The term “hole in the wall” has a new meaning. Before you start thinking, “right, pocket doors, so pocket tables must be the same thing”, know that you are only marginally correct. Sure they both hide out in the wall and save space in tiny rooms and, well, come to think of it they are actually pretty similar except for uses. Pocket tables really are the transformers of the furniture world.
There really is more than meets the eye here. What looks like an antique china closet or cabinet folds out to be a four person bench style table. Its kinda like the table in your parent’s camper. Remember that thing? The whole thing smelled of mothballs, summer and stale Doritos and in the front of that thing was the kitchen table. Well sometimes it was the kitchen table. It also folded into the master bed, folded back to be the tv stand and would fold all the way out of the way to make the observation/wrestling ring in the front bay of the camper on rainy days. Thinking back, it was made out of about 400 lbs of pressed particle board, used car parts and super cheap wood-like veneer.
Well, unlike the camper table, pocket tables are constructed with the finest modern material, actual wood. In fact, you have the choice of woods to choose from: oak, cherry, maple and pine. The table and benches can also be painted, stained or left unfinished to get that natural coffee spill stain that is inevitable. There are also several options for the faux-face as well, including glass, metal, fabric and even picture panels. Sure beats that camper bed/table.
Installation isn’t terrible either. There are two models: the “fit inside the wall” model and the “fit on the wall” style. The fit on the wall is by far the easiest since it hangs there like an enormous family photo. A few screws in the studs and viola, instant pocket tables. The in the wall pocket table requires a little more work and a clear space in the wall, i.e. no pesky electrical wires or plumbing pipes you’ll have to cut through. The hole, which measures 28.5″ x 67″ only needs to be 4″ deep (convient since studs are generally 3 1/2 inches and the drywall is 1/2 inch thick). First, you’ll want to make sure the wall you’re selecting isn’t load bearing. Then, once the drywall is removed, demo any studs that are in the way. Oh, and you should probably build a header to support the weight. If you don’t know what a header is (or how to build one), consider hiring a pro. Perhaps overzealous but you don’t want your new pocket table to be pear shaped. Once the wall space is sorted out and prepped, then just screw it in. Ta Da!
The pocket table is a great way to add character and functionality to small spaces, but it will cost you. The in the wall model sells for $850 and the on the wall model sells for $950 plus shipping. Which, if I’m correct, is actually more than my parents paid for their first two campers.