The Many Lives of the Historical Trestle Table

scandinavian designed trestle table
Photo courtesy of HGTV Home.

One of the things that complete one’s house is a table. Other than being the center of our home’s social life, endless categories of tables seem to draw us to the idea of endless comfort and utility. Enriched with history, the iconic trestle table has proven evolution from basic utility to being a luxury symbol for taking a leap in today’s world. For this article, Tokyo Grand Renovation has gathered information on why the trestle table is the actual “king” of tables.

For starters, a trestle table compromises two or three trestles supports linked by a longitudinal cross-member over which a board or tabletop is placed. The table’s earliest versions — wood planks rested on trestles– showed up during the middle ages. Portability was key since people back then didn’t have dedicated dining rooms. Later they morphed into proper tables used in monasteries and then into the gorgeous centerpiece found in the modern home today.

trestle table explained
A visual explanation of the components of a trestle table. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.


The existence of this table can be dated back before the Georgian period. The trestle tabletops were made narrow due to the fact that diners did not sit face to face for a medieval reason. It allowed the diners to have a barricade from a sudden attack by flipping the table. Tho the history of the table stretches as far back as the 7th century, predominating since ancient Egypt, the Greek and Roman tables were slab-sided, which were made for altars.

The contemporary version of the trestle table descended from the Western style of putting boards on trestles that are erected when needed for eating. Long, narrow trestle type tablets descended from those used for monastic dining area known as refectory tables.  An equally common medieval-type used for dining was made for four legs, connected at their feet by sturdy stretchers.  Such early dining tables are known as “joined tables” were large and were often furnished with draw-leaves to further increase their capacity. (Strictly Tables and Chairs)


A chair having one of the greatest commercial success, the Cesca chair is again capturing the hearts of the design inclined.


shabby chic office design
This trestle table is used in an office. Photo courtesy of RGO Products Ltd.

Trestle tables usually blend well in traditional interior design. However, for this setup, a modern office has used this table as an occasional piece that can be used for meetings or dining. Not to mention, it appears as effortless, relaxed, and looks like everything was just thrown down where it is with an almost accidental harmony by chance.

“They pair perfectly with both traditional and contemporary accents.” -New Orleans-based designer and antique expert Tara Shaw.
modern trestle table
A trestle table is indeed truly timeless furniture. Photo courtesy of BusinessYab.

Known from the medieval times and now blends well in Scandinavian. This ultra-modern look complements dining rooms and exudes sleek lines and smooth wood along with soft colors like brown. The placement of the table between a decorative element and a living room also soothes in its simplicity.

Lastly, a trestle dining table can be incorporated into any interior: coastal and industrial, modern and shabby chic, feminine and masculine – there are many versions and looks of this famous table, and you will be able to find the one you need very fast. But a large, especially dark stained, wooden trestle table will stand out in any space and any colors, and you’ll have not only a dining table – but an iconic furniture from the history.

Tokyo Grand Renovation (TGR) is a design and build specialist when it comes to crafting luxury and functionality in one. Inspired by Japanese philosophy and style, TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.   

For inquiries, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 832 16 76, or send an e-mail at

TGRはマカティの高級インテリアデザイン、リノベーション、会社です。TGRは 住宅および商業 スペースの為のデザインと建築を提供 し ております。お問い合わせは 、02832 1676 にお電話いただくか、 電子メール へ送信 お願いします。


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