Dating back more than three hundred years, the drop-leaf table is a wonderful example of how the practical can also be beautiful. With a fixed center and hinged leaf of either side that can be dropped easily, these tables are a perfect addition to any room and any style--especially in smaller spaces. Some were designed as sofa tables, which are extra long. Others are gate-legs, which means the leaf is supported by legs that swing out from the center (like gates).
Here are some examples of the many styles and sizes of drop-leaf tables, from Shaker to Danish Modern.
1 House Beautiful. Drop-leaf table from Wertz Brothers in Los Angeles. It looks like a Sheraton table but it's hard to say. I bookmarked this bedroom ages ago because I love the warm honeyed hues of the vintage drop-leaf table, which serves as a bedside table and a wonderful perch for a vase and a stunning lamp.
2 Pete & Sandie's Minimal Farmhouse. What a pretty- and space-conserving-scene!
3 Mid-century modern drop leaf gateleg closes up to a compact console table. Danish Modern LA, $795.
4 Antique American mohogany table from Streets of London on Ruby Lane, $795..
5 Antique 19th century American walnut table from Streets of London on Ruby Lane, $895. I like the big curvy Empire style feet on this one.
6 Lauren Nelson Design gives a great example of how a drop-leaf can fit so snugly in almost any space. Decorpad
7 A vintage drop-leaf table has been painted white for a shabby chic beachy feel from Canadian Cottage.
8 Pine drop-leaf table with cherry finish made in England from Vintage Pine, $1695.
9 There are quite a few online sources for good Shaker furniture, which tends to have simple and graceful design. For example, check out this table fromShaker Workshops, which can be DIY from a kit or purchased ready to go (prices range from $600 to $1,700 depending on size).
Sources: As credited above.