Dining Room Tables – To Leaf or not to Leaf

Before we were married, our friends were generous enough to give us their dining room set with four chairs. Sadly, when we moved to Florida a year ago we couldn’t fit the set in the moving truck. So, we’ve done without. Scott and I don’t mind, however now that we’re having guests over more often it’s getting to be a problem.

The options for dining room sets are endless. Our priority was to find a nice set that would last. We would want this to be big enough to grow with as when we move to our future home, however it has to fit in our apartment in the meantime. The other big determining factor is the price. Dining room sets can quickly become pretty ridiculous. We’ve seen ones for under $500 and some easily over $1,000. Talk about a variety.

Here’s an interesting fact: dining room tables cost about as much as the chairs do if you have to buy them separately. We’ve found beautiful tables around $200-250. To get a set of two chairs is $100+. Just when you think you’re saving money, you aren’t. You’re simply given the freedom to pick your chairs.

We have been tossing around different table options. Do we get the pub height or the normal height? The one that comes with a bench or stick with chairs? Do we get the leaf or expect eight people to scrunch a little bit? I have a very large family. The chances we’ll have eight people at the table at one time are definitely possible, but will not be a common occurrence. Corralling everyone in the same state is a problem. So do we get the leaf for those rare occasions and let it sit in the closet for 11 months out of the year? Or do we expect the six adults to sit at the big table and plan on setting up a “kiddy table” like my parents used to do?

I don’t have any answers. Right now we’re sifting through the options and narrowing it down. A dining room table will be chosen, I’m just not sure which one. I’d be delighted to hear your stories and experiences. What did each of you choose when you picked your dining room set? Did you get your table from a retailer, second hand or online? Which factors were important to you?

I’m off to do some more research, but I’ll let you know what we decide!


5 thoughts on “Dining Room Tables – To Leaf or not to Leaf

  1. Our dining room table has a built in leaf that just collapses under the table when you don’t want to use it. I LOVE it. We got our table from jc penny, it’s great quality and its a pub height table.

    • I never thought about looking at JC Penny. We looked at a table with the fold under leaf at IKEA, but it looked like it would be too flimsy. I’m delighted to hear yours turned out so wonderfully!

  2. Matt & I bought a pub height set at Furniture Row to accommodate his long legs. An added perk that I just found to that height as well is that being pregnant its hard to stand at the counters cooking or canning for long periods of time, and the chairs are the perfect height to cook sitting at the counters. Also, this table has the leaf that folds underneath the table when we’re not using it. We bought 6 chairs, and still have room for two extra…all in all we paid about $725 for the whole set, chairs included. Right now we have a space saver high chair strapped onto one of the chairs for Dominic and will do the same for the new baby, but for family gatherings at our house we will just set up card tables and/or kid tables.

    • We looked at the pub set and liked it a lot. I liked the ability to work on projects at the table either sitting or standing comfortably. Apparently we need to find these hidden leaf tables. They sound right up our alley!

  3. I think you should invest money in a good table. It should be something that is good quality, expandable, and really sturdy. If you choose well, you may never have to buy another one. The pub sized ones are cute, but not practical (especially for kids). Expandable is a must. Try to avoid fake woods, because it wil scratch easily and not stand up to wear and tear. Craig’s list might be helpful, but I would avoid cheap places like Big Lots. There’s my two cents. Happy hunting. Can’t wait to hear what you purchase.

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