Show me a patio table that can work outside as a patio table mainly but double inside as kitchen table that only comes in when we have a (smallish) dinner party?
July 26, 2011 1:23 PM   Subscribe

What is a good way to have a kitchen table sometimes, but not other times? We don't have space for a permanent kitchen table, but my fiance and I want to be able to have his parents and possibly 2 siblings over for dinner every couple of weeks. I'm having nightmares of plastic fold up card tables (yuck) or the dreaded TV trays (double yuck). One thing we've thought of is a patio table that can sometimes come inside. Any links to cute looking patio tables that are not too heavy to bring in and out sometimes? Teak? Or?
posted by powerbumpkin to Shopping (17 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
How about something like this. 65" wide open, 10" wide closed.
posted by IanMorr at 1:27 PM on July 26, 2011 [6 favorites]

Back in an old apartment of mine, we had a (cheap, small) dining table that spent most of its time jammed juuuuust so between the counter and the fridge. (I may have...ahem...taken a hacksaw to it to make this work.) We used it as an extension of the counter top (microwave and toaster oven lived there), but it got pulled out and covered with a table cloth for dinner parties.

If there's anywhere in your house where you could use 10 square feet of horizontal surface, you have room for a table. You just might have to do some hunting (or creative hacksawing) to find one that works for you.
posted by phunniemee at 1:28 PM on July 26, 2011

How about a fold-up gateleg table? I'm thinking this kind of thing. I had one in an occaisional room a few years back, they can be very sturdy.
posted by freya_lamb at 1:29 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have this gateleg table (along with these stackable chairs). It works well, and you can store stuff in it!
posted by amarynth at 1:33 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've drooled over amarynth's link so many times it's not even funny. I could easily get 6 people around that table.
posted by theichibun at 1:39 PM on July 26, 2011

I have this table. Most of the time it sits against the wall in the entry way and takes up almost no space. It looks nice and can seat four (I keep wooden folding chairs in the hall closet).
posted by ainsley at 1:40 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another gate leg table! I've had mine for a year and LOVE it. Having built-in storage is also nice.
posted by smirkette at 1:48 PM on July 26, 2011

If you don't mind taking about 15 minutes to set up and take it down, there are many very nice dining table that are constructed with the legs held in place via wing-nuts and brackets. When the legs are removed, they can be stored with the tabletop in a closet in a pretty flat area.

I think the majority of dining tables I have bought have been constructed this way, or with the use of allen bolts. Not exactly quick set up and take down, but way nicer than a banquet table or card table.
posted by The Deej at 1:48 PM on July 26, 2011

Apparently I am a doofus and missed amarynth's link when clicking. It really is great, though!
posted by smirkette at 1:49 PM on July 26, 2011

There are some lovely gateleg tables on Ebay.

A friend of mine bought a battered old one at a garage sale for a silly amount of money (under $10), stripped it back and painted it cream to match her chairs - it looks fantastic. And being of 1920s vintage it was built to last!
posted by humph at 1:54 PM on July 26, 2011

Doh, I missed the "outside" part of your question - you could use waterproof/marine paint or varnish if it needs painting.
posted by humph at 1:56 PM on July 26, 2011

Those are mostly 4-person tables linked to above, but you seem to want at times to seat six (and maybe more on occasions?). As an extra big table for when needed I bought myself a couple of sturdy metal trestle legs and a separate thick plywood sheet as a surface. You can varnish or polish the plywood up as you wish, or leave it raw, cover it with tablecloth. Or choose a surface with a nice-looking veneer. Erecting takes a minute. When not in use dismantle and stack, or leave up on your patio, in which case you'll need exterior grade wood and varnish or sealant. It's not a beautiful solution, it's raw, but cheap and functional.
posted by londongeezer at 2:01 PM on July 26, 2011

Do you own your home? Once upon a time when we were househunting, we looked at a small 3-bedroom house that a familiy had raised six children in. In the kitchen, they had built in a long narrow table that folded up against the wall when not in use, but sat 6 or more when down. It was like the built-in ironing boards you sometimes see in old houses, only it was a table.
posted by not that girl at 2:09 PM on July 26, 2011

I have an blond wood oval table that folds down on each side, leaving a foot wide table/shelf section when it's closed. It has four nice looking wooden chairs that fold up and fit into the table when not in use. Something like that might be perfect for you. Unfortunately I got it at a thrift store so I can't link to anything, but you could prolly find something similar. It looks like a pretty nice "real" table when open.
posted by catatethebird at 4:19 PM on July 26, 2011

I have a dropleaf table into which I can insert one more leaf. When I don't have people over or a project on it, both leaves are folded. When two people are over, I extend one leaf. When I host dinner or family meals, I open both leaves and insert the middle leaf. It's similar to a gateleg table, except the permanent leaf is bigger.

At that point, chair storage/stashing is a bigger problem than the room the table occupies.

Whatever you choose, if it's less than ideally attractive, having tablecloths on hand can take you far. My "outside" table is an old card table with various inexpensive vinyl drop cloths in rotation.
posted by nita at 4:32 PM on July 26, 2011

Before we moved, we had my in-laws old yacht table as our living room table. It folded out to ridiculously huge dimensions and raised itself to dining table heights, but was much smaller in front of the futon most of the time.

It was damned heavy, though.
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:25 PM on July 26, 2011

You could use 2 of these. They're only 50 bucks, and are weatherproof, and fold up. We have one on our deck, it seats 4 people, adding another one would seat 8 (or 6 comfortably). A family I know uses them this way - as flexible "visitor" tables. They are quite stable, but can be carried around and set up by one person.
posted by The Toad at 9:19 AM on July 27, 2011

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