What Is a Butterfly Leaf Dining Table?


It is difficult to picture a home without a table. Whether you use a table's surface for working on or eating from, a table is a staple element. Space issues, however, often require buying for the space you have rather than for desired function. A butterfly leaf dining table is a practical solution for the space-conscious furniture buyer.


  • An early version of a drop-leaf dining table was the gate-leg table, the two extra legs of which were swung out when needed to support the table's leaves. While that kind of table was used in Colonial America from the late 1600s, butterfly tables were developed there about 1710. They were typically smaller than gate-leg tables, and they were named for their wing-shaped leaf supports that extend.


  • To extend the butterfly leaf, someone simply pulls on one end of the table. A gap opens in the table's middle, allowing room for the leaf. Once the leaf is in place, the edges of the table's two ends are pushed against the edges of the leaf until no gap remains. Similarly, when finished using the table, someone pulls on one end of the table, pulls up on one side of the leaf until it folds in the middle and then presses the folded leaf into the storage place. The table's ends are then pressed back together.


  • Butterfly leaf tables offer a convenient solution to space issues in small dining areas. These tables can be extended when more seating is needed yet are self-stored, and so they do not require additional storage space. When the leaf is not in use, it folds neatly underneath the table, hidden from sight. An additional benefit of butterfly leaf tables is that they have no need for extra legs and supports as with some drop-leaf and gate-leg tables.


  • Butterfly leaf tables come in various shapes and sizes. From round, to rectangular, to oval, they come in many colors and styles. Single pedestal, two-legged and four-legged versions are made. Some even offer an additional drop-leaf for added space-saving and functionality. They also vary in height. Most are waist high, but counter height is becoming more common.


  • The cost for a butterfly leaf table varies depending on its size as well as its type and material quality. For example, a butterfly leaf table made from rubber wood with a cherry finish that seats four may cost less than $300, and a similar option made of pine may cost more than $1,000. Numerous options are within the $200 to $500 range. (All prices are for 2010.)

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit table of dessert pie on white table image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Is a Butterfly Table Leaf?

    A butterfly table leaf is a panel that fits into the middle of a table, serving as an extension to create a...

  • How to Fix a Butterfly Leaf Table that Won't Close

    A butterfly leaf table stores the extending leaf under the table itself, using a hinged mechanism to raise the leaf when pulling...

  • How to Make a Leaf Table

    If you need a larger table during the holidays or for special occasions but don't want to buy one and store it...

  • How to Make a Dining Table Expand

    If you love to entertain a big group for dinner but do not have the space to keep a full-length table on...

  • How to Build a Folding Leaf Dining Table

    Do you and your family have frequent get-togethers or dinner parties but don't want a huge table taking up your dining room...

  • How to Open a Butterfly Leaf Table

    Having a large dining room table makes it easy to seat all your guests for dinner parties, but it can use up...

  • Butterfly Table Leaf Instructions

    A butterfly-leaf table hides the table extension inside an opening in the center of the table. The unfolding process to make a...

  • How to Add a Table Leaf

    A dining table with additional leaves enables you to keep a table small for everyday use and then add an additional leaf...

  • How to Undo Table Leaf Locks

    As the holidays approach, people across the country are inserting leaves into their tables to accommodate extra guests. Most tables with leaves...

  • How Do Butterfly Leaf Tables Work?

    The butterfly leaf table was an American innovation on the original drop leaf table design popular in Europe since the 1600s. Where...

  • Facts About the Indian Leaf Butterfly

    The Indian leaf butterfly (Kallima inachus), also known as the "dead leaf" or the "orange leaf butterfly," has the ability to disguise...

  • Drop Leaf Table Styles

    Homeowners who frequently entertain often opt for drop-leaf tables. A drop-leaf table—a table that has one leaf that drops down into the...

  • Proper Table Leaf Storage

    Tables that extend for extra company are a great way to save space and accommodate extra people. Properly storing the leaf when...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!