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Dining tables are a key feature of any home and are arguably the centre of family life. For centuries, the dining table has been the place where old and young gather together at the end of the day to share food and stories together, so it comes as no surprise that a dining table is a focal point, often with an entire room dedicated to it. Although the history of the table dates back to the earliest times, the drop leaf table is a rather later invention. Usually found in England, the earliest drop leaf dining tables date back to the late 1500s, with more in evidence dating from the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. Especially common during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the drop leaf table was seen as the ideal solution for smaller spaces where a table was a useful addition but could not remain permanently in situ. Although some drop leaf tables are basic and functional, some are highly decorated and ornate, making them highly sought after today, especially among homeowners with smaller properties but who are still looking for an aesthetically pleasing way to dine. Browse our online marketplace today and discover a stunning collection of vintage and antique drop leaf dining tables.

What to look for in a drop leaf dining table

As the name “drop leaf” suggests, a drop leaf dining table features a fixed centre with hinged tops which can be folded down if not in use. There are several ways in which the leaf can be held in position when in use, and these mechanisms depend on the period during which the table was crafted or the intentions of the designer involved.

During the 18th century, for example, the swing leg or gate leg table was fashionable. This featured a leg which folded in towards the table’s base and which could be swung outwards in order to support the top leaf during use. Other tables feature a bracket which slides out from the table base to hold up the leaf.

Drop leaf tables are made from a wide range of woods including walnut, cherry, mahogany and maple, and in some cases the leaves may be short while in others they may stretch down almost to the floor.

Drop leaf tables, while primarily for dining, could also be used as a desk or even as a coffee table.

Why choose antique or vintage drop leaf dining tables?

Drop leaf dining tables are still being made today by modern manufacturers in response to the increased demand from homeowners who live in small properties and who are looking to benefit from the convenience of a fold-away design. However, these contemporary options, while often very affordable, do not have the longevity and sturdiness of an original antique or vintage piece.

Not only have original pieces been made with high quality materials, great attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship, they also have a wonderful sense of character and authenticity which cannot be found in a mass-produced factory piece of today. There is no better way to bring a touch of heritage and flair into a modern home.

Find drop leaf dining tables at Vinterior

Whether you have a small dining space and want to make the most of your room while also increasing the visual appeal of your home, or whether you simply want a dining table that exudes charm, heritage and beautiful craftsmanship, a drop leaf dining table from Vinterior is the ideal solution.

Discover our collection of dining tables here at Vinterior today and find out how to add character, charm and convenience to your home.

Work in the furniture trade?

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