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5 Great Reasons to Love Drop-Leaf Dining Tables

Top FCI London designer, Christina Chirila, is always on the lookout for fabulous furniture pieces that give you more than you bargained for and is currently enthusing about why she loves drop-leaf dining tables.

“They simply ooze functionality”, she says. “Pop the leaves in place and you have a fully-fledged dining table or let them hang down and use it as an elegant console in your hallway or study. You’re literally getting two pieces for the price of one”.

With so much in their favour, here are some great reasons why you should get one.

What are drop-leaf dining tables?

Originally invented back in 16th century England, “leaf design” tables were created to fit into smaller spaces and are now popular around the world as modern, multipurpose furniture pieces that are the answer to minimalistic living.

Essentially, they comprise a fixed centre with two hinged side flaps that you can either open up to create a larger table surface or drop down so that they fold away making them look like falling leaves. And that (fun fact) was how the name was derived.

A must-have for people who appreciate ingenuity, Christina reckons “They’re super simple to work, can be styled as you would a regular dining table and are a dream come true for those who are faced with a space crunch”.

5 Reasons why owning a drop-leaf dining table is a good idea

Aside from their practical design, here are Christina’s top 5 reasons why owning one is a fantastic idea:

1. They save space

Floor space is prime real estate in any home and if you live in a particularly diminutive apartment or, as is now common practice in the design world, have multifunctional rooms, popping in a drop-leaf dining table solves a myriad of issues.

“Think about it”, says Christina, “you can expand the table for a family breakfast and then fold it down and use it as a prep area in the kitchen, creating extra space and infusing the rest of the room with a sense of airiness and flow”.

One of the biggest benefits of these types of dining tables is that you don’t have to fold both leaves out at the same time. So if you work from home, for example, you can position one end flush against the wall and set up your laptop and other office equipment on the other side without taking up your full quota of floor space.

2. They are easy to operate

“If you love entertaining and are constantly bombarded with unexpected guests, drop-leaf dining tables are manna from heaven”, enthuses Christina.

Because the leaves are already attached, they can be unfolded in a flash, giving you extra time to have fun and socialise. And as soon as the party’s over it will take you two ticks to fold it down again, no assistance needed. It certainly beats having to drag out spare leaves from your wardrobe and then battle to install them!

3. They come in a plethora of shapes and sizes

Because they’re popular all around the world and despite the fact that they have been long-time classics, drop-leaf dining tables come in a surprising number of shapes, sizes, genres and configurations. So whether you’re looking for something round in extra thick glass or would prefer a traditional rectangular unit in rustic wood, finding the right one to suit your taste and style is a cinch.

And, says Christina, you should think beyond just dining tables because they’re available in smaller versions too. “In fact, you can find pieces designed specifically as side tables, coffee tables, bedside tables, bar units and even ones that accommodate those ever-popular games nights”.

4. You can use them just about anywhere

From a functionality point of view, these nifty little lifesavers can be used just about anywhere in your home, making them one of the most versatile décor acquisitions ever, and one that you won’t regret.

Christina’s take on it: “If you’re uprooting to a more expansive home, your once loved dining table could easily be reimagined as a hallway console, or pop it next to your new dining table as a serving counter. Whatever you decide, it’s one of those pieces you’re never going to want to get rid of”.

5. They are budget friendly

Because they are so adaptable and can be used for a range of functions, investing in a drop-leaf dining table gives you more bang for your buck. So from a budget perspective, they’re definitely worth the spend.

How to measure up for a drop-leaf dining table

When purchasing a drop-leaf dining table, it’s important to consider how much space it will take up both folded and with the leaves up. Before you buy one, think about what you’re going to be using it for, where you’re going to place it and how much room you have to play with.

If you’re going to keep it folded most of the time, you don’t want it to be so small that it becomes lost in your dining area. But you also need to make sure that when it’s in its extended position, it doesn’t over-dominate the rest of your furnishings either.

“Jot down the dimensions of your room, draw up a quick floor plan and then take your tape measure with you on your shopping trip”, is Christina’s advice. “Make sure you take into account the table size when the leaves are down and when they’re up, factor both into your layout and then make an informed decision”.

In conclusion

Drop-leaf dining tables are a great investment and their clever, highly practical applications are the perfect solution for those who need to optimise on space while still infusing every room with a sense of refinement and style.

However, if you’re looking for a more traditional dining set, read our article on luxury dining tables you will love for some inspiration.

At FCI London, our resourceful designers are here to transform your home and work with world-renowned manufacturers to bring you the best furnishings available. To find out more, contact us today or pop into our showroom for a chat and a guided tour.

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