Tables that grow with your growing guest list

5 years ago
2 minutes

Whether your own family is growing or you play host to a regular influx of friends, you’ll want a dining table that can accommodate plenty of guests. But what if you don’t want a super-huge table taking up space all of the time? That’s why extendable tables have been popular for centuries. Let’s take a look at the three tried and tested options to see why they work.

Drop Leaf

Originally created in the late 16th Century, drop leaf tables have a fixed section in the centre and a hinged section on either side. These can be folded down, or ‘dropped’. They’re particularly great as they can serve as a side stand when not in use, thanks to the central plank. For dinners by yourself, or with just one other person, you can prop just one side up, or extend both sides to accommodate more guests. 

We love Ikea’s drop-leaf table — when the leaves aren’t suspended it becomes a cute table for one. The bamboo tabletop and white base will brighten any dining room and blend seamlessly with most colour palettes.


Panel Extensions

Practical yet stylish, you operate these tables by extending the hidden panels on either side, to create room for a couple more people at the table. They’re a particularly great option if you want more space but you don’t want the ‘extendable’ aspect of your table to be noticeable. Spring loaded, the panels are easy to pull out and once they’re set up, they’re very sturdy. 

We love Living Element’s Barossa Oak dining table. It comes in three different sizes and the classic design and oak material adds a sense of grandeur. The panels operate independently so you can extend one or both ends as needed.



These kinds of tables are able to be extended by pulling the legs apart and inserting additional panels into the gap. They’re highly versatile, as most come with more than one panel you can insert, meaning you can seat more people than you would with a drop leaf, without taking up any more space when the panels are removed.

Brosa’s Kaneko extension table is perfect for flexible dining options. It seats up to 8 people and is easy to operate thanks to a metal runner and cable pulling system. The oak wood legs have a unique shape which adds an elegant element to this space-saving table.


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