Gateleg Table Design is Ideal for Cabins & Tiny Homes

Gateleg tables have been around for centuries, and the age-old design holds promise for tiny homes.

3 minutes
April 5, 2020

Easter dinner with family has always been an icon of American life, but this year with shelter-in-place, it is certain to be a less grandiose affair. But even before the pandemic, individuals and families had begun gravitating towards simpler living with tiny homes and container-built spaces. With that, there has been an accompanying simplification of furniture needs and styles. One of those has been the resurrection of a centuries-old table design, the gateleg table, and we're thrilled to see its comeback.

Gateleg tables were first introduced in 16th century England. The gateleg style has wing-style leaves, hinged so that their legs can be folded inward and the leaves can hang vertically downward to save space. Also known as dropleaf tables, they became useful in farmhouses and gained popularity in London townhomes where space was at a premium. Today, owners of tiny homes are returning to the beautifully simple design as a way of squeezing more utility out of their space.

Some designs include folding chairs to accompany the table, which can be stored inside the center column when not in use. Even modern mass-market producers like IKEA have produced styles that are narrower than a foot long when the table is fully-collapsed, but quickly expand to six feet long with both leaves propped open. Others have built the tables on rolling casters, to further improve their versatility and ease of storage to roll out of the way when not in use. Prices are from less than $200 to $350 or more, depending on materials and features.

With many of us finding ourselves inside for weeks at a time, home renovations have seen an uptick in attention as individuals and families find themselves looking to make the most out of their indoor spaces. We hope the gateleg table finds many new fans, and more designers flock to bring new perspectives to the centuries-old design.

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