If you want to make your dining room table bigger, the type of leaves you select will make the world of a difference. Different leaves work best for different spaces, and it is essential to weigh the pros and cons for each type to determine which will work best for your home.
1. Butterfly Leaves
A butterfly leaf dining table has a leaf in the center, which doesn't compromise the table's shape if you have a rectangular dining table or an oval dining table. A butterfly leaf will make a square table into a rectangle, and a round table into an oval.
A butterfly leaf is normally around 18 inches wide, and hinges in the middle. You can simply pull the ends of the table top out, revealing a gap in the center where the leaf is stored. A butterfly folding table is a good choice if you do not have additional space to store a leaf.
2. Drop Leaves
A drop leaf table set has hinged leaves on both ends that extend. When unfolded, a drop leaf dining room table normally has a square or rectangular shape.
Its leaves can be extended to make the table a circle or rectangle, depending on which style you select. Drop leaf dining tables are ideal for small spaces, since their original sizes are usually smaller to begin with. You also have the option to drop only one leaf down.
(Pictured: Intercon Arlington 42" Round Leg Dining Table)
3. Removable Leaves
Removable leaves are best for creating the most amount of space in your table. You can find dining room tables with a variety of leaf sizes, which is a great option if you plan on entertaining for different amounts of people. The drawback to removable leaves is having to find a place to store them.
Installing a removable leaf takes a little more strength than installing a butterfly leaf. You must lift the whole leaf and pull on both sides to create a gap in the center for the leaf.
4. Self-Storing Leaves
Dining room tables with self-storing leaves are ideal for maximizing storage space. You can expand the dining table by pulling out the leaves from the sides. You can find up to four leaves in these types of tables.
It is common to find self-storing end leaves in butterfly and refectory dining tables. In a refectory table, you will typically pull the wooden slides out from the sides of the table, and pull the leaves out from underneath. Refectory tables are the easiest for one person to extend, since you aren't required to pull both ends of the table out.
5. Concentric Leaves
If you want to extend a round dining table while maintaining its shape, a table with concentric leaves is a good option. These types of tables contain multiple leaves around the table that can be extended out.
The great thing about this round extending dining table is that as you pull the leaves out, it will stay in a round shape instead of turning into an oval.