January is a popular month to shop for dining tables. I guess every year, around the holidays people decide “this is going to be my last year entertaining around this old table! It’s too small, it’s too old, it’s not the right shape…” So we build a lot of dining tables in January and this year, they are almost all extension tables.
Who ever thought up the idea of extension tables in the first place? I mean… “let’s saw this table top in two. Then we can stick a couple boards in between the 2 halves and extend the table when company comes.” Pretty innovative, but it must have sounded a little crazy at first– don’t you think?
Extension tables have come a long way since some creative person designed the first one. Now you can get extension tables with 1, 2, 3 or more leaves (our furniture makers have been known to build custom tables with as many as 5 leaves). The leaves can be self-storing, with butterfly mechanisms or little cubbies under the table for convenient storage. With 3 or more leaves there is usually an extra leg tucked under the table top for extra support.
At Vermont Woods Studios, our extension tables are handcrafted of real solid wood and 100% American made by Vermont craftspeople. They can be customized in Cherry, Maple, Black Walnut, or Oak wood. And you can choose from different designs to suit the shape and style of your dining room: drop leaf, trestle, split pedestal, single pedestal and double pedestal.
Looking for a particular style or shape? Browse through Shaker, modern, mission, French country, traditional, craftsman and mid-century modern styles in round to oval and square to rectangular shapes.
Make Room For Company!
Grab an extra leaf or two for the extension table and add another cup of water to the soup. The holidays are here! I remember when we were kids it seemed like every night at least one of us would be having a friend over for dinner. In our big family, my mother barely noticed it. But today, families are smaller, dining rooms are smaller (or non-existent) and dining room tables are smaller.
That’s no reason to hesitate before extending an open invitation for your friends and relatives to gather around the table at your house. Enter the extra leaf! Back in the day, we had to store extra leaves for our old oak dining table down in the basement. But today’s extension tables have self storing leaves that are neatly and conveniently tucked away under the table top. It’s so easy to insert them, and then tuck them away after company has gone home.
Extension Tables by Size, Shape and Style
Check out these American made, solid wood extension tables that are handcrafted in Vermont. Last week Loryn posted some tips about how to select the right shape for your table and we’ve tried to make it easy to find special categories for Round & Oval Extension Tables as well as Square & Rectangular Extending Tables. If you’re shopping by style it might be faster to browse through categories like our Shaker Dining Tables, Pedestal Dining Tables or Trestle Dining Tables. Copeland Furniture fans will want to head straight to the Copeland Audrey, Sarah, Catalina and Dana Thomas dining tables.
So how many extra people can you fit with each leaf in your extending table? Well, just 2 per leaf but you can customize most of our tables with your choice of 1, 2 or 3 leaves (with some designs a fifth leg is added to support 3 extending leaves– it’s also hidden underneath the table top when not in use).
Have questions? Give us a call or connect with us on Facebook. Then start planning your next dinner party!
Wood dining tables are our most popular, best selling pieces at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Most customers come to us for solid cherry wood tables, but we also build a good number of tables in maple, walnut and oak wood too. Occasionally we get a custom order for wood tables made out of other woods, like the reclaimed barnwood farm table that Yankee Magazine is featuring in their March/April issue this year.
So why wood? I mean you could eat off a glass top table or a metal table or even a plastic table. I think for many people, wood makes an important emotional connection that maybe we're not even consciously aware of. A customer recently told me she came to us because of the natural, organic apsect of our wooden furniture. She said that trees are actually a source of spiritual sustenance and renewal for her. I was thinking about that and came across this passage about trees written by woodworker and naturalist Brian Clifford:
A tree is a thing of beauty and wonderment, huge, but full of life and movement. A deciduous tree is the embodiment of the changing seasons: a stark framework in winter, bursting life in spring, a vast green canopy in summer and the bearer of seeds and fruit in the autumn. It is the embodiment of man's condition: birth, life, death, regeneration and rebirth.
I'm not sure people choose wood for their dining and kitchen tables for reasons quite that deep, but I love reading Brian's thoughts and philosophy about the relationship between trees and man. He notes that our ancestors evolved in trees:
The period our ancestors spent in the trees was of great formative importance; this was the environment in which man's basic structures, brain, sense organs, limbs and reproductive system, evolved. In response to the exigencies of living in trees the animal's paws were modified into members able to grip: the claws atrophied, the digits lengthened, and an opposed thumb developed. The eyes became larger and moved towards the front of the head providing three-dimensional vision. In concert with these bodily changes, and their application in confronting the dangers in the tree tops, the creature's brain developed new features and increased in power.
Ha! It seems we owe our brain power to trees. I bet you never thought of that as the reason you were shopping for a wood dining table today.