining room chairs easily. There’s some assembly required but users say it’s easy, and it can seat up to four people comfortably. The extension leaves on either side can bend down to make the table more narrow if need be, and there’s no need for extra storage since they’re not removable.
Signature Design Expandable Dining Table
7. Signature Design by Ashley Realyn Dining Room Table
This French country-inspired table has a subtly decorative and sophisticated design that’s perfect for homes looking for a large, expandable dining table. It’s made of veneer, wood and engineered wood with some resin components for design flair. The two-tone finish adds a unique antique quality to it and it includes an extension leaf for seating up to eight people comfortably. The table can extend in length from 78″ to 96″ with the leaf and comes with easy assembly instructions.
Signature Design by Ashley Realyn Dining Table
8. 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.
Sylvan Extendable Dining Table
9. Kruger Extendable Dining Table
If you’re not going traditional, you should go rustic for your 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 compliment 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.
Kruger Expandable Dining Table
10. Cabott Extendable Dining Table
This dining table has a unique look to it that combines industrial details with a traditional silhouette for a classic yet modern sensibility. It’s made from solid and manufactured wood with a farmhouse white finish for design effect that’s been scored for a purposefully distressed look. It’s got turned legs and a plank top with plenty of space for a tablescape and beautiful place settings for up to eight people when fully extended. It has a removable leaf in the center for adjusting the size and has glowing reviews on Wayfair’s website.
Cabott Extendable Dining Table
11. Isabell Butterfly Leaf Trestle Dining Table
BEST BUTTERFLY LEAF
This hefty, sturdy dining room table has a dark hazelnut finish that’s clean and classic, and has a butterfly leaf in the middle that stores itself whenever you’re downsizing your tabletop. The design is understated and yet sets the stage for the rest of the room for serving dinner party courses, playing games or even working from home. It’s made from a combination of solid rubberwood and manufactured wood, and it’s got natural wood grain color variation so you’ll know your table is entirely unique.
Isabell Butterfly Leaf Trestle Dining Table
12. Merlot/Buttermilk Shelburne Extendable Rubberwood Dining Table
BEST OVAL SHAPE
If you’re not totally sold on a round or rectangle-shaped dining room table this oval pick is great for a traditional space. It’s got four turned legs, an oval-shaped tabletop with a darker finish and is made from solid rubberwood. It has two extendable table leaves for extending the size and comfortably seats six when fully expanded. It’s the perfect table for a medium-sized family with a smaller dining room or kitchen eating area.