3 Ways to hack a Fold Down Table for a Small Space

fold down table ideas

I would really like to have a drop-leaf table next to my window, but I’m having trouble finding one that folds down small enough. Most are still the size of a full table when folded. 

I need it to stay within about 16″ of the wall to keep the room from looking cluttered when it’s folded down and not being used. 

small space

The BJURSTA wall-mounted drop-leaf table would be perfect, but the windows are too low to mount the table underneath. 

BJURSTA fold down table
Photo: IKEA.com

Any ideas for wall-mount alternatives that don’t require a lot of woodworking skill and won’t tip over when the table is being used?


Hi Lucy

Since you can’t mount to the window, I’d suggest getting a small fold down table.

#1 Drop leaf tables

My first choice for a small fold down table would be the IKEA NORDEN gateleg table. When both table leaves are extended it is an impressive 60-inch long table that sits up to 4 persons.

Folded down, it has a tiny 12 1/4″ deep x 31 1/2″ wide footprint. And it has storage! Also comes in white.

NORDEN gateleg table
Photo: IKEA.com

The only drawback is the thing is a beast to move. But fear not, you can add caster wheels to it, to make it easier to push around.

NORDEN with wheels

Another similar table would be the ÄPPLARÖ gateleg table.

APPLARO gateleg table
Photo: IKEA.com

If you don’t mind the “outdoorsy” look, it could work. There’s even a hack to swap the legs so you don’t have to keep moving it out to open both table leaves.


If you’re bothered by the slats, get a piece of wood cut to the size of the table top. Nail or glue it on to the slats to cover them up.

#2 Storage unit plus table

Now, onto a different kind of solution.

The gist of it. Start with a storage unit that’s large and heavy enough, such as a drawer unit or cabinet. Then, attach a fold down table onto it.

James used this for the dual purposes of a desk and kitchen cart, which may not be what you want. So, omit the butcher block on top of the ALEX drawer unit if you prefer. The table section should still work fine.

ALEX drawer unit with fold down table

Above shows the wood planks in down position. And below, voilà! A desk. Wheel it into storage when not in use.

fold down table on ALEX

Along similar lines, the hack below combined the IVAR cabinet and NORBO drop leaf table. Instead of installing the table to a wall, it is fixed to the cabinet. You won’t need the IVAR doors for this to work.

IVAR cabinet with desk
#3 Hack a narrow table

Moving away from fold down table ideas, you can also opt to hack a narrow table.

Like this:

KALLAX narrow desk

It’s from a 2×2 KALLAX cube with the dividers and shelves removed. And it’s just shy of 16″ deep. If you need extra worktop space add a keyboard tray under the table.

keyboard tray

Prefer something a little more elegant? Hack a slim desk from an EKBY ALEX shelf with drawers. If you want it collapsible, attach the ALEX unit to foldable table legs like these.


Which direction will you go for?

We’d love to see what you end up with.

Happy hacking,


Hacking may compromise the structural integrity of the item, so please be aware of the risks involved before modifying or altering any IKEA product. Alterations and modifications will also void any warranties or return policies you may have received from IKEA. IKEAhackers.net is not liable for any product failure, injury or damage resulting from the application of suggestions, ideas and hacks featured on this site.