What is a Butterfly Table?

A versatile table featuring hinged leaves that can be folded and stored under its top.


A Butterfly Table is characterized by its ingenious design, which includes hinged leaves that fold out from the sides to expand the table’s surface. This unique feature makes it an exceptional choice for those with limited space but requiring the flexibility to accommodate more guests when necessary. The name “butterfly” derives from the way these leaves resemble a butterfly’s wings when extended.

Originally found in early colonial American homes, Butterfly Tables have evolved over the years but still retain their practicality and charm. Today, they are available in a variety of styles, from traditional wooden designs to modern variations that incorporate different materials and finishes. This adaptability makes the Butterfly Table a popular choice among those looking to seamlessly blend functionality with style in their dining areas or kitchens.

One of the most significant advantages of a Butterfly Table is its space-saving design. When not in use, the leaves can be folded down, minimizing the table's footprint. This feature is particularly valuable in small living spaces, such as apartments or tiny homes. Despite their compact size when closed, Butterfly Tables can comfortably accommodate additional diners once the leaves are extended, making them ideal for entertaining or family gatherings.


Butterfly Tables are typically found in dining rooms, eat-in kitchens, or small living spaces where maximizing floor space is essential. In modern homes, they serve not only as dining tables but also as versatile workspaces. For instance, one could use a Butterfly Table in a small apartment as a compact desk during the day and expand it for dining in the evening. Thanks to their flexibility and diverse styles, Butterfly Tables easily fit into various interior design themes, from rustic to contemporary.


  • How is the Butterfly Table different from a drop-leaf table?

    While both types of tables feature leaves that can be adjusted to change the table's size, the Butterfly Table's leaves are stored under the top and are typically supported by brackets when extended. In contrast, a drop-leaf table's leaves are supported by legs that swing out from the base.

  • Can Butterfly Tables be used outdoors?

    While traditionally used indoors, Butterfly Tables made with weather-resistant materials can also be suitable for outdoor use. It’s important to choose a table designed specifically for outdoor conditions to ensure durability.

  • Are Butterfly Tables easy to assemble?

    The ease of assembly for a Butterfly Table depends on the specific design and manufacturer. Many modern versions come partially assembled with clear instructions, making them relatively straightforward to put together.

Practical Application

When selecting a Butterfly Table, consider the size of the space where it will be placed, both when the leaves are folded and extended. Measure the area to ensure there's adequate room for chairs and movement around the table when it's fully expanded. Additionally, think about the material and finish of the table to ensure it complements your existing décor. Regular maintenance, such as tightening screws and hinges and protecting the surface from scratches and heat, will help keep your Butterfly Table in good condition for years to come.