If your family is growing or you simply enjoy hosting dinner parties, it’s essential that your dining room furniture complements your lifestyle.
Extendable dining tables are a fantastic space-saving option for any home. Whilst the simplicity of a fixed length dining room table works for many, the flexibility you gain with an extendable table can often be overlooked. With an extending table you can keep it closed so it takes up minimal space for your family’s daily use and effortlessly transform it into a larger extended table for those special occasions.
It’s not just a question of fixed vs extendable tables though. When you’re opting for an extendable dining room table there are a number of elements to consider such as shape of the table, type of extension as well as materials used. In this article, we take a look at each of these factors to help you decide on the perfect extendable table for your home. Still unsure? Contact the Milola team who will be more than happy to talk you through your options.
What are the different types of extending dining tables?
With different types of expansion options, you can make an extendable dining table fit into any home and for any occasion. At Milola, we generally offer three types of extendable dining tables:
1. Middle Divide
The Middle Divide extendable dining table is exactly how it sounds: the dining table divides in the middle where you then add the extension leaves. The extension leaves can sometimes be stored in the table or in the case of most round middle extending tables, the leaves will be stored separately. This great video from Danish brand CASO perfectly illustrates the middle divide extension:
One of our favourite Middle Divide Extension Tables is the FLEX Dining Table shown below. FLEX is a dynamic range by Kristensen Kristensen with a Scandinavian style available in solid oak or ash wood and with a useful extension for extra guests. This extendable dining table has aesthetically pleasing rounded legs and top and looks stunning in any setting. What's more it can be extended by up to 1 metre using the middle extensions and the table has leaf storage too.
2. Butterfly Extension
This is an adaptation of the middle extension but instead of inserting an extension leaf to the middle of the table, the extension folds out from within it. This is a particularly practical solution with a great design and very easy to assemble.
One of our favourite butterfly extension tables is the CASØ 120 Dining Table. Designed with inspiration from the modern retro-style of the 1950's. The round, lightly sloping legs and the carefully rounded corners are all supporting the expression of the series. The butterfly extension of the 120 Dining Table is illustrated below:
3. End Extension
In the case of an end extending dining room table, you pull out two support arms either end of the table and then mount the extension leaves on each end. When not in use, the arms are pushed in and stored under the table but the leaves do need to be stored separately. This extension is only available on our rectangular shaped extendable dining tables.
One of our favourite end extension tables is the CASØ 230 Extendable Herringbone Dining Table, shown below. This table represents a modern take on the classical and incredibly popular herringbone pattern. It consists of two planks with a split middle, which is pleasing to the eye.
Should I choose a rectangular or round extendable dining table?
Most people wrongly believe that extensions are only available for traditional rectangular shaped dining tables. But this isn’t always the case. As round dining tables become more popular, we are seeing the availability of round tables that extend into oval shaped dining tables also increasing, such as the SYDNEY table shown below. SYDNEY is a stunning round table with beautiful metal detail, which adds interest to the wood. The leg provides plenty of space for chairs all the way around and the table and can be extended by an extra 2m with extension leaves so is very versatile for accommodating extra guests, but neatly folds away when the full table is not required.
When choosing between rectangular or round tables, this of course comes down to personal preference but you also need to look at the space you have available. Round tables tend to be able to seat more people as you’re not limited by the edges of the table and it can often fit nicely into corners of smaller dining rooms. Round tables also offer the additional benefit of being more intimate as everyone faces towards each other whilst seated.
You also have to consider the storage of the extension leaves. Generally with the round middle extending tables, the leaves are not stored in the table. Although this means finding a separate place to store the extension leaves in your home, the major benefit is that the table top has a much slimmer profile which from a design point of view can look much more sleek. Our MONOGRAM round dining table shown below is an excellent example of this. The MONOGRAM table is characterised by the crossing leg where form follows function, as the legs make room for extra chairs.
If you are inserting a number of extension leaves to seat more people on your round extended table, a support leg can sometimes be required. This is easily attached, as shown in the below video but may be a consideration when choosing your extendable table.
Extendable Dining Table Materials
With an extendable table, you are inevitably opening and closing it numerous times over the years. This consistent use means that an extendable table needs to be made from durable, high quality materials that will stand the test of time.
At Milola, we pride ourselves on quality from start to finish. That means only working with brands that offer high-grade materials and expert craftsmanship. Our extendable dining room tables are available in solid oak or ash (Kristensen Kristensen), ceramic (Danform) or Oak/Ask Veneer (CASO/Danform) and the legs are generally available in wood or steel.
With our Kristensen Kristensen extending tables you also have the option to purchase the extension leaves in different materials. For example you could choose a different wood stain to the main part of the table. This is a particularly nice design statement but also means that you won’t end up with a discoloured extension leaf. As the leaf is not exposed to sunlight as often as the main part of the table top, it can become a slightly different colour to the rest of the table over time. Choosing a statement colour for your extension leaf that is obviously different from the table, minimises this visibility and gives your dining table a little bit of extra style.
How big of an extension do I need?
Generally speaking, at a push (it is a little tight) an extra 50cm leaf can accommodate an extra 2 people (one on each side). Some of our extendable tables such as the 130cm Round ZET Solid Wood Table can be extended by up to another 180cm, which will comfortably seat an incredible 6 extra people around the table! This style is particularly flexible because you can add in any number of leaves from 1 - 4 depending on the number of guests you have:
When deciding what size combination is best for you, we advise looking at the space in your dining room first and work backwards with the sizing. We recommend generally leaving a space of at least 60cm behind each chair so people can get in and out easily. Once you have established the largest possible size your table could extend to, work your way back down to determine a practical size for everyday use. A top tip from us is to make sure that your chosen dining table has enough room to comfortably fit your entire family in the non-extending version. If you go too small with this, then you will constantly be extending the table which can become tiresome. The extension mechanism should be saved for those dinner parties and special occasions only!
At Milola, we offer extendable dining tables in a huge range of high quality materials, with a variety of extension types and custom shapes and sizes. Speak to the Milola team today to explore your options and find the right dining table for your home.