What is a Gateleg Table?

A gateleg table is a type of folding table with legs that are hinged to swing out and support hinged leaves.


Gateleg tables have captivated both interior design enthusiasts and practical homeowners for generations. Their unique design consists of a relatively narrow, fixed section at the center, flanked by tabletop leaves that are typically supported by legs that swing out like gates—hence the name gateleg table. This innovative mechanism allows the table to be expanded or contracted according to need, making it an extremely versatile piece of furniture.

When fully extended, a gateleg table can comfortably accommodate additional guests, making it ideal for hosting dinners or gatherings. When not in use, the leaves can be folded down, and the legs swung back in, transforming the table into a compact piece that can easily fit into small spaces. This flexibility makes gateleg tables a favorite among those living in small apartments or homes with limited dining area.

In terms of design, gateleg tables can range from traditional, intricately detailed models to more contemporary, minimalist styles. They can be made from various materials, including wood, metal, and composite materials, further broadening their appeal across different design preferences.


Gateleg tables are frequently found in dining rooms, kitchens, or multi-functional spaces within homes. They are also used in commercial settings like cafes and restaurants where space is a premium. This type of table is particularly popular in settings that require adaptable furniture solutions—for instance, in studio apartments or small homes where a flexible dining area is necessary.


  • What makes a gateleg table different from other types of tables?

    What sets gateleg tables apart is their unique folding design. The hinged legs swing out to support leaves, allowing the table to expand to accommodate more people or fold down for easy storage.

  • Can gateleg tables be used outdoors?

    Yes, gateleg tables can be used outdoors, especially those made from materials like treated wood or metal that are resistant to outdoor elements. However, it's important to check the manufacturer's recommendations regarding outdoor use.

  • How do you maintain a gateleg table?

    Maintaining a gateleg table involves regular cleaning with a soft, damp cloth and ensuring that the moving parts (hinges and legs) are occasionally checked for tightness and lubricated if necessary. Avoid placing hot items directly on the surface to prevent damage.

  • Are gateleg tables available in different sizes?

    Yes, gateleg tables come in various sizes, from small, intimate settings suitable for two people to larger models that can seat six or more when fully extended. This variety allows for flexibility in different space configurations.

Practical Application

To make the most out of a gateleg table, consider its placement in your home based on your specific needs. When extended, ensure there's enough room around the table for comfortable seating and movement. In smaller spaces, use the table in its compact form for daily use, expanding it only when needed for entertaining. The gateleg table’s versatility also makes it a great option for a craft or hobby table that can be easily stored away.