What is a Handkerchief Table?

A handkerchief table is a type of drop-leaf table where the leaves are supported by brackets that swing out, resembling a handkerchief partially unfolded.


A Handkerchief Table represents a unique and versatile piece of furniture, drawing its name from its distinctive design. When not in use, the leaves of this drop-leaf table hang vertically, closely resembling the folds of a handkerchief partially unfolded. This distinctive feature not only contributes to its aesthetic appeal but also allows it to serve multiple functions in a space-saving manner. The brackets, which swing out to support the leaves when they are raised, enable the transformation from a compact to a fully extended table. This adaptable design makes it an ideal solution for small living spaces or for those looking for flexible dining options.

In terms of design and craftsmanship, handkerchief tables may vary widely, ranging from traditional wooden designs to more contemporary metal or mixed-material iterations. The design's versatility means it can complement various interior design styles, from classic to modern. These tables can be found as antiques or as newly manufactured pieces, depending on one's preference.

Beyond its functional and aesthetic attributes, the handkerchief table symbolizes smart design thinking that respects both form and function. It's a testament to how classic furniture designs can remain relevant and useful, even as living spaces and lifestyle needs evolve.


Handkerchief tables are often used in small apartments, studios, or homes where space is at a premium. They function beautifully in areas that serve multiple purposes, such as living/dining areas. When not in use, the leaves can be folded down to create more open space or to serve as a side table or console. For entertaining or when extra dining surface is needed, the leaves can be easily lifted and supported, converting it into a larger dining table.


  • How do you adjust the leaves of a handkerchief table?

    The leaves of a handkerchief table are adjusted by lifting them upwards and then swinging out the brackets underneath to support them. This simple mechanism allows for quick and easy transformation of the table's size and function.

  • Can a handkerchief table be used in modern interior design?

    Absolutely, a handkerchief table's versatility and sleek design allow it to blend seamlessly into a variety of interior design styles, including modern and contemporary settings. Its space-saving feature is particularly appealing in minimalist and clean-lined design themes.

  • Are handkerchief tables available in different materials?

    Yes, handkerchief tables are available in a wide range of materials, including traditional woods, metals, and even combinations of different materials, catering to a broad spectrum of design preferences.

Practical Application

When incorporating a handkerchief table into your home, consider the area where it will be placed and how you intend to use it. Measure the space to ensure it fits both with its leaves down and extended. For a cohesive look, choose a style and material that complements the existing decor. Adding this type of table to a space not only adds a functional surface but also brings a touch of historical charm and versatility.