Dining Tables With Storage Design Dilemma

Dining Tables With Storage Design Dilemma

Anne Reagan
Feb 25, 2010

Recently a friend posed an interesting design challenge. She and her family of four live in a fabulous, but extremely narrow, brownstone in Brooklyn. Like most families, their life happens at the table: homework, art projects, work, playing, entertaining and eating.

The dining room is an unusual size: nine feet wide by 25 feet long with openings at either end. Most of us would call that a "hallway" so using this space as a dining room is a particular challenge. There is no room for any other furniture in that space, like a sideboard, and she wanted to find a dining table that was big enough to feed her family (plus occasional guests) yet offered some practical storage to sweep the everyday items out of the way.

The key was finding a table that didn't look like it belonged in an office. And there was to be no discussion of file cabinets or a pile of pretty storage boxes. No one wants their dining room to look like a full-time office/pre-school plus part time dining space. Standard dining tables are usually 29 – 30 inches in height and the seat of a dining chair is usually 18 inches off the ground. Depending on the thickness of the table there is really only approximately 9 inches for leg room, allowing little room for under-the-table drawer storage.

With these challenges my design hunt led to eight great solutions to this particular problem. They all provide storage and some are narrow enough to fit the space. Some of these examples would also look great placed end-to-end to allow for a narrow but long table.

Top row, left to right:

1. Two Tops Table by Marcel Wanders: $4488 at Hive Modern
A unique space was created between the table frame and table top, allowing a perfect (if not expensive) place for laptop work.

2. Wing Drop Leaf Table by Design House Stockholm: $672 at Velocity
Drop leaf tables add flexibility if more open space was needed and the deep drawer can hide larger items for storage.

3. Enchord Desk by Herman Miller: $729 at Hive Modern
This table could look too office-like in the wrong setting and the storage space is open and would require good organization. In a modern space this piece could look very simple and elegant.

4. Dordoni Worktop Table: $2500 at Design Within Reach
This table has eight drawers, four on either side, and could easily store paper work as well as cutlery and table linens.

5. Parsons Desk With Drawers: $299 at West Elm
With a depth of only 24 inches this table will work well in a narrow room. If space allows, two tables could be placed back-to-back for greater depth or end-to-end to create a longer surface.

Bottom row, left to right:

6. Sawhorse Worktable, Sungkai: $499 at West Elm
The single drawer doesn't allow for a lot of storage but the table has a classic look.

7. Norfolk Dining Table: $999 at Pottery Barn
This turned-leg, farm-style table has long drawers for storage and has a good length for entertaining.

8. Porter Collector's Desk: $599 at Pottery Barn
The depth of this desk is fairly wide and would work well as a dining table. The single wide drawer has a divided space perfect for office paraphernalia.

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